Just drained and flushed Power Steering, YIKES! - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
Regular Service / Maintenance This section contains discussion about regular service and maintenance (upkeep) of your Jeep Commander

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-06-2010, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Just drained and flushed Power Steering, YIKES!

I finished draining and flushing my Power Steering on my 2010 Commander, I bought it used, just over a year old.

I used the Mopar MS-10383 fluid from the dealer, this is what it looks like.

You don't see anything? Thats because the fluid is a clear as water. BTW, this MS-10383 is a new spec fluid, I have NOT found another fluid that meets the spec, and the owner's manual clearly states to use this fluid, that is why I got the Mopar Fluid.

Now this is the fluid that came out of my Power Steering:

NOT black, but close, very cloudy and opaque as well. It smells like most power steering/trans fluids, no burnt smell.

Yea, you can't tell if an oil is good or bad by the color, but this is much of a change in a year? I have to think that this Power System system is tough on the fluid.

BTW, total capacity of the system is less than a quart. I used several ounces of fresh fluid from the same bottle to flush the system, then filled it with the rest, after running the system to remove all air, the reservoir was overfilled, I had to suck out a few ounces to get it back to the correct level.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 07:57 AM
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Just curious why your fluid needed to be changed after only a year?


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 08:23 AM
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Please dont take this the wrong way. Why did you feel the need to change it ? At work we have to repair the lines a lot , put in a new rack sometimes , or sometimes even the pump if it was smashed , but other than being in a collision, I have never known of anyone changing their power steering fluid after only 1 year. Maybe I am skipping out on a needed servicing, I don't know.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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I've always changed my PS Fluid every 30k miles. My Commander was a rental, and judging from the corrosion under the vehicle it was a rental in a heavy salt state? (Makes sense in a heavy snow area they have Jeeps for rent). So, even though I'm at 27k miles, I decided to pull it early because of that.

I keep reading that Power Steering systems are more and more demanding on their fluid, more and the ever progressing new more specialized PS fluids, which our Jeep is one, is evidence of it, as well, a growing number of PS failures and major parts needing replacing.

I've never ran into a problem from changing power steering fluid "too often" or "too early", well, I've never encountered a PS problem in the 600k miles spread over 3 vehicles I've been doing this. And 2 of those vehicles steering rack replacements is pretty common repair that is necessary.

My '02 Mini-Van calling for ATF+4 is the only one I've ever got good looking fluid pumped out of it after 30k miles, ever other vehicle has had pretty nasty, dirty, smelly fluid pumped out of it after 30k miles, sometimes the mini-van, most times it looked pretty normal.

Eitherway, look at the before and after pictures above, perhaps something went wrong with my Commander, maybe because of the winter salt, either way, after a year and 27k miles, the clear fluid went to almost opaque black in color. I'm glad I changed it.

I just pull the return line to the reservoir, its held on by a spring clamp, so I don't think I'm compromising the high pressure lines.

Last edited by Mongo; 11-07-2010 at 01:25 PM.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 03:04 PM
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I know this won't be considered a flush, but can you just suck out the old fluid from the reservoir and then replace the fluid?

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob123 View Post
I know this won't be considered a flush, but can you just suck out the old fluid from the reservoir and then replace the fluid?
Of course you can, but yes, its NOT a flush or even a full draining of the system, you likely get a 1/4-1/3 of the fluid doing it this way. Its better than doing nothing at all, some fresh fluid mixed with the old will boost the protection for the system, but yes, NOT as much if you changed all the fluid.

What I do:
**Do NOT start the engine anytime during this procedure**

1.) Put the front up on jackstand so the front wheels hang and can turn full lock to lock without resistance.

2.) Drain the reservoir using a bulb/turkey baster as much as possible.

3.) Disconnect the return line to the reservoir, its the smaller line spring clamped to the reservoir. Run the line to a bucket under the vehicle, use an extension hose, or I just rested the empty jug on a box so it would reach the return line hanging down.

4.) Turn the Steering wheel from lock to lock as quickly as you can, this will circulate the fluid through the entire system, sucking it through the pump, and pumping it out through the return line into the bucket, as the fluid level gets low, it will sputter and spurt out and turning the steering wheel faster will help to squirt out the last of the fluid.

5.) Cap off the opening in the reservoir for the return line (or have a helper hold their finger over the opening). Add a couple ounces of fresh fluid, and repeat the procedure to pump out the fresh fluid, that will flush out any of the old fluid still remaining.

6.) Reconnect the return line, fill the reservoir, turn the steering wheel lock to lock to work out all the air. Keep checking fluid level and working the steering wheel back and forth until the fluid level is no longer dropping.

7.) Lower the vehicle off the Jack Stands.

**Any hydraulic system (and PS is a hydraulic system) that has air in it, can "Hard Over" i.e. extend to one extreme or the other at extreme speed and force. This is extremely unlikely with PS, but be wise and keep your limbs away from the front wheels and steering wheel as you start the motor for the first time.**

8.) Take it for a test drive, make sure to do several turns where you turn the wheel all the way one direction and then the other. Do some Figure 8's. Check the fluid level after the test drive and adjust if necessary, check again 50 or 60 miles later, and adjust the fluid level if necessary.

I was able to do the whole thing, including the flush, plus spill a little and even over fill a few onces and have to suck it out with 1 quart of fluid.

Use the recommended MS-10383 (I have NOT found any other fluid that states they meet this spec, and its a new spec that is required by our Commanders, and few other Jeeps) only available from the dealer. My local dealer wanted $15 a quart, others may want as much as $20-$30.

Last edited by Mongo; 11-11-2010 at 11:32 AM.
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