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Old 12-12-14, 03:41 PM
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Power steering fluid change--incremental method

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Old 05-02-04, 07:19 PM   #16
Cadd
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Seattle,

EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT post

You just saved me $$$ that I would have spent at a mechanic to get the P/S system flushed.

As some of you may know, I just purchased a 99 GS400 recently and will try to do most the maintenance myself to save $$$$. Not knowing what the previous owner did or did NOT do, I'm going to play it safe and try to get all new fluids.

I think this writeup should definitely be a STICKY.

Now, I'll have to find genuine fluids online. Does anyone know if Carson Toyota will ship fluids?

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Old 05-03-04, 08:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by /Aerostar\
I used one of those pumps too. Also, anybody got info on Valvoline SynPower Synthetic Power Steering Fluid? I hope its good
The cap on your power steering reservoir says "use Dexron ATF" and your owners manual says to "use
Dexron II or IiI AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID".

Valvoline Power Steering Fluid is not a Dexron ATF so it's not approved by Toyota.

Here is a Dexron ATF fluid that has been designed, tested and approved by Toyota: http://www.saber.net/~monarch/atftoy.JPG
http://www.saber.net/~monarch/gtatf.jpg
http://www.saber.net/~monarch/gtatf2.jpg
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Old 05-03-04, 09:54 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by /Aerostar\
I used one of those pumps too. Also, anybody got info on Valvoline SynPower Synthetic Power Steering Fluid? I hope its good
Do NOT use the Valvoline SynPower Synthetic Power Steering Fluid, it's NOT the same as as ATF. Basically, they are both used as a hydraulic fluid, but the Vavoline PS fluid is not the same as Valvoline ATF fluid. Toyota has designed their power steering systems with ATF in mind to be used as the hydraulic fluid (well, an ATF that is Dexron II or Dexron III compatible), and not jut power steering fluid.

Again, some manufacturers specify the use of "power steering fluid", however, Toyota uses "ATF Dexron II/Dexron III" instead for their power steering systems. Any Dexron II/Dexron III compatible ATF will work--some are higher quality, some of lower quality. If you don't know which one to use, just stick w/ the Toyota fluid, as that's what's been in your car all since it was new.

Last edited by SeattleGS400; 05-03-04 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 05-03-04, 10:42 AM   #19
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There's two ways to get even more fluid out, short of resorting to a full flush. One way is, after you've emptied the reservoir, turn the engine for another second or so to fill the reservoir back up. That way, you can empty two reservoir's worth of fluid in one procedure.

Or, you can disconnect the hose that runs from the PS pump to the upper portion of the PS fluid reservoir. Disconnect it at the reservoir, plug up the hole in the reservoir, and route some extension tubing from the hose to a drain container.

Then loosen or remove the serpentine/accessory belt. On my V8, I loosened it by jamming a 10" stick between the sway bar and the handle of a socket wrench attached to the tensioner pulley, which pivots it enough to slacken the belt.

With the belt loose, you can easily turn the power steering pump pulley by hand, allowing you to control how much fluid flows out. This is not a full flush, of course, but it pumps fluid out of the reservoir, the PS fluid feed hose, the PS pump and the return hose. If you don't want to bother with loosening the belt, you can get the same effect by tickling the starter.
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Old 05-03-04, 04:21 PM   #20
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Default I DRAINED IT ALL OUT AT ONCE

Hello,
Back in November when I got my GS4, one of the first things I did was to change out all the fluid. I put my car on a hydraulic lift and removed the front wheels. Underneath, on the rack and pinion assembly, there is a rubber hose with a clamp on it. This comes from the Power Steering Pump. I removed this line from the rack, and the reservoir drained completely.

Then I moved the rack and pinion back and forth, forcing out the old fluid. This can be accomplished by either turning the steering wheel back and forth, or carefully moving the brake disc assembly back and forth until all the fluid comes out. Reinstall the hose and clamp to the rack, refill the pump, start the engine and turn the steering wheel back and forth to bleed the system. I added and drained the fluid 3 or 4 times in about 30 minutes.

The last time, I filled it with AMSOIL Universal Transmission fluid, and it has been great ever since. The fluid takes a terriffic beating under normal usage, and that, along with brake fluid, are the most ignored or neglected fluids on the whole car.

Change it when you can. I understand that the power steering pump is very expensive. The rack and pinion can not be cheap either.

GSEREP1
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Old 05-03-04, 04:28 PM   #21
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Uh oh, well I guess I will picking up some genuine Toyota ATF tomorrow. Good thing I only got about 4 oz pumped out.

