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My boyfriend keeps his 1992 Caprice wagon at our cozy Maine camp for the summer season. We drive the car up from Maryland in the spring and drive it home again in the fall, where she’ll sleep all winter so as to minimize any exposure to the dreaded road salt.

This October we flew up to Maine to winterize the camp and drive “Mrs. B” home for her winter repose. Everything was going according to plan until we swung the wagon into an Irving to take on fuel and she started groaning like a collapsing steel girder. The power steering reservoir was dry and the entire engine bay was glossy with PS fluid that the accessory drive belt had cheerfully flung everywhere.

As we were in rural Maine on a weekend, getting a mechanic to sort the problem was, to say the least, unlikely. And we had to be back in Maryland sharpish for work.

In opposite fashion to bailing out a boat to keep it afloat, we just added power steering fluid as we drove. It took two full quarts to get from Maine to Maryland.

Once back in the Mid Atlantic, a new PS pump was secured from the savior that is Rockauto.com. After the old pump had been removed it transpired that a fractured high-pressure power steering hose fitting, not the pump itself, was the culprit.

Amazingly, an Advance Autoparts, located in one of Baltimore’s stabbier precincts, had a Caprice powers steering pressure line in stock. It was installed along with the pump and a new accessory drive belt thus returning the Carpice’s steering back to its easy, silently operating self.

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