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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Washington, D.C.
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Power Steering Flush & Reservoir Replacement
Ok, so maybe this is overkill, but I was on vacation this week and decided to take care of some DIYs on the car. My power steering had been making some noise at lower speeds and there was a small leak at the reservoir (probably a bad o-ring). I decided to go ahead and replace the reservoir since the part was relatively cheap and I believe it has a non-replaceable filter in it. I also decided to go ahead and do a full flush of the system since the fluid looked like coffee. Again, this may be over-kill, but here is what I did along with a few photos. This isn't hard, but as with anything proceed at your own risk:
- Plastic bucket, bottle or some other disposable item that can hold 2-3 quarts of ATF and you don't mind drilling a hole in.
- 5' of 3/8 inside diameter hose
- 5' of 5/8 inside diameter hose
- 3/8" brass or plastic barb (used to join two sections of hose - i got these at home depot for like $1.50 each)
- 5/8" brass or plastic barb
- 5/8" brass or plastic tap (has a thread on one side and a barb on the other to connect the bucket to the hose)
- 2 small hose clamps (that can fit over the 3/8 line)
- 2 medium hose clamps (that can fit over the 5/8 line)
- Turkey baster
- Plastic cups or something else to catch ATF that leaks as you remove hoses
- disposable bottle to catch old fluid - I used an empty washer fluid bottle
-You can use either ATF or Pentosin CHF 11S
-Fluid is sucked out very fast use a Minimum of 5 Liters in the Bucket & Very fast steering
-Keep 0.5 Liter for topping up
1. Remove the air filter box, top and bottom sections. Clips on top and next to mafs and then one band clamp at bottom for air inlet hose. Mine was stuck pretty good, but a few good pulls and it came loose. You may be able to get to the resevoir without removing, but it onlly takes a couple minutes and extra space is well worth it.
2. Use the turkey baster to suction out as much of the fluid from the resevoir as possible.
3. Remove the 3 10mm bolts holding the resevoir in place. 2 attach the resevoir to the car, 1 holds the clamp that keeps the resevoir in place.
4. With reservoir now free, hold a cup under it and tip on its side to drain out as much remaining fluid as possible.
5. Remove band clamps from suction (larger hose) and return lines (smaller hose). My car had the crush type clamps that were a ***** to get off. I basically cut them to get them off. I used the more typical screw type clamps as a replacement, much easier to adjust.
6. With clamps off, slowly work the suction and return hoses off of the reservoir - have plenty of shop towels ready to catch any spills. Takes a little effort, but they come off with hand pressure only, just be patient so you don't make a huge mess. Set reservoir aside or dispose if you are replacing.
7. Hold a cup under each hose and bend down to drain out more fluid.
8. Now you can attach the barbs and new section of hose to each of the suction and return hoses. I used clamps to make sure the hoses wouldn't come off during the flush.
9. I drilled a 3/4" hole in the bottom of a cheap plastic bucket and screwed in the barb with the threads (it is just tight enough that the ATF didn't leak out. I then attached the 5/8 hose between the bucket and the SUCTION hose (the LARGER of the two). Don't screw this part up or you'll have a big mess. I attached the 3/8 hose to the return line and put the other end in the washer fluid bottle to catch the old fluid.
10. Fill the bucket with 2 quarts of ATF. I used mobil 1 synth. Hold the bucket at about chest hight and allow the fluid to fill the hose down to the suction hose. You should start to see old fluid come out of the return line due to the pressure.
11. I then had a friend crank the engine (make sure you don't have any tools or towels near the fan, etc) and then turn the wheels left and right. Only took about 10 seconds to completely flush out the old fluid and start running bright red (see the contrast in the color in the picture below).
12. Carefully remove each fill hose from the suction and return lines and cover the end with your finger to keep any excess fluid from dumping all over your engine.
13. Attach the reservoir (impossible to mess up the connections since the pipes are sized to fit the two hoses) and tighten new band clamps. Reinstall the reservoir clamp and 3 10mm bolts holding it in place.
14. Top up reservoir and check for leaks. I ran the car for a few min, then let sit for 1 hr then topped up.
No leaks and the noise is gone. Again, there may be easier ways of doing this, but given how nasty the old fluid looked, I'm glad I flushed all that out.
Last edited by JohnAnthony; 13th June 2013 at 11:11 PM.