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The Difference between ATF & PSF? #2240110 04/22/11 11:29 AM
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Da Game Offline OP
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I need to know what's the difference between the two? All three of my cars say to use ATF, but when I went to Lubegard they make a "Claim" that PSF is better that ATF for power steering geaboxes. I understand that keeping the oil accessible to the consumer, ATF is easy to get. So please explain the whys and what nots.

Re: The Difference between ATF & PSF? [Re: Da Game] #2240123 04/22/11 11:38 AM
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aquariuscsm Offline
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If your car specs ATF,use that and that only.


1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W30
2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 0W20

Re: The Difference between ATF & PSF? [Re: Da Game] #2240125 04/22/11 11:38 AM
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wallyuwl Offline
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I don't know the specifics. I got a PS flush a year ago. The place just used their bulk PS fluid, even though the car calls for Dex III ATF. I found out their supplier, and called the company and got to talke to one of their chemists. They said it "shouldn't" cause any problems because they are similar (ATF and PS), but if it calls for ATF to probably use ATF. So I went back to the shop and they redid the flush, this time with ATF.

I also suctioned out a few ounces of fluid when I got home and put in some Lubegard PS fluid protectant (purple bottle). Before doing so, I called LG asking to make sure their PS was good with ATF. They had to call their lab to find out, and they sadi it was. Been a year and no problems. PS is better than ever, actually.

Moral of the story: if it says use ATF, use ATF. And the LG PS addative should work with either ATF or PS fluid.

Re: The Difference between ATF & PSF? [Re: Da Game] #2240141 04/22/11 12:01 PM
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bmwtechguy Offline
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I would rather have a high quality, syn ATF in my power steering than regular PSF, even if it calls for psf. But in a honda or acura, def use something compatible. I think the main component of ATF that might not be needed or present in PSF would be the friction modifiers for clutch engagement.

Re: The Difference between ATF & PSF? [Re: aquariuscsm] #2240177 04/22/11 12:46 PM
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boxcartommie22 Offline
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i like red lines power steering fluid over atf


2001 Lincoln Conti,RL,K&N,Hotshots,Lubegard,Archoil
2007 Grand Marquis,RL,K&N,Hotshots,Lubegard,Archoil
2010 Raptor,RL,Hotshots,Lubegard,Archoil
Re: The Difference between ATF & PSF? [Re: Da Game] #2240192 04/22/11 12:57 PM
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tig1 Offline
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If yours call for ATF then I would use it. I use M1 ATF for years now and have never had a pump fail.


2007 Ford Fusion 255,000 miles
M1 5-20HM
2017 Ford Fusion 86K
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: The Difference between ATF & PSF? [Re: Da Game] #2240300 04/22/11 03:26 PM
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Ken2 Offline
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In some cases the difference is just the lack of red dye in the PSF. In other cases there is a different additive package in the PSF (Honda and others), and there isn't much info around about this.




Re: The Difference between ATF & PSF? [Re: Ken2] #2240337 04/22/11 04:22 PM
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Da Game Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Ken2
In some cases the difference is just the lack of red dye in the PSF. In other cases there is a different additive package in the PSF (Honda and others), and there isn't much info around about this.



The Lubegard PSF address this issue.

http://lubegard.com/~/C-199/LUBEGARD+Power+Steering+Fluid

Re: The Difference between ATF & PSF? [Re: boxcartommie22] #2241112 04/23/11 02:11 PM
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dailydriver Offline
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Originally Posted By: boxcartommie22
i like red lines power steering fluid over atf


Same here! thumbsup

This stuff just refuses to boil over at the track (road course). smile


2016 Ford Fiesta ST 17K miles
Ravenol REP 5W-30
Fram XG3600 filter
Ravenol MTF-2 in the IB6 transaxle
Re: The Difference between ATF & PSF? [Re: Da Game] #2241191 04/23/11 04:11 PM
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MolaKule Offline
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A bit of history here.

First, power steering fluids (PSF) and ATF's are both hydraulic fluids because they are used in specialized hydraulic systems.

The early PSF fluids were simply mineral-based oils with a low-level phosphorous-based, or a low level of ZDDP addtives with a calcium detergent additive and anti-rust, and metal deacctivators. Specialized fricton modifiers were not needed in PS systems as they had are no friction clutches, just valves, racks, gears, seals, and hoses. Anti-oxidants of course are needed to stabilze the oil against high temperature fluid degradation.

Notice that both PS and AT sstems are essentially closed systems that do not see any combuston gases, so the addtive package and viscosity (thickness) are very different as compared to IC motor oils.

