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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 02-09-13, 11:31 PM   #46
ls400geek
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Originally Posted by CUMan View Post
I have been doing this same incremental power steering change on my 1993 LS 400.

I initially tried the turkey baster but got frustrated with it not having enough suction to really do the job right.

Something that I think works much better is a gadget called "The Mixmaster" which Wal-Mart has. I think it costs about $3.98. It's primarily designed to measure and mix 2-cycle oil with gasoline for chain saws. It's shaped somewhat like a physician's hypodermic needle and works the same way. It comes with a plastic tube extension that easily fits into the power steering reservoir. (It even fits the tiny opening to the power steering reservoir in my wife's ES 300.) It has measurements on the body to help you determine how much fluid you have withdrawn.

Watch out for the whining sound after you have withdrawn and added fluid. If it occurs, do the bleeding procedure until it stops.

My withdrawn fluid now looks almost like the fresh fluid.
Thanks for the tip on the Mix-Mizer @ Walmart; I picked up one today for under $4. It made it so easy to flush my power steering fluid. I did it incrementally but like 10 times within an hour. I found that as long as I started the car (and turned the wheels each time for good measure) in between each incremental change, that the old fluid was mixing well in with the new. The first 5 incremental changes were definitely much darker than the last 5. Each time I did it I noticed it clearing up little by little.

My procedure:
I just suck out 2 syringes full of old power steering fluid from the reservoir, and place in a 2 liter soda bottle about 1 foot away from the reservoir under the hood. I have a fresh quart of dex iii sitting near the power steering reservoir as well and just pull out 2 syringe fulls from that and place in the reservoir. I put the caps back on everything, with the syringe resting in the soda bottle. Then I start the car, turn the wheel back and forth, stop it -- rinse repeat. (I rest a thick folded towel over the engine compartment under the travel path of the syringe as to not get any fluid on the car.)

Now my 98 LS400 has fresh dex iii power steering fluid in it--yay; thanks so much! It had BG synthetic power steering fluid in it which the previous owner had put in about 10,000 miles ago when the power steering pump was rebuilt. I rather stick to what the factory service manual says to use: dex iii. I'll be doing incremental power steering fluid changes every 5000 miles (along with my oil change and transmission drain/fill) -- about 1/2 quart worth each time I guess.

Last edited by ls400geek; 02-10-13 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 11-12-14, 01:35 PM   #47
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i just bought a 99 ls400 and i am suspicious that the PO put in power steering fluid instead of ATF in the PS system. Mechanic told me it was leaking badly although the steering even at low speeds is extremely light and wonderful( can park it with my pinky finger). I sampled the PS fluid by wiping the lid/dipstick onto a white napkin and it showed up as a pale green color. not red like the tranny fluid i sampled in the same manner.

so the question is can i do the incremental method, potentially mixing PS fluid with ATF or do i have to a complete flush all in one go?

is there any way to tell for sure that they put PS fluid in it and not ATF?
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Old 03-27-15, 11:32 AM   #48
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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.
This is what scares me trying the full method, what kind of possible damage you could do to your PS pump if it is not bled all the way or properly or there is some starvation. I was leaning more to trying the full method because the fluid in my reservoir is more of a yellowish brown but clean looking fluid then the red ATF fluid and I am not sure what will happen when mixed by doing the turkey baster method. Anyone else have issues with this method? I am just doing this change as a routine piece of mind but don't want it to be a costly nightmare.

I keep reading different answers from different people about what fluid I can use, I bought the Toyota Type 4 IV fluid for a trans drain and see some say you use this for the power steering while others say don't use it and use the Dextron II or III fluid. My dealer does not even sell the Dextron II or III trans fluid anymore.
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Old 03-30-15, 04:55 AM   #49
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Type T-IV is fine. Been using it in GS300 and a 91 4runner for years with no issues. By the way, This is how you should do the flush.

https://www.clublexus.com/forums/es3...ing-flush.html
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Old 03-30-15, 09:09 AM   #50
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Type T-IV is fine. Been using it in GS300 and a 91 4runner for years with no issues. By the way, This is how you should do the flush.

https://www.clublexus.com/forums/es3...ing-flush.html
Thank you for the link and it gave me an idea, on the GS if you remove the the drivers tire you can get to a drain near the caliper. I was at first going to just do that method and drain it until it was empty and refill it once no more fluid came out but after reading about some issues with ugly noises/air in the system I was afraid I could possibly damage the pump if it was not bled properly which is the last thing I want to do.

Now I think I will still drain it that way from under the tire/near caliper but I will start pouring fresh ATF fluid in the reservoir once it is getting low and when I see the fresh red fluid color start coming out when draining I will stop draining it, re connect hoses and then refill the reservoir with fresh ATF to minimize air in the system. I will also turn the wheels to bleed out any remaining air. I think that sounds like the safest method where you also flush out most of the old fluid. It will be a little messy when trying to put the hose back on while fluid is coming out and I will need a helper. Does that sound like a pretty good method or could there be a problem with that method?

Last edited by UDel; 03-30-15 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 04-03-15, 05:20 PM   #51
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I did the flush today by going through the drain line from removing the driver side tire.

At first I thought it would be easy but as soon as I got started I ran into a snag, the clip holding hose on is a high strength type you can't budge with your fingers plus the tips were facing the engine and impossible to get pliers in there to squeeze it to loosen it. Starting off to be the typical DIY adventure. After several tries and lots of cursing I thought it was pointless to drain it this way but I managed to grab the base of the metal clip with pliers and spin the pressure tips(after cutting up my fingers) toward me/the brakes where I could grab them with the pliers. I got the hose off and drained it, moved the wheel back and forth to get as much fluid out as I could. I got a friend to pour in some fresh Type IV ATF, luckily the original fluid was a yellowish brown and I could tell when fresh red fluid started coming out of the hose and re connected the hose once that happened. A little messy but I think it was a pretty good flushing method. I turned the wheel back and forth several times to bleed the air out. I filled the reservoir up and turned the car on, turned the wheel, pump made a little noise, I shut it off, filled some more fluid, turned the wheel back and forth several times and then turned the car on and took it for a drive making sure to cut the wheel all the way during some u turns, then I checked and put a little more ATF in, I was surprised it did not take a full quart of fresh fluid, had a nice amount left. Steering is more effortless and smoother though the greater lack of effort kind of makes it feel a little less sporty. Hopefully everything will be good after this.
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Old 02-06-16, 03:49 AM   #52
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Might Vac is the perfect tool to remove the PS fluid from the reservoir.
I do it about every other oil change (7k miles) which keeps the fluid clean and red.
Dexron ATF is always used.
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