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#2692601 - 07/23/12 09:53 AM Why do i have to change the power steering fluid?
Stephen_G Offline


Registered: 04/12/12
Posts: 406
Loc: Mount Holly New Jersey
Friend brought up a point, i said that to fix the ford power steering noise you have to change the fluid, he said that is a stupid thing and should not have to be done and that i am making excuses for a badly designed PS pump, to him a PS pump should work, and NOT make noise, ford pumps work but make a moaning noise.

My question is, do you really have to change out the fluid ever, or is it just a way to keep a ford pump clean?

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#2692607 - 07/23/12 09:56 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 24417
Loc: ME
Yeah you should change it; it shears down. Ford has a particular whine that they must have trademarked 50 years ago. wink

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#2692613 - 07/23/12 09:59 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
sciphi Online   content


Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 8591
Loc: Upstate NY
The fluid picks up water/metal/rubber contamination from the atmosphere and from the normal wear in the PS system. Changing it brings in fresh, non-contaminated fluid.

Some pumps are pickier about old, wear-item-containing fluid than others. Maybe Ford just has a very picky pump?
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#2692626 - 07/23/12 10:06 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: sciphi]
Rand Online   content


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 8012
Loc: Barberton,Ohio
Originally Posted By: sciphi
The fluid picks up water/metal/rubber contamination from the atmosphere and from the normal wear in the PS system. Changing it brings in fresh, non-contaminated fluid.

Some pumps are pickier about old, wear-item-containing fluid than others. Maybe Ford just has a very picky pump?


+1

This plus the actual fluid shears also.. making it thinner.
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#2692665 - 07/23/12 10:39 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
LeakySeals Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 5070
Loc: MA
The PS pump creates the hydraulics for the PS system. Fresh fluid, better hydraulics, less work by the pump. Depending on the year of the vehicle, you likely have a steering rack with gears. Changing the fluid helps lubrication and cleans the rack. Seals are also an issue. Using a fluid like maxlife helps there. The noise? Could be the pump, could also be the pulley bearings gone dry. Changing the PS fluid at the reservoir every now and then is very simple to do. I drain and fill it every so often with maxlife Dex/Merc ATF when it starts getting dark.
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#2692673 - 07/23/12 10:48 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
scurvy Offline


Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 2275
Loc: Chicago IL USA
PSF does 'wear out' - in this case it absorbs moisture, gets loaded with particulate matter from the rack/lines/seals/pump, the fluid shears, additives get depleted and all of this takes place in a typically unfiltered system.

Suctioning & refilling the reservoir every couple oil changes or once a year keeps the PSF fresh, additives replenished, viscosity & performance closer to new and is far easier than a full drain & refill.

As I've said on TDIClub and to other VW owners - going through a tin of CHF11S every 3 years is much cheaper & easier than a rack replacement when one of the high pressure crush washers blows out. All the cars I've seen that happen to are still running the factory fill.
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#2692773 - 07/23/12 12:47 PM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
qdeezie Offline


Registered: 08/10/10
Posts: 848
Loc: Charlotte, NC
IMHO, any fluid on any vehicle will eventually "wear out" or absorb water. Fluids in my opinion whether it be brake, power steering, clutch, motor oil, coolant, differential or transmission fluid will eventually go bad.

You can try upgrading to a good stout synthetic PS fluid or Type F fluid (if that's what your Ford's PS system requires) if you truly don't want to touch it again.
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#2692776 - 07/23/12 12:50 PM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
Loobed Offline


Registered: 07/20/07
Posts: 3742
Loc: Northern California, USA
Originally Posted By: Stephen_G
Friend brought up a point, i said that to fix the ford power steering noise you have to change the fluid, he said that is a stupid thing and should not have to be done and that i am making excuses for a badly designed PS pump, to him a PS pump should work, and NOT make noise, ford pumps work but make a moaning noise.

My question is, do you really have to change out the fluid ever, or is it just a way to keep a ford pump clean?



How good would you work if you didn't change your body fluids daily?
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#2693208 - 07/23/12 07:25 PM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: eljefino]
Spazdog Offline


Registered: 09/06/10
Posts: 5495
Loc: Arlington
Originally Posted By: eljefino
Yeah you should change it; it shears down. Ford has a particular whine that they must have trademarked 50 years ago. wink


thumbsup

crackmeup

you can change the fluid. It might make it a little quieter but it'll probably still whine. It's just an annoyance. They work a long time like that.
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#2693269 - 07/23/12 08:36 PM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
OVERKILL Online   content


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 26722
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Stephen_G
Friend brought up a point, i said that to fix the ford power steering noise you have to change the fluid, he said that is a stupid thing and should not have to be done and that i am making excuses for a badly designed PS pump, to him a PS pump should work, and NOT make noise, ford pumps work but make a moaning noise.

