Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum - Reply to Topic
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace

Go Back   Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum > Ford Focus Tech Discussions > General Technical Chat > frustration over power steering fluid

General Technical Chat This section is for technical discussions relating to general maintenance, electrical issues, engine trouble, and recalls.

Search This Forum | Image Search | Advanced Search    
FocusFest FocusFanatics Merchandise

Thread: frustration over power steering fluid Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
What I Drive
Year, color, and model of your car. Example: 2003 Pitch Black ZX3
Your real name.
Please select your insurance company (Optional)


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Topic Review (Newest First)
08-16-2014 09:35 AM
amc49 Yes...........other than Honda late model with specific requirements, the door is wide open on PS fluid, almost anything will work. I have mixed so many types you wouldn't believe it. ZERO issues. The big problem I find is when someone drains the fluid, they do not recognize just how quick the pump can pump empty and just like an engine, try pumping it dry of lube and if unlucky that day you damage the engine within 5 seconds of running dry and possibly even faster. When filling up a PS pump you have to stand right over the inlet with preopened bottles to choke that sucker as fast as you can until enough volume in there to not run dry. I use a second person starting car to not have to run around car as fast. If you get the oil in there fast enough often no or little moan at all, when you pump it full of air by filling slowly you then risk damage as pump essentially trying to run dry then.

The only pump I've ever had to change in 40 years was because I did not realize this and pumped it dry for a second while I started the car and then took my happy time getting out to fill, thinking the moan was nothing. It is the sound of METAL ON METAL when the usual separating oil is gone......................once the damage is done then they moan all the time because metal parts are hitting that should not be touching at all. Mild seizure damage. Pump will still work but at reduced ability depending on level of mechanical damage there.
08-14-2014 10:55 PM
71ChevelleSS amc your right about honda p/s fluid. i do so many rebuilds and replaces because they leak and people put the wrong stuff in, but you can use honda/acura ps fluid in other vehicles, my zx3 has acura fluid in it due to pump replacement. was leaking bad when i got the car.
03-01-2013 09:01 PM
Originally Posted by stormy View Post
I can't find the blasted stuff, I found motorcraft mercon V on but according the manual, that's only for the actual transmission, it says nothing about mercon V for the power steering. But I seem to remember an article saying that mercon V is replacing the regular mercon ATF but is that just for the trans or power steering too? lol this is so annoying, just so one company can make more money over the other...grr
Every auto parts store in pittsburgh carries genuine Mercon V. Autozone and advance auto both carry multiple brands of it. I know there are at least 20 of these stores in the pittsburgh area. NAPA also has it.
02-28-2013 07:42 PM
amc49 Change to any fluid you want, they are all the same basic oil weight and the noise will not go away, only by possibly changing the basic weight by using like Lucas will the noise possibly change. But the steering effort will be affected too..........

The noise if constant is from wear, or a badly remachined rebuild, or air in lines. If noise is only at rack limit it is normal, and an expectation of no noise there is abnormal. Pumps that are tight and have running surfaces that fit right on are quiet. Solid oil with no air in it helps too.
02-28-2013 08:55 AM
Originally Posted by Cuabn04 View Post
I can't tell you how long I've been looking for someone to address the horrible Ford PS what would you recommend I use for my power steering fluid? I hate to seem stupid but after so long my degree of bluntness is necessary. I'd really appreciate the insight!
Welcome to Focus Fanatics!

Your question would be answered in the previous posts of this thread. Do a flush / replacement of your fluid replace with ATF and see how that helps.