Thanks
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Old 05-03-04, 04:55 PM   #22
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yea i been doing this too for my car for about a yar, and no problems on my 1991 original PS pump.. i use maxlife atf though..

btw, you could do the same thing for your brakes...
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Old 05-03-04, 05:41 PM   #23
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Default Re: I DRAINED IT ALL OUT AT ONCE

Quote:
Originally posted by gserep1
Hello,
Back in November when I got my GS4, one of the first things I did was to change out all the fluid. I put my car on a hydraulic lift and removed the front wheels. Underneath, on the rack and pinion assembly, there is a rubber hose with a clamp on it. This comes from the Power Steering Pump. I removed this line from the rack, and the reservoir drained completely.

Then I moved the rack and pinion back and forth, forcing out the old fluid. This can be accomplished by either turning the steering wheel back and forth, or carefully moving the brake disc assembly back and forth until all the fluid comes out. Reinstall the hose and clamp to the rack, refill the pump, start the engine and turn the steering wheel back and forth to bleed the system. I added and drained the fluid 3 or 4 times in about 30 minutes.GSEREP1
GSREP1:

Look at the pic below, and is the greyed-out part what you removed when you flushed out your PS system? The main pic is of the GS4 PS gear and lines, while the insert on the lower R part of the pic is for the GS300 PS system. I assume it's the right part to remove as it's the return line (i.e. the non-pressurized line) to the PS reservoir from the rack and pinion steering gear.

I assume that here's what you need to do:

1. Jack up the front of the car (or if you have access to one, put it up on a lift).
2. Remove that aforementioned PS fluid return line (see pic for your particular car), and drain that completely (thereby draining the reservoir as well). [sounds like it could be messy. . . ]
3. Turn the steering wheel completely to the L and then to the R a few times to get all of the fluid out. (I assume the car should the off?)
4. Reinstall the PS fluid return line, and refill w/ your desired ATF fluid of choice (Dexron II or Dexron III ATF) in the PS reservoir until it gets full. Start up the car to start getting the new, fresh ATF fluid circulated in the PS system.
5. Add ATF in the PS fill reservoir as neccesary as the fluid gets redistributes in the PS system.
6. With the engine still on, turn the steering wheel a few times completely to the L and R. Holding it at each stop point for 2-3 seconds at a time to bleed the PS system of air. (Note: do NOT hold the steering wheel at the end stop point for more than 10 seconds or you can risk damaging your steering system).
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 as necessary until you do not need to add any more fluid to the reservor, and bubbles stop appearing in the PS fill reservoir. Bleeding the PS system is very important for this type of fluid change in the PS system, as air is introduced into the PS tubing.

Seems like your method would work very well for doing a major flush of the PS system (getting most of the old fluid out in 1 shot), but it could potentally be very messy. . . I may give it a try one of these days. However, the quick, incremental change of the fluid in the PS fill reservoir is good enough for me for the time being.

Thanks for the flush info.
Attached Thumbnails
Power steering fluid change--incremental method-ps-components.jpg  

Last edited by SeattleGS400; 05-03-04 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 05-03-04, 06:07 PM   #24
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Default THAT'S THE ONE

SEATTLEGS400,
You hit the nail on the head. THAT is it. This line is just to the rear of the left front rotor, and inboard a bit near the frame. You can't miss it. It is rubber, and has a squeeze clamp around it. Just squeeze the clamp and move it up the hose a bit, and carefully pull off the hose.

Fluid will initially drain from the hose until it is empty. That was the rexervoir fluid. THEN either turn the steering wheel left and right a few times from end to end, or move the front wheel assembly back and forth. Because my car was at chest level standing up, I just grabbed both ends of the rotor assembly and pulled it from side to side over and over again until all the fluid came out of the metal line the rubber hose was attached to. That is the fluid in the rack and pinion. If it is original fluid, it WILL be dirty. Dirt settled into the reservoir, so take your time and really clean it up right.

Put the rubber line back on, fill the reservoir, turn the wheels back and forth about 3 or 4 times SLOWLY to fill the rack and pinion. The wait about 10 seconds. Air bubbles will be seen in the reservoir as the level goes down filling the rack.

Refill the reservoir again, to be sure the rack is full, and to prevent starving the pump. If the reservoir runs dry, the pump will know it. It is not serious...just keep the reservoir full.

Then start the car, and turn the steering wheel back and forth. Run for 3 or 4 minutes, and redrain if this is the first time you changed the fluid. You can flush it as many times as necesary until the fluid comes out clean.

If you do it this way, you will not hear the pump "scream" from lack of fluid. Your steering will be improved, and everything will be quieter.

