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Old 12-06-2008, 10:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Power Steering Fluid Change

How many of you changed your power steering fluid? What interval did you do it at? Did you notice any difference? What happens if you don't change it?

More questions...

Did you replace it with the factory recommended fluid... or did you use synthetic fluid? Did it make a difference on how the steering felt?

Did you just replace the fluid in the reservoir? Or did you flush out the whole steering system?
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Old 12-06-2008, 08:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I did it two years ago, I flushed the system with a pre-cleaner and refilled with the same replacement fluid (I was testing equipment, and did not seek out this service). The precleaner, is also a seal revitalizer and meant to help condition the seals in the system. The seals can dry, crack and leak over time.

I had no discernible or noticeable difference at all! No performance gain or smoothness in the steering system.

There is no service interval for hydraulic fluid. In fact, only vehicles that have associated problems have a service interval. As many cars move towards electronic systems, there will be less of this need for this.

Power steering fluid is subjected to extreme pressure and not combustion, so it is meant too last longer. Even the power steering rack manufacturers like Dana, see no need to change this fluid unless there is a significant problem or a massive leak.

This service is basically a cash grab from a service provider, because it seems logical to change it, like all the other fluids in your car.

The equipment on the market is not very sophisticated. It consists of two hoses (one positioned higher than the other), with the lower hose sucking and the upper hose pushing in new fluid. The vehicle is started and the steering wheel is moved back and forth, while you suck and blow from the reservoir. There is no other method. You are better served to use a turkey baster and do it yourself through displacement as the system only holds 2 litres or so.

It certainly can not hurt to do so, but is not necessary and serves no real benefit's except making your car go faster, because your wallet is now relieved of the $100.00 it will cost you to do this service.


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Old 12-06-2008, 09:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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well I dont plan to change it in my car but I did a power steering flush in my friends 99 impreza 2.5 and it made the biggest difference in the world.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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digger's 100% spot on. every single thing he wrote, I woulda wrote. Cept he wrote it. I'd rep u man, but it says i have to spread it around more.

why would u even want to do it unless u had contamination or a massive leak?! its a hydraulic system.... thus the fluid's purposes is only to act under pressure to behave in a manner that transfers force. That doesn't deteriorate over time! I mean, the little heat and friction it see's probably changes its viscosity, but I hardly think it could affect its fluid density (and thus compressibility) This isn't like motor oil or coolant which is to behave as a thermal barrier, lubricant, heat transfer mechanism, etc. etc. engine oil and coolant have a lot tougher jobs to do!

Dude. Mod your car instead!
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My power steering was starting to make a little noise when turning. Nothing major, just a little bit of a whine. So I had the old fluid drained and refilled along with some magic Lucas Power Steering additive. The old fluid was darker but not terrible. The noise is 95% gone.
I don't think any fluid should stick around in a car more than 8 years. I have now swapped every fluid in the car at least once. I think the brake fluid is next on my list.
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Actually there is another way. Go to Home Depot and get a 10' length of 3/8 ID vinyl tubing, a 3/8" double barbed connector, and a fitting to cap off the end of the tubing. Cut off a short piece of tubing and cap it off. Disconnect the upper [return] hose and connect the short piece of capped tubing in it's place. Connect the rest of the tubing to the disconnected return line with the barbed connector and put the end in a gallon jug on the floor. Jack up the front end so the wheels are off the ground and turn the steering wheel all the way to one stop and then all the way to the other without starting the engine. Keep the reservoir filled so you don't get air in the system and no bleeding will be needed. When you see the fluid turn red instead of black, stop filling the reservoir and just turn the wheel until you see the fluid drop lower than the return line but not low enough to get air in the line to the pump. Now you can pull that short capped line off and swap the return line back in it's original place without PS fluid going all over the place. Refill the reservoir, test drive and check the level again. Mobil 1 synthetic ATF works good. I got a spray bottle at Home Depot and pulled the spray part out and pulled the strainer off the down tube and stuck that in the reservoir to pump it out to below the level of the return line before I pulled it off to avoid the mess. I just squirted it in the jug. It only took a minute. All together it took about 15 minutes by myself. If you had a helper to watch and refill the reservoir, it would be even quicker.
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