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  #1  
Old 05-21-2016, 08:47 AM
epicelite epicelite is offline
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Default Power steering flush.

I emptied all the old black fluid out of my power steering system and refilled it, took less then a quart! Steers a lot easier now.

Someone told me there is such a thing as a "flush" you can add to the fluid to clean stuff before removing it all. Can you recommend anything, my system was pretty nasty so another go couldn't hurt!

I'm using Motorcraft Mercon V.
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Old 05-21-2016, 10:35 AM
2006_FX4 2006_FX4 is offline
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We use BG products here at my shop. Good stuff. This is the whole kit with the cleaner and p/s fluid. Part number for the cleaner is 108
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File Type: jpg image-1682453394.jpg (36.6 KB, 35 views)
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Old 05-21-2016, 12:05 PM
2006_FX4 2006_FX4 is offline
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It's the purple can
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  #4  
Old 05-22-2016, 06:54 AM
tomw0 tomw0 is online now
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Default Re: Power steering flush.

The fluid normally used, ATF, is pretty 'detergent' all by itself. Doing a couple 'drain & fill' procedures would, IMO, do as much flushing as would be practical and needed.
If the pump is working properly, not leaking and is not noisy, I'd keep my flushing to a minimum as I do not know what a particular product might do to the seals.
But, I am essentially lazy when it comes to doing the 'above and beyond' type maintenance. I still have the factory lube in the transmission and differential of my Ranger. I have added 'makeup' for that which seeps from the transmission seals & gaskets, but the remainder is 'factory'. When I added power steering, I just filled with Type F, and that was it. No flushing, no additives, just ATF.
tom
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:56 AM
dvrich dvrich is offline
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Default Re: Power steering flush.

A power steering flush sounds like a way to extract money from naive people.
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  #6  
Old 05-23-2016, 10:44 AM
2006_FX4 2006_FX4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvrich View Post
A power steering flush sounds like a way to extract money from naive people.
yeah just like brake flushes, coolant flushes, and changing diff fluids? Fluids don't last the life of a vehicle. All fluids need changed at least a few times in the life of a vehicle (i.e. 200,000 miles). The only flushes that get grief is a transmission flush and an engine flush because it uncovers previous neglect.

Fresh fluids lubricate better than 1, 2, or 10 year old fluid in any vehicle system. Idk why that's not obvious to some people.
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  #7  
Old 05-24-2016, 06:15 AM
tomw0 tomw0 is online now
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Default Re: Power steering flush.

FX4, maybe you missed the point. Normal aging of lubricants subjected to heat and high pressure will make the lube deteriorate over time, just as noted.
The need for an automatic transmission 'flush' is to break loose, circulate, and remove 'deposits' of broken friction material, worn thrust washers, worn valve body material, and other things in an automatic transmission.
The need for a coolant flush is, as you stated, to compensate for neglect of the cooling system, which is to say, to break loose, circulate, and remove sludge, rust, scale, and who knows what. A maintained system, with decent drain & refill with fresh coolant should not need a flush in normal operation. IMO, my own opinion.
A power steering pump just does not have things that will break down, and form deposits that are harmful. If you have taken one apart, you won't find any deposits. The fluid, over time, can start to break down, mostly due to heat. Draining and refilling with fresh fluid will for the most part, take care of any detritus that is in the fluid.
I have taken pumps apart, and found zero deposits, and that in a pump that had gone ~200k miles. The reservoir seal O-ring had hardened and was allowing seepage. The fluid was mildly 'stinky', or slightly burned by odor test. I have done power steering 'booster' cylinders used on way older cars, and they just didn't have 'stuff' that needed flushing.
This is all anecdotal, and I have no stats to affirm or deny, but I don't think a power steering system 'flush' is something I'd spend money on.
Again, just my own opinion and experience.
tom
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  #8  
Old 05-24-2016, 07:50 AM
dvrich dvrich is offline
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Default Re: Power steering flush.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2006_FX4 View Post
yeah just like brake flushes, coolant flushes, and changing diff fluids? Fluids don't last the life of a vehicle. All fluids need changed at least a few times in the life of a vehicle (i.e. 200,000 miles). The only flushes that get grief is a transmission flush and an engine flush because it uncovers previous neglect.

Fresh fluids lubricate better than 1, 2, or 10 year old fluid in any vehicle system. Idk why that's not obvious to some people.

