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Old 08-22-2005, 04:18 PM   #1
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power steering fluid

Last week Ihad the 40K service and the Ford Dealer service advisor wanted to sell me a power steering fluid flush & fill. I didn't have it done because I have never heard of anybody changing the power steering fluid in a car. I also called the mechanic who maintained my Probe GT for 7 years, and he told me the only time he ever changed power steering fluid was when he changed out a major component such as a pump or rack.

The service guy said the fluid was "a little dark" and that's why he thought it should be changed. I looked at it, and it does look (and smells) more like gear oil than the kind of power steering fluid I'm used to seeing. So my questions are: What kind of power steering fluid is in my 2002 SVT Focus? And what is it supposed to look and smell like?

Thanks for your help, PW


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Old 09-25-2005, 05:08 PM   #2
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I wonder as well. We just noticed the power steering fluid is at the low mark. The cap says Power Steering Fluid but the manual says Mercon ATF. Mercon is NOT power steering fluid, so it would matter which is correct. Anyone know?
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Old 09-25-2005, 09:11 PM   #3
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power steering flush is a relatively new maintenance item for most shops. The basic idea is to swap out the fluid and add an additive for conditioning the pump.

Just like any other fluid, it will eventually break down and cause problems. A recomendation for this service at 40k is not unreasonable. If you are pro-preventive maintenance, it is a definite good idea.

The 'dark' look is pretty indicative of old fluid. Usually power steering fluid is a light brown color, sometimes it will have a red tint added. Black fluid indicates your seals are breaking down in the pump and in the rack & pinion or the fluid lines are deteriorating internally. The fluid conditioner they add will help this if you see it. Dark brown fluid is just old, but a good idea to change anyway.

If your fluid looks red or light brown (similar color to new oil) then you don't need this service. Likewise, if your car has less than 30k since new or last time it was changed, it should still be ok.

Actual power steering fluid usually does have a sharp smell, similar to gear lube. I don't have the actual spec for which type is used in our cars right here but just make sure they look it up to see which type of fluid is needed.
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Old 09-25-2005, 09:27 PM   #4
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Waht price was it for the 40 k service. Because I am about to get to that area in the life of my focus and want to get an idea of it.
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Old 09-26-2005, 08:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by svt pwr 02
I wonder as well. We just noticed the power steering fluid is at the low mark. The cap says Power Steering Fluid but the manual says Mercon ATF. Mercon is NOT power steering fluid, so it would matter which is correct. Anyone know?
Use the Mercon. It's common to use ATF for PS fluid, has been for a long time.
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Old 10-04-2005, 07:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by ModemJunki
Use the Mercon. It's common to use ATF for PS fluid, has been for a long time.
Thanks!
I did some checking and reading.
"Mercon ATF" and "Dexron III" are the same stuff. (My Toyota cap says Dexron III/Mercon ATF right on it!)
"Power Steering Fluid" is not compatible with the above.
"Mercon V" is a newer spec and has some synthetics in it. It may or may not be compatible in Mercon/Dexron systems.
Many cars have their own fluid requirements and non of the above apply. Audi for example can only use Audi fluid. NOthing else is compatible. Some Hondas too.

So yes - Best to use only "Mercon ATF" in the SVT and have no worries.
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:46 AM   #7
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This is random but it took me ages to find and I think it is useful

Ford specs WSA-M2C938-A and WSS-M2C938-A are compatible with each other and GM Dexron and Ford Mercon
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:25 PM   #8
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I drained my system awhile back by removing one of the lines from the pump and running the car to pump the fluid out then filled it with cheapy ps fluid. Drove it a day or so then drained and filled with Royal Purple.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Might be unnecessary to flush cheapy in between but peace of mind pays the fee for me. Got rid of a sticking issue that the rack had on center for me so thats a plus as well.
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Old 02-01-2014, 02:35 PM   #9
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Moved to "General Technical Chat".
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Old 02-01-2014, 02:50 PM   #10
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Motorcraft Mercon ATF is the manual spec. for mine, some have reported issues using other fluids in the past. Quart from Ford is cheap enough, wherever you buy it.

Suck out reservoir & refill, repeat a time or two after driving & your fluid is changed.

Turkey Baster from the grocery is all you need. Much cheaper than the flush they want to sell, and it won't cause any problems.
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