Buying a used T5? Check for black oil in power steering resevior first and save yourself a lot of hassle.
The power steering pump connects directly to the engine. It is sealed against engine oil ingress with an O ring seal. This seal fails and oil contaminates the steering fluid requiring an expensive pump replacement. If the steering rack is badly contaminated it needs to be replaced too.
I visited the VW dealer and asked them to repair it. The mechanic said I’m not sure what you mean, show me the problem. As soon as I opened the bonnet and started to open the power steering resevoir to show him the black oil, he said – oh yes, this is a well known problem.
The seal should never fail. It is not a moving part subject to wear and tear. It fails because it is a bad design. VW are well aware of the problem but refused to repair it. Instead they let customers pay for their mistakes.
After over 30 years of owning VW’s, I’m sorry to have to say, my next vehicle will not be a VW.