FYI power steering pumps are not hard on the fluid at all.
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Last edited by dvrich; 05-24-2016 at 08:31 AM.
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  #9  
Old 05-24-2016, 10:31 AM
2006_FX4 2006_FX4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomw0 View Post
FX4, maybe you missed the point. Normal aging of lubricants subjected to heat and high pressure will make the lube deteriorate over time, just as noted. The need for an automatic transmission 'flush' is to break loose, circulate, and remove 'deposits' of broken friction material, worn thrust washers, worn valve body material, and other things in an automatic transmission. The need for a coolant flush is, as you stated, to compensate for neglect of the cooling system, which is to say, to break loose, circulate, and remove sludge, rust, scale, and who knows what. A maintained system, with decent drain & refill with fresh coolant should not need a flush in normal operation. IMO, my own opinion. A power steering pump just does not have things that will break down, and form deposits that are harmful. If you have taken one apart, you won't find any deposits. The fluid, over time, can start to break down, mostly due to heat. Draining and refilling with fresh fluid will for the most part, take care of any detritus that is in the fluid. I have taken pumps apart, and found zero deposits, and that in a pump that had gone ~200k miles. The reservoir seal O-ring had hardened and was allowing seepage. The fluid was mildly 'stinky', or slightly burned by odor test. I have done power steering 'booster' cylinders used on way older cars, and they just didn't have 'stuff' that needed flushing. This is all anecdotal, and I have no stats to affirm or deny, but I don't think a power steering system 'flush' is something I'd spend money on. Again, just my own opinion and experience. tom
I agree, I wasn't referring to power steering flushes in particular. More the general consensus that some have towards keeping old fluids in their vehicle. Drain and fill on P/S is likely fine, but a detergent and flush won't hurt either. OP wants to flush his system, I offered a viable product to do just that.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvrich View Post
FYI power steering pumps are not hard on the fluid at all.
apparently OP's systems hard enough on it he wants all the junk out. So I see no particular reason for your posts other than to stir the pot.
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"Education is what you get when you read the fine print...Experience is what you get when you don't."
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  #10  
Old 05-24-2016, 11:58 AM
modelageek modelageek is offline
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Default Re: Power steering flush.

Disconnect the return line. Then Pump a gallon of ATF through the PS system. Turning the wheel from side to side. Then go to a parking lot and do figure 8's

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
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Last edited by modelageek; 05-24-2016 at 12:02 PM.
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  #11  
Old 05-25-2016, 02:48 PM
rangergambler rangergambler is offline
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No need to make life difficult.

Every other oil change suk it out and replenish with fresh fluid. You do this and it will always be clean.
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  #12  
Old 05-25-2016, 05:06 PM
dvrich dvrich is offline
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Default Re: Power steering flush.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rangergambler View Post
No need to make life difficult.

Every other oil change suk it out and replenish with fresh fluid. You do this and it will always be clean.

Remove the cap and draw it out with a NAPA $15 pump. Once every oil change until the fluid looks new.
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  #13  
Old 05-26-2016, 06:46 AM
tomw0 tomw0 is online now
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Default Re: Power steering flush.

Harbor Freight has a suction pump used for removing fluid from differentials, etc, that would work. I have used a turkey baster, though the fluid wants to run out the bottom REAL quickly. A fingertip works pretty well as a temporary plug until you are over the collection bucket.
I would suggest NOT doing this when hot, as the hot fluid will burn flesh, or at least make it uncomfortable.
An alternative is to drain the fluid from the reservoir by removing the 'return' line at the bottom, but you have to be able to catch the draining fluid or you have a mess, and there's not a lot of room in many cases. A piece of tubing could be snaked up from the ground, attached or leading to a catch basin, and then quickly placed on the reservoir return fitting.
A piece of tubing attached to the turkey baster will allow for snaking the tubing to the bottom (near) of the reservoir, which would also allow for removal of more fluid.
tom
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  #14  
Old 09-05-2017, 06:16 PM
164kranger 164kranger is offline
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Default Re: Power steering flush.

Great thread on the various thoughts on a power steering flush. I just bought my 160K 2001 Ranger from my friend who just PCSd to a new base and it was supposed to only have minor issues. The steering whines and is sometimes difficult making tight turns in a parking lot. Based upon this thread I believe the burnt smell may require adding new fluid. What type do you suggest, most likely my friend just drove and did not do basic maintainence so I believe it is the original fluid.
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  #15  
Old 09-05-2017, 07:11 PM
NewShockerGuy NewShockerGuy is offline
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Default Re: Power steering flush.

Never understood why you'd want to keep sucking out and filling the PS reservoir, especially every other oil change, it's a waste of time and fluid. When all you have to do is disconnect the return line on the reservoir, have someone inside turn the steering wheel lock to lock slowly, while you fill the reservoir up with new fluid. It takes about 2 minutes tops before you start seeing cherry red fluid coming out of the return line. Attach said line back to reservoir and then fill up to the min/max cool line... done. I just did it to my STi last weekend, and I'm doing it to my truck this weekend. Jack the front up just enough so that the wheels don't touch the ground... this makes it super easy. Total time spent is about 15 minutes, and the majority of that time is jacking the front end up placing jackstands where they need to be.

Correct that the pump doesn't destroy the fluid but the fluid still turns a color/burgundyish.

I've been using Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF for years now. It's great fluid and you can find it everywhere.

-Nigel
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