My question is, do you really have to change out the fluid ever, or is it just a way to keep a ford pump clean?


His "point" isn't a very good one. Is he upset about having to change the oil too?
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#2693425 - 07/23/12 11:10 PM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
morris Offline


Registered: 08/24/08
Posts: 3681
Loc: ks, wichita
if you think you have to flush the system, do NOT use solvent, kerosene, gasoline, or any thing thin, under power or turned by hand. DO use oil. i saw a power steering pump frieze up solid, when kerosene was put in the pump under power.

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#2693432 - 07/23/12 11:23 PM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
morris Offline


Registered: 08/24/08
Posts: 3681
Loc: ks, wichita
an other thing i saw. my son had a honda, accord. the PS pump was acting like it had air in it. well it was getting air in the pump. but the way it got in was strange, the air was being sucked IN TO the pump through the shaft seal. i know thats strange, i have worked on lots of hydraulic systems and NEVER seen air get puled IN TO a pump through a seal. it got worse the more you turned the steering wheel.

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#2694251 - 07/24/12 07:30 PM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: morris]
Stephen_G Offline


Registered: 04/12/12
Posts: 406
Loc: Mount Holly New Jersey
Originally Posted By: morris
if you think you have to flush the system, do NOT use solvent, kerosene, gasoline, or any thing thin, under power or turned by hand. DO use oil. i saw a power steering pump frieze up solid, when kerosene was put in the pump under power.


The procedure to flush it is to basicaly disconnect the cooler, have the pump suck fresh fluid through it, keep it filled while the old crud comes out

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#2704476 - 08/04/12 03:27 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
KB2008X Offline


Registered: 06/21/12
Posts: 509
Loc: St. Louis, MO.
Ford has been using ATF in their PS systems for years. The whooping that PS puts on ATF isn't the equal of what a trans does to ATF, but it's still a harsh environment. I can't think of a PS pump that I've replaced that didn't have thin, dark, smelly fluid in it. I've always changed the fuid in my PS pumps going back to the '70s and I've personally never had a pump go bad, or even be noisy.

As mentioned, pulling the return line is the preferred method of draining, if you have access and the pump nipple is low on the pump. It isn't always low enough to help much.

Whatever method is used, change the fluid often enough to keep the fluid healthy.

Keith
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#2704477 - 08/04/12 03:41 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
JimPghPA Offline


Registered: 08/22/09
Posts: 2832
Loc: Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
Well at least it seams that cars and trucks do not have the problem that the steering system for a jumbo jet has when the fluid gets old.

Remember the one about the rudder that turned fully the wrong way because of old fluid?
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#2704479 - 08/04/12 03:44 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
JimPghPA Offline


Registered: 08/22/09
Posts: 2832
Loc: Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
I have seen GM vehicles have bad seals on the steering system, and the fluid is always dark black on those leaky steerings.

It seams that if you change the fluid every 30K miles or so, you do have a much better chance of not having the steering system leak.

Have you priced a new steering box lately. New can go for something like $1200, rebuilt for something like $350


Edited by JimPghPA (08/04/12 03:46 AM)
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Boy will I be happy when ALL vehicles on public roads are autonomous.


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#2704514 - 08/04/12 06:00 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
SteveSRT8 Offline


Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 15287
Loc: Sunny Florida
Far from a "GM only" problem!

Nowadays with everybody using a rack it's super easy to just disconnect a hose while you change the oil.
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#2711710 - 08/11/12 04:08 PM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
Sixxer Offline


Registered: 02/27/10
Posts: 138
Loc: Georgia
I have done 2 power steering changes since MAY 2010 when I got my Mustang. The first change I switched, what was probably the factory fill at 35k, to Amsoil ATF. I could tell a difference in the ease of moving the steering wheel. Great stuff
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#2720781 - 08/21/12 02:56 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
Spooner65 Offline


Registered: 04/13/12
Posts: 44
Loc: California
Additionally, Ford uses hydroboost systems in diesel trucks. These systems do not use power steering fluid, but ATF. Just like the ATF in your transmission, it too brakes down.
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2002 Ford F250 7.3L

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#2732717 - 09/02/12 03:15 PM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
morris Offline


Registered: 08/24/08
Posts: 3681
Loc: ks, wichita
would a fluid filter help. like a auto zone 2210 (magna-fine) 3/8 tube. or wix 58964 ,5/16 tube size. ?

