Power Steering Fluid Replacement
Contributed By: Michael Baxter
You have a couple of choices as long as the fluid is clean and not
burnt smelling. If you have a set of flare wrenches, you can undo the high
pressure hose's compression fitting and then unscrew the pressure union. It
is a pain to work behind the reservoir on an installed pump and you'll
likely have to hold the pressure union nut to keep it from loosening while
you undo the high pressure hose's compression fitting. Have a pan on the
floor directly under the pump. The draining fluid will probably still make
The easy way and the way you have to do it if the fluid is questionable:
You have to have 1/2 gallon or so of fluid on hand 1st. I buy PS fluid by
- Jack-up the front so the wheels are off the ground.
- Disconnect the return hose (smaller diameter hose) from the pump
reservoir and put it in a drain pan on floor. If it won't reach the pan,
you should raise the pan up on something.
- Plug the return nipple on the reservoir with a vacuum cap or similar.
- Start the engine up for 5 seconds or so and let the PS pump pump the
fluid through the steering box and into the pan. Keep starting it for very
short intervals and then visually checking until the reservoir is as low as
it will drain. Don't run the engine for very long with the reservoir dry
and don't turn the steering wheel.
- Fill the reservoir with fresh fluid until the level is above the top of
the pump body only.
- Start the engine again for a few seconds and turn the steering wheel
a little left and then a little right while the engine is running.
- Repeat the two steps above until the fluid emptying into the pan is nice
and fresh looking. This purges the old fluid out of the steering box.
Again, don't run the engine with the reservoir dry for more than a few
seconds. You can modify the procedure to turn the wheel left one time (not
all the way to the stop though), refill and then to the right the next
time. There are different fluid flow paths in the box for each direction.
- Reconnect the return hose to the reservoir.
- Turn the steering wheel to the full left position
- Add fluid to the reservoir until it is above the pump body again but,
don't top it off.
- Start the engine.
- Recheck the reservoir while the engine is running and make sure the
fluid level stays above the top of the pump body.
- Turn the steering wheel full left and full right without contacting
the stops several times. This purges the system of air and you may feel
momentary power assist interruptions while turning the wheel back and
- Top of the reservoir using the marks on the dipstick.
-- Michael Baxter
From Reno, NV USA on 05-Mar-1999