One thing not mentioned in this thread is the use of Lucas Oil additive. I have found this cuts down the noise but also due to its thicker state cold driving requires more muscle.
02-28-2013 08:49 AM
Cuabn04 I can't tell you how long I've been looking for someone to address the horrible Ford PS what would you recommend I use for my power steering fluid? I hate to seem stupid but after so long my degree of bluntness is necessary. I'd really appreciate the insight!
01-03-2013 10:33 PM
amc49 ANY ATF will work. Mass confusion on this post. I've switched fluids on so many cars it's not funny. Power steering fluid is ATF without the red dye, ALL ATF fluids have the dye to tell you what the leak is from when you find the puddle under the car. Been that way since the fifties. ALL cars and brands used to use type A which was Chrysler ATF through the sixties until dealers realized they can use whatever ATF is kept in stock to service their own ATXs. Ford used F when their predominant fluid used in trans was F, they went to Mercon when most of the trans went to that, easier to have the power steering fluid already be on the shelf and one less part to have to keep track of. Now Ford uses V, why? They already carry it........the difference between regular Mercon and V is that V is synthetic, so more resistant to heat. More profit too, anybody notice the $1/qt. price increase? I wouldn't hesitate to put V in place of regular Mercon, in fact I have three cars now INTERMIXED, running like that. Power steering systems are not high tech, the same basic systems used design wise since the fifties again, only refined. The seals would have no difference from seal used in ATX, and certainly the fluid will not affect them. The seals cook from heat, no oil type known on the planet stops that. You can get better oil as far as heat but you're stuck with your seals. Getting lifetime power steering pumps and then having them go out is most likely bad pump reassembly, many of those parts become matched in operation, switching them around to make 'new' (RIIIIGHT!) pumps is just asking for at least groaning noises and the fluid has nothing to do with that. We were taught at the store to blame new pump noise on that though, a typical example of how you get garbage parts and then the lies for why begin. Anything you can point a finger at to blame the user and all should try rebuilding some of those pumps and then you would see just how critical correct reassembly is to proper function. On many the ends of pump cavity can easily be reassembled backwards or not indexed like before, if the part brand new doesn't matter, but they often reuse any slightly worn endplates and then the noise begins. They have to be PERFECT or you get noise even with only couple thousandths wear, even though pump will run up to full pressure and may well work for years like that. I've rebuilt some pumps and racks to find that whines but has been doing it for 25+ years and still works fine.

Regular Mercon is not type F but they both work fine in power steering. V won't hurt as an upgrade. Mercon is usually labeled in stores as Dex/Merc...........

Mobil ATF would work fine.

The only car you have to be careful with power steering fluid for is Honda, not all of them, but some have plastic impellers that damage easily if wrong fluid is used. That's why you don't see specific GM, Ford, or Mopar power steering fluid on the shelves but you find it for HONDA.

If you want to lower troubles with power steering on cars, CHANGE THE FLUID occasionally. Look at the fluid color as it ages, it turns dark grey, that is finely ground up METAL suspended in it, get that out and the systems last forever unless you simply pop a hose, nothing can prevent that. The metal particles are what eat your seals to leak. I partially change my fluid on a regular basis by the turkey baster method someone mentioned earlier, somewhere at around 75K miles I pull return and run all of it out to completely replace it. I've never lost a rack or pump in 40 years..........

Since power steering fluid IS ATF, I suspect that since the requirements are not as rigorous that fluid vendors may start cheaping out by cutting some of the valuable additives ATF has. I only use labeled ATF in anything I have, I think the actual 'power steering' fluid could be gutted of additives to be not as good a product. After all, the CEO of the oil company does not care about you, all he cares about is the next quarter's performance.................besides that, PS fluid is more expensive, how stupid is that????
01-03-2013 08:47 PM
Magus2727 so basically Mercon ATF, or any ATF labeled transmission fluid. So Mobile 1 ATF, or any similar full synthetic would work.
01-03-2013 07:38 PM
Originally Posted by Magus2727 View Post
Thought that the numbering is just the "version". Most systems if it calls for a previous Mercon the V (5) will work. Its backwards comparable. I think the Mercon V is the only type you can get now days anyway.

Is their any thoughts on running something like Royal Purple MAX ATF or similar full synthetic "performance" ATF fluid in the rack?
Nope, Mercon ATF is the transmission fluid labelled "ATF" or type F. It is exactly the same fluid as generic power steering fluid except that it has red dye in it, and used to be less expensive than generic PS fluid. I've been telling people who ask on this forum for years that you're better off using ATF than Mercon3 or 5. It might be backwards compatible in transmissions (IDK really), but it is not for PS pumps. What happens is that you develop that Ford PS groan. How'd I figure that out? A couple of lifetime warranty PS pumps, and a couple of gallons of Mercon3 until someone finally told me that was the wrong fluid to use. They were right.
01-03-2013 07:31 PM
macdiesel Just buy mobil1 ATF. Sold everywhere.
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:07 PM.

Copyright 2002-2015 All Rights Reserved : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information

Focus Fanatics Ford Focus Forum offers many fun ways for you to engage with other Ford Focus Owners from across the world. Whether it be about the aftermarket performance modifications, technical how-to's, European tuned suspension or awesome fuel economy similar to the Mazda CX-3, Audi S3, Mazda MX-5 Miata and Acura TLX. You can find all Ford Focus, Focus ST and Focus RS related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area. If you own other makes have a look at Challenger Hellcat Forum, Charger Hellcat Forum, Cadillac ATS-V Forum, Cadillac ATS Forum, Cadillac CTS-V Forum, Lexus RC-F Forum, Lexus GS-F Forum, Mercedes GLA Forum, Mercedes GLE Forum, Civic Type-R Forum and Volvo XC90 Forum.


Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1