Modern ATF's have wet clutches, which required specialized friction additives to allow smooth shifting during clutch engagement/disengagement. Early ATF's were also mineral oils with low-levels of anti-wear additves mainly for the benefit of the sun/planetary gearing. In addition, low levels of detergents and dispersants are needed only to keep the internals clean. Anti-rust, and metal deactivators (especially the copper deactivators) are needed to keep the heat exchanger (cooler) metals from corroding. Anti-oxidants are needed here as well to stabilze the oil against high temperature fluid degradation.

Later, it was found that ATF's could funtion well as PSF's and it also reduced dealer inventory. Any Dexron/Merc or Type-F ATF seemed to function well as a PSF.

All was well until Honda and GM started requiring PSF formulations because of specific PS designs.

The mineral oil based Honda PSF's required high AW additive levels because of their design or design flaws inherent in the PS design.

The new GM PS fluid is essentially a very low detergent PSF, mineral-oil based fluid with a low level Boron/phos AW additive package.

The Dexron VI fluid was the first low viscosity ATF fluid (6.0 cSt), but this is only the beginning. Vehicle manufacturers are now using or developing transmissons that use fluid viscosities down to 4.0 cSt or lower.

But PSF fluids are still being specified at 7.5 cSt viscosities.


Additives:

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=530321#Post530321

Here is a companion thread:

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2239916#Post2239916


Last edited by MolaKule; 04/23/11 04:25 PM.

Dr. Larry Fleinhardt: "You know, that term "dark matter" has always perplexed me. It fallaciously implies that the 95% of our universe that cannot be observed is some amorphous, eventless emptiness."
Amita Ramanujan: "I'm sorry?"
Dr. Larry Fleinhardt: "I guess it's all too human. Instead of admitting to the present limits of our knowledge, we just declare things to be unknowable." NUMB3RS
Re: The Difference between ATF & PSF? [Re: MolaKule] #2241269 04/23/11 05:43 PM
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Nick R Offline
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Thank you for that info Molakule thumbsup

Re: The Difference between ATF & PSF? [Re: Da Game] #2241500 04/23/11 10:22 PM
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Da Game Offline OP
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Thanks MolaKule that info certainly helps alot. I'll try using PSF on my Infiniti Q45 instead of ATF. Any more on this subject PLEASE chime in.

Re: The Difference between ATF & PSF? [Re: Da Game] #2241502 04/23/11 10:26 PM
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MolaKule Offline
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The following post was meant for here but somehow got incorrectly dumped into an ATF post, so here it is:

Quote:
Look at your operators manual under fluids.

If your GM vehicle specs the newer GM PSF fluid #89020661 I would highly recommend using an Over-the-Counter mineral oil-based fluid or the new Amsoil PSF. The Amsoil PSF is more closely related additive-wise to the GM fluid than the Redline PSF.

The GM PSF fluid #89020661 is a low detergent fluid with a special S-P AW package.

The Redline PSF has an additive package more suited for manual transmission/transaxles that specify an ATF-like fluid at 7.5 cSt viscosity.

From Redline:
Quote:
This fluid also satisfies power steering units requiring GM PN 1050017 or 1052884 (Spec Number 9985010), Chrysler Spec Number 5931, and Ford Spec Number M2C33-F. It also satisfies the hydraulic specifications of Denison HF-O, Vickers vane pumps, and Sundstrand piston pumps.


Notice, this fluid DOES NOT cover the GM part number #89020661!

If you have an older GM vehicle and it specifies an ATF, then Redline D4 or any DexIII equivalent, or Ford Type "F" fluid should perform just fine.


Last edited by MolaKule; 04/23/11 10:27 PM.

Dr. Larry Fleinhardt: "You know, that term "dark matter" has always perplexed me. It fallaciously implies that the 95% of our universe that cannot be observed is some amorphous, eventless emptiness."
Amita Ramanujan: "I'm sorry?"
Dr. Larry Fleinhardt: "I guess it's all too human. Instead of admitting to the present limits of our knowledge, we just declare things to be unknowable." NUMB3RS
Re: The Difference between ATF & PSF? [Re: Da Game] #2243538 04/26/11 05:03 AM
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artificialist Offline
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At Tires Plus and Tire Kingdom, we were always sent fluid which said it met each P/S system need, and we used that. We never had problems caused by it.


2010 Lancer Ralliart Sportback
Re: The Difference between ATF & PSF? [Re: Da Game] #2243987 04/26/11 02:20 PM
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mechtech2 Offline
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The post by MolaKule should be stickied in this section.

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