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Does power steering fluid need changing? #5412690 04/25/20 10:42 AM
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Paul_Siu Offline OP
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I notice that the maintenance schedule on 2011 Subaru outback said to inspect power steering fluid but it doesn't have a schedule to replace it like in items like brake fluid. Does power steering need replacing after a few years?

Paul

Re: Does power steering fluid need changing? [Re: Paul_Siu] #5412696 04/25/20 10:46 AM
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CT8 Offline
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It depends .


2015 F150 2.7
2018 F350 6.2
Re: Does power steering fluid need changing? [Re: Paul_Siu] #5412697 04/25/20 10:46 AM
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tig1 Offline
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Every engine oil change I turkey baster the PS pump and add M1 ATF. This has worked very well with no pump or rack failures in 30 years that M1 ATF has been on the market.


2007 Ford Fusion 258,000 miles
M1 5-20HM
2017 Ford Fusion 91K
M1 0-20EP
10,000 mile OCIs on both engines
M1 ATF and M1 LV HP ATF
M1 10-30 in all OPE
MC filters

Re: Does power steering fluid need changing? [Re: Paul_Siu] #5412701 04/25/20 10:47 AM
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hallstevenson Offline
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Don't you love automakers that say "Inspect fluid..." and nothing more ? Inspect it for what ? Do what if you find what ?

Re: Does power steering fluid need changing? [Re: Paul_Siu] #5412734 04/25/20 11:18 AM
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Paul_Siu Offline OP
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I imagine you change it when it looks dirty. Brake fluid collect water overtime, so I change it every 2-3 years. Power Steering does not collect water?

The turkey baster is an interesting idea, but if you use that method wouldn't you just replace the fluid just in the reserve tank. Wouldn't a drain be more through, tig1 seems to indicate that didn't matter for him.

Re: Does power steering fluid need changing? [Re: Paul_Siu] #5412746 04/25/20 11:27 AM
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hallstevenson Offline
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My understand is that power steering fluid circulates so removing some dirty fluid and replacing it with clean fluid does work well. Brake fluid doesn't circulate, at least nowhere as much as other fluids. There's no inlet and outlet in a hydraulic brake system. The fluid is just pushed (compressed) back and forth.

Regarding changing if it's dirty, define "dirty". That's entirely subjective.

Re: Does power steering fluid need changing? [Re: Paul_Siu] #5412747 04/25/20 11:27 AM
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Astro14 Offline
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Power steering fluid isn’t as hygroscopic as brake fluid but it does get contaminated by pump and rack wear. Mercedes puts filters in their power steering systems to filter out those contaminants.

Mercedes has a change interval, and I apply that to every vehicle. I’ve had several cars go over 200,000 miles on original steering components (pump and rack/box) which I attribute to filtration and fluid changes.

I don’t go crazy, but every 50,000-60,000 miles, I do a change.

With a rack for my Volvo’s costing over $1,200 (Part only, and friends don’t let friends use Cardone rebuilds) and requiring subframe removal to change, I would rather change the fluid periodically and plumb in a filter.


32 Packard 15W40
01 Volvo V70 T5 0W30 AMSOIL SS
02 Volvo V70 T5 0W30 Edge
02 Volvo V70 XC 0W40 Edge
05 MB S600 0W40 M1
16 Tundra 1794 5W30 Pennzoil Ultra
Re: Does power steering fluid need changing? [Re: Paul_Siu] #5412755 04/25/20 11:33 AM
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Snagglefoot Offline
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Originally Posted by Paul_Siu
I imagine you change it when it looks dirty. Brake fluid collect water overtime, so I change it every 2-3 years. Power Steering does not collect water?

The turkey baster is an interesting idea, but if you use that method wouldn't you just replace the fluid just in the reserve tank. Wouldn't a drain be more through, tig1 seems to indicate that didn't matter for him.


