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Thread: power steering fluid flush?

  1. #1
    Senior Member bikerlbf406's Avatar
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    Question power steering fluid flush?

    On my '97 Explorer with 160K miles (just bought), while checking fluids, the power steering fluid is red & looks like tranny fluid. I've heard of people using ATF instead of power steering fluid since it is usually cheaper. However when checking the rear wiper fluid resevior (after buying the truck already) I found a bottle of power steering stop leak shoved in the compartment. The power steering doesn't seem to be acting up & is nice and quit. Should I have the fluid flushed, refill & see what happens or keep like is til something happens? There is no sign of leakage right now.
    Tim, proud owner of 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 & 2007 Honda CMX250C Rebel


  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerlbf406 View Post
    On my '97 Explorer with 160K miles (just bought), while checking fluids, the power steering fluid is red & looks like tranny fluid. I've heard of people using ATF instead of power steering fluid since it is usually cheaper. However when checking the rear wiper fluid resevior (after buying the truck already) I found a bottle of power steering stop leak shoved in the compartment. The power steering doesn't seem to be acting up & is nice and quit. Should I have the fluid flushed, refill & see what happens or keep like is til something happens? There is no sign of leakage right now.

    Given the age, mileage - and lack of problems - I would leave it alone.

  3. #3
    DonTom
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerlbf406 View Post
    On my '97 Explorer with 160K miles (just bought), while checking fluids, the power steering fluid is red & looks like tranny fluid. I've heard of people using ATF instead of power steering fluid since it is usually cheaper. However when checking the rear wiper fluid resevior (after buying the truck already) I found a bottle of power steering stop leak shoved in the compartment. The power steering doesn't seem to be acting up & is nice and quit. Should I have the fluid flushed, refill & see what happens or keep like is til something happens? There is no sign of leakage right now.
    If it ain't broken, don't fix it!

    -Don- (in rainy South SF)

  4. #4
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerlbf406 View Post
    On my '97 Explorer with 160K miles (just bought), while checking fluids, the power steering fluid is red & looks like tranny fluid. I've heard of people using ATF instead of power steering fluid since it is usually cheaper. However when checking the rear wiper fluid resevior (after buying the truck already) I found a bottle of power steering stop leak shoved in the compartment. The power steering doesn't seem to be acting up & is nice and quit. Should I have the fluid flushed, refill & see what happens or keep like is til something happens? There is no sign of leakage right now.

    I concur. If its red, clean, and smells good let it ride.

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
    -Mussolini
    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

  5. #5
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    I don't recall what color Ford's power steering fluid is, but for a Honda it's a clear light amber color (at least when new).

    I would grab a turkey baster and several pints of fresh Ford P/S fluid and start an exchange process (suck out what you can, top off with new fluid, drive for a day, repeat 4+ times)

    Chip H.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bikerlbf406's Avatar
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    after all of the suggestions, I've decided to leave it as is unless I have some problems from it.
    Tim, proud owner of 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 & 2007 Honda CMX250C Rebel


  7. #7
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    Red color is okay, but check the smell.
    If it smells like Dexron, you don't want it in there.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bikerlbf406's Avatar
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    No its not Dextron. I was just a little low on my power steering fluid today (not much), but i decided to go ahead & fill it up using the bottle of fluid that i found in the truck, which is power steering stabilizer with stop leak, and i noticed it is red, the same color as whats in the resevoir, so its that stablizer w/ stop leak is whats in the power steering resevoir & not tranny fluid. it just happened to be that its red in color & looks like tranny fluid.
    Tim, proud owner of 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 & 2007 Honda CMX250C Rebel


  9. #9
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerlbf406 View Post
    No its not Dextron. I was just a little low on my power steering fluid today (not much), but i decided to go ahead & fill it up using the bottle of fluid that i found in the truck, which is power steering stabilizer with stop leak, and i noticed it is red, the same color as whats in the resevoir, so its that stablizer w/ stop leak is whats in the power steering resevoir & not tranny fluid. it just happened to be that its red in color & looks like tranny fluid.
    Which begs the question - Was the stop-leak used as a 'repair' or as a 'prevention' measure. Hopefully the latter.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

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