Power Steering Flush?

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Thread: Power Steering Flush?

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    Question Power Steering Flush?

    Hello!
    I'm new to the Forum....and an overall car repair dummie. I was recently (1 week ago) told that my 2001 Celica needs a Power Steering Flush. I declined the service initialy as I thought the price to be a little too much. I have never heard of this, but I have never owned a Toyota. As I was doing a little research on the P/S flush, I have discovered that there are two general schools of thoughts:

    1. That the P/S flush is a bunch of bull and that it's just another money maker;
    2. That the P/S flush is a necessitity for newer model cars and that those who think the former may not be "in the know".

    I have no clue what to belive. Note that neither of the above is my personal opinion. The car does have 107,000 miles on it so I could see where this may be a good idea. On the other, I had a mechanic try to replace the entire Catalytic Converter when my O2 sensor needed replacing. Any advice is greatly appreciated! thanks!

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    Veteran Member ICON's Avatar
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    Default Re: Power Steering Flush?

    I haven't looked at the current condition of the power steering fluid in my truck recently but i do remember my old chevy where by 60K the fluid was extremely dark. I simply used a turkey baster and $4 worth of fluid for a "shadtree" flush of the system. I did this about once a month till it started getting clear. Even if the fluid looks good, i'd recommend getting some new fluid in there somehow, either turkey baster or flush. I'd also recommend getting toyota ps fluid since my experience with other brands is that it can start the pump whinning. There have been many people who put 200K on a car with the original ps fluid in it but there are also people who never service their tranny's. Don't forget about the brake fluid since i'd be more concerned about contamination in that fluid more so than the ps. You can use the same turkey baster method however DO NOT use the same baster, get one for each fluid.
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    Default Re: Power Steering Flush?

    power steering fluid is just auto tranny fluid...at least it is in my tundra. a while back i asked a similar question and the answer was you can flush it yourself but it's far easier to have someone with a power flush do it for you. do it once with synthetic and you probably wont have to do it again for another hundred thousand or something...steering isnt as hard on the fluid as the tranny.

    btw flushing the brakes is the proper way to do brakes, one person pumps the brakes while the other bleeds them, take you all of twenty minutes for a complete flush.

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    Default Re: Power Steering Flush?

    Thanks for the advice! I'm actually having my brakes checked today, so we'll probably go ahead with the brake flush; think I'll to change the Power steering myself.

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    Default Re: Power Steering Flush?

    Just suck out what is in the reservoir and top it up with new, as previous poster said. A few rounds of this will take care of it. I use Mobil 1 ATF in mine with good results. Seems to be a little quieter than the OEM fluid.

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    Default Re: Power Steering Flush?

    Sup guys,

    sorry for hijacking the thread, but my question also deals with power steering. I've noticed on cold mornings, when I first get going the steering pump starts to squeal during sharp turns (ie stop sign or leaving garage) until the motor wams up a bit. Even after that, if I turn full lock she start to squeal again. Is this the pimp or is a flush good enough.


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    Default Re: Power Steering Flush?

    The squeal sounds like the belt slipping. When you hit the end of the rack's throw, you get a pressure spike...that spike puts a heavy load on the pump...that heavy load causes the squeal.

    First step is to inspect the belt and tensioner. This may be a case where the belt is worn. Fluid is probably not the issue here. If you get a growl out of the pump, that indicates cavitation/low fluid.

    I have swapped the standard pump fluid for Amsoil Synthetic ATF. I believe it made the operation a bit smoother, but the change isn't drastic.

    To change PS fluid, begin by draining the fluid resevoir. You can remove the return line from the resevoir and drain both the line and the resevoir. To get as much fluid as possible out, disconnect one of the lines at the rack. Turn the steering wheel lock to lock several times to pump fluid out of the rack. Reconnect all lines, fill up resevoir, and turn the wheel lock to lock several times prior to starting up the truck. Top off resevoir, start up truck, turn wheel side to side until noise stops. Top off resevoir and you're done.


    PS: There is no power steering "flush" that I know of. I suppose you could hook a PS system up to one of the transmission flush machines, but I doubt they actually do that.

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    Default Re: Power Steering Flush?

    Mine has never squealed but it does whine a lot when cold. Has since new. Changing to synthetic fluid helped some.

    I am sure you realize, but you should avoid hitting the lock when turning as this puts a lot of load on the system.

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    Default Re: Power Steering Flush?

    I decided to do the power steering fluid exchange after reading about the turkey baster method. The Tundra power steering reservoir has a small opening in the top just large enough for the dip stick but too large for a turkey baster. I found a gadget at Wally World called the "The MixMizer" which is a 2-cycle motor oil mixing tool for $2.97 and made in the USA. Essentially a large plastic syringe (about 7" in length) with a separate piece of clear plastic tubing (about 4" in length). The tubing is approx 3/8" od and attaches to the end of the syringe and passes through the small opening of the reservoir easily. I extracted all the fluid in the reservoir and replaced with synthetic ATF, next day after driving did the same. Now after five consecutive days of driving then extracting, the fluid is nice and clean. Don't know if I got all of it but it appears to be about a quart and a half that was taken out. This may not be the best method but it is pretty much "dufus proof." I just did not feel comfortable with disconnecting a line at the rack.
    Going to do the differential next.

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