Turkey basting is fine. The "Side-slip" theory of replacing fluid is not bad if you do it more times than replacing all the fluid by removing a hose. Remember that 100% will never be replaced using a turkey baster several times so if that causes you concern or you can't sleep at night then by all means go ahead and pull a return line, put it in a bucket and do a transfusion of the whole system. I have 200,000 miles on a Chevy power steering system including a hydro-boost using the Turkey Baster method once per year.
smile

Last edited by Snagglefoot; 04/25/20 11:34 AM.

If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Does power steering fluid need changing? [Re: Paul_Siu] #5412806 04/25/20 12:30 PM
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JEL01 Online Content
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Yep turkey baster with OEM fluid (and as noted earlier, in my Mercedes a filter/reservoir change) every so often keeps pumps parts happy and quiet, takes almost no effort, I’ve also never had to a line disconnect flush because of this routine maintenance


Cars I maintain:
02 Mercedes CLK430
09 Honda Accord V6
13 Lexus RX350 AWD
02 Toyota Tundra 4x4
18 Lexus GX460
Re: Does power steering fluid need changing? [Re: Paul_Siu] #5412841 04/25/20 01:13 PM
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JMJNet Offline
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Flushing the P/S fluid is very easy.

Just search Youtube and you can watch a few movies with different tips that fit your particular car.
The Toyota and GM are easy to do.
Not sure of others because I have never own it.
I helped somebody with a Ford made Mazda a while back and it was the same process.

My former Sienna had a P/S fluid leaks when I bought it.
The leak went away after I did a fluid flush.
Not sure why but I was glad that the issue is fixed.

Last edited by JMJNet; 04/25/20 01:14 PM.

  • 2017 Toyota Sienna
  • 1995 GMC Suburban 6.5L Turbo Diesel


Re: Does power steering fluid need changing? [Re: Paul_Siu] #5412848 04/25/20 01:20 PM
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slacktide_bitog Online Content
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I've never felt the need to change PS fluid hide

Re: Does power steering fluid need changing? [Re: Paul_Siu] #5412853 04/25/20 01:25 PM
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Paul_Siu Offline OP
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OK, I took a look and found the power steering. The fluid appears to be a dark red and is probably ok. The problem is that the hole is really tiny so I have to find something more narrow than a turkey baster.

Paul

Re: Does power steering fluid need changing? [Re: Paul_Siu] #5412855 04/25/20 01:25 PM
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Inexpensive, takes not more than 30 minutes, does a world of prevention, endears you to the BITOG community.


2017.5 Nissan Rogue SV FWD
2013 Nissan Maxima SV
2009 Ford Flex SEL FWD
1984 Yamaha XJ750RL
Re: Does power steering fluid need changing? [Re: Paul_Siu] #5412863 04/25/20 01:36 PM
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Dave9 Offline
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You will get a little more life out of PS by changing it regularly, but unless you have a working crystal ball you'll have to make your best *guess* about whether you still end up having to replace the rack or pump and then it may have enough life till you retire or sell the vehicle, so the time changing it was wasted.

That's the thing about crystal balls, they don't help to predict some texting teenager plowing into it and totaling it. Some factors are out of your hands no matter how hard you try to make something last forever.

Replacement every few years is a good idea, but every year is excessive unless you're putting on a lot of miles in the twisties.

Last edited by Dave9; 04/25/20 01:38 PM.
Re: Does power steering fluid need changing? [Re: Paul_Siu] #5412930 04/25/20 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul_Siu
OK, I took a look and found the power steering. The fluid appears to be a dark red and is probably ok. The problem is that the hole is really tiny so I have to find something more narrow than a turkey baster.

Paul

Try the battery water turkey baster type things all auto parts stores have, it’s actually what i use, works better in the Mercedes


Cars I maintain:
02 Mercedes CLK430
09 Honda Accord V6
13 Lexus RX350 AWD
02 Toyota Tundra 4x4
18 Lexus GX460
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