GSEREP1

Last edited by gserep1; 05-03-04 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 05-03-04, 06:22 PM   #25
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Cool--thanks for the clarification on the flush method. Thanks again for the info.

I guess we now have another method to clear out the fluid from the reservoir--either of the following:

1. Quick, incremental method (as originally described in my 1st post). Advantage: cleanest and easiest process, requires no tools (short of the turkey baster), requires minimal mechanical knowledge, and you can't really mess up your car doing this. Disadvantage: it will require that you do the process about 8 different times to slowly clear the old fluid out of the PS system.

2. Full flush method (as described by GSREP and clarified by myself a few posts above). Advantage: gets most of the fluid in the PS system out in 1 shot. Disadvantage: must jack up car, can be messy, takes a bit longer to do the whole flush, must be careful filling up PS system with fluid so it doesn't starve the PS pump (a little bit more risk involved in messing things up), must take care to ensure the PS system is fully bled of air.

3. Intermediate method (as described by PERRYinLA). Work involved is somewhere in between doing 1 and 2. However, if you're going to try this intermediate step, it would seem better to just do option #2 (full flush), due to the potential mess this intermeidate method might create.
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Old 05-03-04, 06:28 PM   #26
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Default YOU ARE WELCOME, SEATTLEGS400

One of these days, I will drive my GS up to Seattle. I am up there pretty often on Government business, and as such, I usually fly. I have driven it once from San Diego, and it was really enjoyable.

I have friends that live in Puyallup, and Fife, plus I usually go from Everett Naval Station all the way to Whidbey Island when I come up. Next time, I may JUST drive my car up.

I'll send a message when I have business up there.

Thaks again for your inputs, both now and in the past!!

GSEREP1

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Old 05-04-04, 02:31 PM   #27
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Hey, Im just wondering if GSREP's method (the full flush) will work on a 92 SC300? Id much rather do it all at once then the incremental method. Any info on doing this on a SC300 would be appreciated.

Thanks

btw, I stopped by Toyota to pick up 2 quarts of Dextron II, $7.13...not bad
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Old 05-04-04, 06:50 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by SeattleGS400
Do NOT use the Valvoline SynPower Synthetic Power Steering Fluid, it's NOT the same as as ATF. Basically, they are both used as a hydraulic fluid, but the Vavoline PS fluid is not the same as Valvoline ATF fluid. Toyota has designed their power steering systems with ATF in mind to be used as the hydraulic fluid (well, an ATF that is Dexron II or Dexron III compatible), and not jut power steering fluid.

Again, some manufacturers specify the use of "power steering fluid", however, Toyota uses "ATF Dexron II/Dexron III" instead for their power steering systems. Any Dexron II/Dexron III compatible ATF will work--some are higher quality, some of lower quality. If you don't know which one to use, just stick w/ the Toyota fluid, as that's what's been in your car all since it was new.
The only synthetic PSF i would use is Red Line Power Steering Fluid, it exceeds Dexron II/IIE standards:
http://www.redlineoil.com/products_c...p?productID=67
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Old 05-23-04, 03:35 PM   #29
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hey guys, I just flushed my power steering fluid today using the "full method". I would highly recommend doing it this way. Me and my friend were able to do it 30 minutes. If I were to do it again, I could prolly do it in 15 minutes, its very easy. I did have one problem thought, I guess i let ALOT of air into the PS system, so the first time I started the it sounded terrible and it sounded worse whenver I turned. So after a few rounds around the block and another 1/2 quart of Dextron II, my power steering is perfect. Even when I max it out it is silent. The steering is lighter, the pump is silent, and I feel secure about my power steering pump with 109xxx miles on it. Just remember to bleed your PS system ALOT after you do this, and make sure to buy 2 quarts of power steering fluid.

Good luck

PS. If you've got any questions about how to do this feel free to PM me.
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Old 05-24-04, 12:34 PM   #30
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Just thought I would put in my two cents. Just had a new power steering pump installed on my SC ,along with a new altenator, and the place that did the install reused the old black/brown fluid. True, genius! Last time to go to them!!

So I took it to the Lexus dealer for a full P/S flush and guess what. They put something that look like light maching oil in the system. Jeez!!! the steering was like my Mothers '78 Cadillac. Pissed with this whole situation, I went a purchased 5 quarts of Mobil 1 synthetic Dextron III. Reflushed the system and WOW major difference!!! Now nice a red, steering feel and response are excellent! Couldn't be happier!!!

So I guess long story short, even if a Toyota or Lexus dealer changes your fluids. You just might want to double check to see what they put in.
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