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Power Steering Fluid


artbuc's Avatar
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12-28-03, 06:59 AM   #1  
artbuc
Power Steering Fluid

I am a nut about replacing fluids on a regular basis. The only one I have neglected is power steering fluid. Should this be changed on a periodic basis or would that be overkill?

 
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12-28-03, 12:41 PM   #2  
There is no, per say, service interval for changing the power steering fluid. Look at it and if it looks bad or smells bad then change it. If something has ever gone wrong in the power steering system then it can likely have some contaminants but not very normal for this to happen. I have only seen it a couple of times. If you had a failed pump and the fluid was not changed at the time the pump was replaced (what wasnt lost during the repair) then I would say yes, but otherwise just keep a check on it every time you change your oil.
Hope this is helpful to ya,
Billy

 
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12-28-03, 01:01 PM   #3  
They always recommend flushing it when making a repair. It's not hard to do. Just remove the return line from the pump and extend it to reach into a receiving container. Cap the nipple on the pump and refill it. Start the engine for no more than 3 seconds. Then refill and repeat. Three times should be enough.

 
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12-28-03, 09:56 PM   #4  
mike from nj
depends on the car really, which we have no idea of.


on some imports, the owner's manual maintenance schedule calls for it to be replaced every 30,000 miles. guess which cars have almost no failures of steering components?


i know it smells burnt when i change it, just like anything else under the hood, and it does wear out too, just like everything else. (1500psi will do that to a fluid)

 
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12-29-03, 06:36 AM   #5  
artbuc
Thanks for the info. My cars are both 1999-one Lexus RX300 and one Toyota Avalon. Neither have had any steering problems or repairs. I'm strictly talking about PM. Sounds like it is probably a good idea to flush. Easy to do with little risk of causing a problem by "over-maintaining".

 
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01-08-04, 12:47 PM   #6  
artbuc
Ok, PS flushing is complete. All went well but I think I have a problem. I did not use Toyota brand ps fluid. I used Havoline Dextron III "hi-mileage" ATF. The label said it was specially formulated for higher mileage vehicles but was also good for brand new cars. It also said it was specifically formulated for Toyotas (and some others). Toyota specifies only the use of Dextron II or III atf.

After a few days the steering in both cars seemed a little harder. I'm worried that the Havoline ATF may have cause the seals to swell or maybe it is just thicker than the original fluid.

Does anyone know what is happening? Should I reflush with Toyota brand ps fluid?

 
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01-08-04, 02:42 PM   #7  
I would get the high mileage stuff out of there it will swell the seals.Use the Dexron III fluid specified by Toyota.Hope it's not too late because they won't unswell(the seals).

 
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01-08-04, 04:51 PM   #8  
Originally posted by artbuc
I used Havoline Dextron III "hi-mileage" ATF. The label said it was specially formulated for higher mileage vehicles but was also good for brand new cars. It also said it was specifically formulated for Toyotas (and some others). Toyota specifies only the use of Dextron II or III atf.
Sure sounds like you already have Dextron III in there now. Isn't that what Toyota recommended? I don't think those other buzz words change anything. Dextron III is Dextron III.

 
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01-08-04, 05:46 PM   #9  
mike from nj
i try to use what the owner's manual or service manual calls for. it might be all of a dollar or two more(from the dealer) , and i don't have problems with things.


wait for toyotaman to answer

 
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01-08-04, 05:59 PM   #10  
artbuc
I love this site...you folks are all so helpful. Yes, Toyota specifies Dextron II or III ATF. I use Toyota anti-freeze and Toyota all-wheel drive ATF (Lexus), but use high quality after-market fluids in other applications. Since this is the first time I have replaced PS fluid I probably should have talked with Toyota first.

I did just replace the Havoline Dextron III/Mercon ATF (the Hi-mileage stuff) with Pennzoil DextronIII/Mercon ATF. According to the label it has all the same properties as Havoline except for the seal conditioner package. If Toyotaman says I should use Toyota brand I will get some tomorrow and replace it again.

According to the Havoline label, I should have been ok with it but the steering did feel a little stiffer and I didn't want to take a chance.

Looks like all Dextron III ATF available today is also compatible with Mercon. IOW, I couldn't find any straight Dextron III ATF.

 
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01-09-04, 05:42 AM   #11  
artbuc
Last Chapter

Both Toyota and Havoline confirmed it is ok to use Havoline DextronIII/Mercon Max Life ATF in Toyota power steering. The seal conditioners are in very low concentration and will not swell seals according to Havoline. Havoline does have an ATF formulated to stop leaks..this product would cause a seal swelling problem. Again, thanks for your help.

 
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