Why nobody reads the owner’s manual

To check Gwendolyn’s power-steering fluid level (which is at the moment just marginally above LO), I need only raise the hood and glare at the little plastic snowglobe above the passenger-side engine mount. The only trick to it is that there are two different sets of HI/LO marks, depending on whether the fluid is Hot or Not; beyond that, all you need to do is see that the fluid line falls within the appropriate pair.

Meanwhile, this same task requires thirty-two steps in an ’04 Porsche Boxster S:

[T]he Boxster is known for eating power steering pumps. It also requires that the fluid be frequently topped-off. I confess that after just 42,000 miles on the car I hadn’t considered its power-steering needs. The power steering pump is $375. Quite a bit of money for something that can’t last 42,000 miles. If a Hyundai Accent had a power-steering pump failure at 42,000 miles I’d call it an unreliable piece of shit.

Latest price I have on a power-steering pump for a ’00 I30 is $431.21. Then again, this car went over the 139,000-mile mark last week. And that fluid level hasn’t moved in six months.

1 comment

  1. JT »

    2 October 2012 · 9:48 am

    I think it’s indicative of the way they design cars today. My ’03 Mini’s electro-mechanical PS pump went out recently. A new one costs over $700, rebuilt pumps run about $350 to $400. BMW prices and old British-Leyland reliability on this one. I’d prefer to either have an option to not have it or at least a normal, reliable belt-driven pump.

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