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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:24 pm 
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Certified Bonneville Nut
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Location: Corning, NY
Year and Trim: 2012 Eco
I flushed the power steering today using 2.5 quarts of synthetic ATF. The 1.5 year old ATF coming out was brown and nasty. At 2.5 quarts flushed through, the ATF being pulled out was much closer to cherry-red than brown. Driving around, the pump whines a lot less during sharp turns and the steering wheel is easier to turn and is faster to return to center.

I'll wait another few weeks, then run another 2.5 quarts of synthetic ATF through to let the current new ATF clean out everything. In the meantime, I'll be enjoying the quieter turns.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:13 am 
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I have sludge in mine. Literally...looks like old engine oil and radiator stop leak got together and had some fun.

My wheel won't even return to center.

What flushing method did you use?

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Now: '15 Toyota Prius III | 134 hp 2ZR-FXE | Silver | 36k
Now: '03 Honda CR-V AWD | Slow 4-Cylinder | Dirt | 180k

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Then: '11 Ford Fusion SEL | 240hp Gen II VVT Duratec 3.0 V6 | Ingot Silver | 84k | Totaled: Oct 23 '14 (Rear-Ended)
Then: '96 Buick Park Avenue Ultra | 240hp Series II L67 | Medium Dark Lichen | Bought: JAN 11 @ 135k | Accident: FEB 3 '12 | Crushed: MAR 1 '13 @ 153K
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:51 pm 
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Certified Bonneville Nut
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Location: Corning, NY
Year and Trim: 2012 Eco
Stuck the end of a fluid pump down as far as it could go and pumped everything out about 5 times. If you angle a rigid hose around the A/C lines it's possible to get all the way to the bottom of the reservoir since the reservoir curves around the pump.

John, my MityVac 7201 came in handy for this. Feed in the hose, then give it a few pumps and wait for the 12 ounces of fluid to be drawn out. I've heard it's possible, if a lot of work, to use a spray bottle sprayer with hose over the disconnected tip.

Otherwise turkey-bastering the top 4-5 ounces and refilling a bunch of times every weekend for a few weeks will also work.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:31 pm 
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Location: Racine, Wisconsin
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Is there any difference between power steering fluid and ATF?

I'm wondering can I just suck the fluid out of the resovoir and just replace with ATF?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:26 pm 
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Location: Corning, NY
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That's what I did. The ATF is better IMO since it's a known quantity and designed to take what a transmission can dish out for abuse. That's more than what the power steering systems in our cars do. Power steering fluid is taking the marketer's word it'll work in your power steering system. That's my $0.02 about it.

Our cars have no issue mixing ATF and PSF since they're physically similar fluids with similar chemistry. Just the ATF probably has more additives in it to protect against wear and deal with pressure extremes.

Suck enough fluid out to go through a few quarts of ATF. This ensures the fill is mostly ATF. There'll still be some residual PSF in the system, which is not an issue as long as enough ATF has been cycled through.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:41 pm 
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Or not...

The PS pump is whining audibly at idle tonight with the hood open. It looks like the pump is well and truly shot. The new fluid was too late to save this one.

Likely I'll end up with a remanned unit since it can be obtained and installed in 1 day. Plus the whining alternator can be done at the same time...

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:27 pm 
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Probably very little to do with your particular failed PS pump, but:

PS fluid is not ATF!
ATF is not PS fluid!

Your concepts of pressure and temperature comparisons between the two are very wrong. PS systems run pressures over 1000psi all the time. They get hot and burn up the fluid, too. PS coolers are commonplace on HD and high performance vehicles. Overheated PS fluid can kill a pump in a single track day. ATF line pressures rarely exceed 300 psi. ATF fluid must lubricate gears and bearings and also be able to be quickly forced out between friction surfaces as the clutches and bands engage. PS fluid doesn't lubricate to the same degree -- the speeds and loads of the gears and bearings are miniscule in comparison in the steering rack compared to the transmission, and there are no clutches to deal with. Their additive packages are completely different; in some cases, even the base stock is different. These fluids serve vastly different purposes and are engineered to suit their own specific needs.

Do your research before recommending to others that they use the wrong fluid, and cross mix them at your own risk.

Ed

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:47 am 
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Thanks for the post. I'd like to learn more, can you post links? The MSDS's and product info sheets I've run across say that in our case, PSF and ATF pretty darned close in physical properties. In my mind, that means that they are pretty inter-changeable. For something like VW, Honda, Mercedes or other makes that use far different AT and PS fluids, I would not recommend swapping ATF and PSF.

Using Pennzoil ATF and PSF as an example, the viscosities are similar, the specific gravities are similar, and the pour points are similar. The PSF does have fewer viscosity improvers (155 PSF vs. 204 ATF), so it is a bit more shear-stable.

Pennzoil ATF: http://www.pennzoil.com/documents/Multi ... %20ATF.pdf
Pennzoil PSF: http://www.pennzoil.com/documents/Power ... gFluid.pdf

From observation, the PS pump was much quieter with synthetic ATF in it than the mineral PSF I installed the new pump with.

I'd like to learn more, and will change my recommendation if need be.

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Last edited by LeSabre in Buffalo on Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:48 am 
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I have ALWAYS used ATF in PS systems, never had an issue.

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