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#2733195 - 09/03/12 07:02 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: KB2008X]
Shannow Online   content


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 27096
Loc: a prison island
Originally Posted By: KB2008X
Ford has been using ATF in their PS systems for years. The whooping that PS puts on ATF isn't the equal of what a trans does to ATF, but it's still a harsh environment. I can't think of a PS pump that I've replaced that didn't have thin, dark, smelly fluid in it. I've always changed the fuid in my PS pumps going back to the '70s and I've personally never had a pump go bad, or even be noisy.


Ford Australia specify Mobil 424 (or equivalent) tractor hydraulic fluid in their PS systems on Falcons.

It's a bit thicker, 9.7cst, and has a proper AW package, and just happens to be one of my new favourite lubes.

I've got about a half a system full of it in my Caprice, having jut replaced the power steering pump with a junkyard second after Mrs threw a few belts.

(Got a couple litres in the tranny too, just as an aside).

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#2742123 - 09/12/12 08:31 PM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: JimPghPA]
Astro14 Offline


Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 4618
Loc: Virginia Beach
Originally Posted By: JimPghPA
Well at least it seams that cars and trucks do not have the problem that the steering system for a jumbo jet has when the fluid gets old.

Remember the one about the rudder that turned fully the wrong way because of old fluid?


there's a couple of half-truths in this - it was the 737, not the jumbo (747) that was prone to rudder hard-overs (not wrong way, but full deflection) when cold-soaked but that was due to faulty design of a servo valve that would not operate properly when it was exposed to fluid of a different temperature (not old, just operating at a different temp elsewhere in the system)...


Edited by Astro14 (09/12/12 08:34 PM)
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#2742441 - 09/13/12 09:09 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Astro14]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 3128
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: Astro14
Originally Posted By: JimPghPA
Well at least it seams that cars and trucks do not have the problem that the steering system for a jumbo jet has when the fluid gets old.

Remember the one about the rudder that turned fully the wrong way because of old fluid?


there's a couple of half-truths in this - it was the 737, not the jumbo (747) that was prone to rudder hard-overs (not wrong way, but full deflection) when cold-soaked but that was due to faulty design of a servo valve that would not operate properly when it was exposed to fluid of a different temperature (not old, just operating at a different temp elsewhere in the system)...

Correct.

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#2742443 - 09/13/12 09:11 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 3128
Loc: Boston, MA
Toyota used Dex III for years. I just empty the reservior and refill every 30K or so.

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#2773871 - 10/15/12 10:10 PM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
RF Overlord Offline


Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3176
Loc: Cape Cod, MA
Tell you friend he's wrong.

When we first took ownership of the car my ex-wife has now, a 2003 Mercury Marauder with 85,000 miles (not the one in my sig- that's mine), it had a noticeable P/S whine. I used the turkey-baster method to empty and refill the reservoir every few days and after a couple of weeks the P/S was as quiet as a new car. That was in 2007. The old fluid was a very dark red and now it looks like new ATF. The car now has 163,xxx on it and I still service it for her and do a quick drain & fill on the P/S at every oil change.
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#2774117 - 10/16/12 09:11 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: HerrStig]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 3128
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: HerrStig
Toyota used Dex III for years. I just empty the reservior and refill every 30K or so.
Me too. I have used something as simple as a spray bottle pump to empty the reservior. Just changing that (I use the Walmart stuff) makes a difference.

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#2775865 - 10/17/12 07:39 PM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
fdcg27 Offline


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 9569
Loc: OH
In our one Ford, a turkey baster change or two totally eliminated the PS noise.
I think I used Mercon V, which was speced for the tranny, so I had some.
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#2776674 - 10/18/12 04:55 PM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
tc1446 Offline


Registered: 12/10/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NC
I have a can of Amsoil ATF left over from my 04 Corolla. Would that be good for the PS? How about my 07 altima?
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#2842082 - 12/20/12 02:40 PM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
3311 Offline


Registered: 07/24/10
Posts: 1040
Loc: Fl
Complete ps flush and fill with VML Dex Merc on 96 S10. Smooth and quiet.
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#2862275 - 01/08/13 12:40 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
oldhp Offline


Registered: 06/28/12
Posts: 877
Loc: Southern Illinois
Boss taught me this 40yrs ago. When we serviced cars, we sucked PS down and replaced with fresh fluid. Also same thing with brake fluid. Didn't take 5mins to do this. Back then, that was service! I still do it today to my vehicles and the kids cars.
I've never had PS whine/leak or dark looking Brake fluid.
Maybe thats why I had 2 guys at same wanting my Dakota when I sold it!
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#2862309 - 01/08/13 01:31 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: HerrStig]
GearheadTool Offline


Registered: 03/31/12
Posts: 1711
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: HerrStig
Originally Posted By: HerrStig
Toyota used Dex III for years. I just empty the reservior and refill every 30K or so.
Me too. I have used something as simple as a spray bottle pump to empty the reservior. Just changing that (I use the Walmart stuff) makes a difference.


Can this quiet PS pump whine, changing out (never changed previously) PS fluid that comes out looking dark brown/black?
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#2980869 - 04/22/13 02:54 PM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
TooMuch Offline


Registered: 03/01/13
Posts: 1
Loc: NC
What is the correct PS fluid for late model Chevrolet light trucks. I've been meaning to do this on my 2006.

Do all Fords, particularly 2001 F-150 and 2007 Freestyle use Type F atf. Thanks

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#2981691 - 04/23/13 09:59 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Astro14]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 3128
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: Astro14
Originally Posted By: JimPghPA
Well at least it seams that cars and trucks do not have the problem that the steering system for a jumbo jet has when the fluid gets old.

Remember the one about the rudder that turned fully the wrong way because of old fluid?


there's a couple of half-truths in this - it was the 737, not the jumbo (747) that was prone to rudder hard-overs (not wrong way, but full deflection) when cold-soaked but that was due to faulty design of a servo valve that would not operate properly when it was exposed to fluid of a different temperature (not old, just operating at a different temp elsewhere in the system)...
Correct.

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#2982758 - 04/24/13 09:07 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: eljefino]
Doog Offline


Registered: 10/24/11
Posts: 3502
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: eljefino
Yeah you should change it; it shears down. Ford has a particular whine that they must have trademarked 50 years ago. wink


Use Royal Purple PS fluid and it will quiet down.
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#2982760 - 04/24/13 09:08 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
Doog Offline


Registered: 10/24/11
Posts: 3502
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: Stephen_G
Friend brought up a point, i said that to fix the ford power steering noise you have to change the fluid, he said that is a stupid thing and should not have to be done and that i am making excuses for a badly designed PS pump,


Does he think the Earth is flat as well..... LOL PS fluid is oil...oil wears out. Wow what a revelation.
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#2982812 - 04/24/13 09:48 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Stephen_G]
SHOZ Offline


Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 1862
Loc: Illinois
I had an old Taurus that had black PS fluid in it when I got it. Obviously still the factory fill after +100k miles.

First I flushed it with the the cooler hose. Can't pour it fast enough. It gets out the old fluid but then the new fluid will start dissolving the black carbon that has built up and quickly turn the new fluid black.

So I would empty the reservoir and fill with cheap ATX. Kept doing this at 2 days, 3 days, 5 days, 1 week. When the fluid stayed red I then dumped it all and filled with some good synthetic ATX. Then once a year suck out the reservoir and refill. You will never again have dirty fluid.

You can take a white paper towel and put a drop on it, watch the dirt drop out of suspension as the oil is absorbed and the circle gets wide.

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#2984050 - 04/25/13 11:29 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: GearheadTool]
cutter Offline


Registered: 02/06/12
Posts: 776
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Originally Posted By: GearheadTool
Originally Posted By: HerrStig
Originally Posted By: HerrStig
Toyota used Dex III for years. I just empty the reservior and refill every 30K or so.
Me too. I have used something as simple as a spray bottle pump to empty the reservior. Just changing that (I use the Walmart stuff) makes a difference.


Can this quiet PS pump whine, changing out (never changed previously) PS fluid that comes out looking dark brown/black?


My friend's 03 Jetta 1.8t had whine when turning the steering wheel, suctioned the reservoir three times, took out 2/3 liters and replaced the same volume, that got rid of the whine.

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#2984074 - 04/25/13 11:52 AM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: Doog]
Clevy Offline


Registered: 11/11/10
Posts: 7669
Loc: Saskatoon canada
Originally Posted By: Doog
Originally Posted By: Stephen_G
Friend brought up a point, i said that to fix the ford power steering noise you have to change the fluid, he said that is a stupid thing and should not have to be done and that i am making excuses for a badly designed PS pump,


Does he think the Earth is flat as well..... LOL PS fluid is oil...oil wears out. Wow what a revelation.


Do tell. What properties of oil wears out.
I know the additives deplete and the viscosity improves break down however I'm pretty sure oil itself doesn't "wear out"
Please explain
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#2985561 - 04/26/13 03:16 PM Re: Why do i have to change the power steering fluid? [Re: TooMuch]
tig1 Offline


Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 9956
Loc: Illinois
Originally Posted By: TooMuch
What is the correct PS fluid for late model Chevrolet light trucks. I've been meaning to do this on my 2006.

Do all Fords, particularly 2001 F-150 and 2007 Freestyle use Type F atf. Thanks


I use M1 ATF in my Fords going back at least 20 years.
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