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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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flushing power steering fluid

anyone have step by step instructions to flush the power steering fluid
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-23-2011, 02:32 PM
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I think the dealer uses a special tool to suck the fluid through the system.

Personally, what I have done and never had a problem:

Put the front up on jackstands so the front wheels hang in the air (i.e. no resistance to turning the steering wheel) Never start the motor with the PS lines disconnected.

Have something to catch the PS fluid in the reserviour or use a turkey baster to suck it out.

Disconnect the return line to the reserviour and run it to a bucket.

Turn the steering wheel lock to lock, the piston in the PS rack will act like a pump and this will pump the PS fluid out of the system through the return line. You may need to turn the steering wheel quickly as it gets toward the end of the fluid, to get the last of it out.

I had a couple of ounces of fresh fluid to the reservour and repeat to pump it through and flush out the system.

Reconnect the return line, fill up the reservour and turn the steering wheel to pump fresh fluid in and the air out.

Start the motor (be careful of the steering wheel and wheels, very unlikely, but if air is in just the right spot in the PS system, it could hard over and spin the steering wheel with enough force to break your arm). Turn the steering wheel and recheck fluid level.

Make sure to use the right PS fluid, they keep uping the specs on PS fluid, which indicates to me, the PS systems keep getting more demanding on the fluid. Use an earlier spec fluid, it likely will NOT be able to protect the PS system as well as it should.

MS-10838 is the spec for the Commanders PS system. I have yet to find an aftermarket PS fluid that claims to meet this spec, so I went to the dealer and bought it from them.

Lots of bottles in the auto store will say it meets all Chrysler specs for PS fluid, and they haven't updated that label in a dozen years. If it doesn't specifically say it meets or exceeds Chrysler Spec MS-10838, then its NOT the right stuff, don't use it.

I needed 1 qt of fluid, I bought 2 qts, thinking with the flushing, I would use more than 1 qt, I even spilled a lot of fluid and ended up NOT needing to open the 2nd qt.

I don't have the PS driven fan on my Commander, if you do, likely the capacity for the system will be higher.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-24-2011, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongo View Post
I think the dealer uses a special tool to suck the fluid through the system.

Personally, what I have done and never had a problem:

Put the front up on jackstands so the front wheels hang in the air...
Good info, Mongo. What would be an advisable flush/fill schedule for the PS? Cheers.

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Last edited by JeepJorge; 03-24-2011 at 01:10 PM. Reason: brevity
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-26-2011, 10:09 AM
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Well, the manufacturer will tell you its a lifetime fill.

At the same time, the manufacturer will tell you to only use a fluid that meets their brand new spec, for a much higher quality fluid to withstand the higher temps, pressures and stresses of their new power steering system.

And notice, the sales of rebuilt and new P.S. parts is doing very well.

So I conclude, changing P.S. fluid can be very beneficial, it can't hurt, unless you screw up badly. Pumps and Valves cause an effect called "sheering" on their working fluids, the forces and mechanics of these thing actually "sheer" the molecues of the fluid and breaks them up, once the molecue is sheered its doesn't act the same as it did before. In short, fluid does wear out. And you need a better fluid for the stress's of a more demanding system, logically its sheering the fluid even more, thus the need for the better fluid.

Personally, I do it every 30k-33k miles on my other vehicles, I have never had to replace a single P.S. part, and I most of my vehicles go out to 230k miles before replacement. That might be excessive, 50k miles might be a good figure.

Replacing PS fluid more than once a year would be Excessive IMO. Every other year would probably be good.

My Neon R/T, spec MS5931, the first change at 30k miles, the factory fill came out looking horrible, it looked fungus had started to grow in it. I used Redline Synthetic PS fluid (meets or exceeds MS5931) and every fluid change after that, I could NOT notice any real sign of degradation. My mini-van called for MS9602 (ATF+4) and I could never find any sign of degradation, either factory fill or later fill with aftermarket ATF+4.

My 2010 Commander, I bought it used, it was a rental in upstate NY and shows signs of lots of salt exposure. At 30k mi, I changed the fluid, and it came out black and very cloudy. The fresh MS10838, is as clear as water. I've put 5k mi on it since the change and it still looks clear as water. I can NOT find any aftermarket ps fluid that specifically state it meets or exceeds chrysler spec MS10838, so I use the dealer fluid. Perhaps my Comanders original factory fill fluid was contaminated by all the salt exposure, who knows, but comparing the fluid coming out to the fluid going in, I was glad I changed it.

Basically, that has been my experience, at a 30k interval for changes, there are times I found fluid looking like it was overdue for a change and I have found fluid that looked like it was perfectly fine.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-27-2011, 11:18 AM
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You may want to read TSB 26-001-09 is covers flushing and is explains Jeeps stance on it.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongo View Post
Well, the manufacturer will tell you its a lifetime fill.

Personally, I do it every 30k-33k miles on my other vehicles, I have never had to replace a single P.S. part, and I most of my vehicles go out to 230k miles before replacement. That might be excessive, 50k miles might be a good figure.

Replacing PS fluid more than once a year would be Excessive IMO. Every other year would probably be good.
Thanks, Mongo. I looked in my PS reservoir and even syphoned about 2 tablespoons oil fluid out and it looks just a little darker than clear. Large Marge has 65k mi under her belt. I'll keep monitoring the fluid and if it darkens, out it goes.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06h View Post
You may want to read TSB 26-001-09 is covers flushing and is explains Jeeps stance on it.
Yea, I saw that TSB and you're right to point it out, but I, like many others in the forum, bought my Jeep used. That TSB, IMP, is written assuming all owners are as dedicated as we are about maintaining their vehicles. Were that the case, yes, I agree with you the TSB 26-001-09 should be followed to the letter. However, I have no idea if the previous owner(s) followed the OEM maintenance schedule or even used the proper fluids (ATF vs. ATF+4 etc.) To be sure that fresh and good quality stuff is in there, I drained and filled the tranny, engine oil, coolant, transfer case and differentials. Only brake and PS fluids remain unchanged. Brakes get done soon, so fresh fluid goes in. That leaves PS fluid and that's why I'm leaning towards changing it. Had I been the first owner I wouldn't be uneasy. Since I'm not, fresh oil and fluids are just cheap insurance and I can sleep better. Cheers.

2006 Limited, Light Khaki Metallic, Light Graystone/Dark Khaki Leather, HEMI, QDII, Rear DVD, REC Nav w/09 Database, woody side, EGR hood deflector, AEM Gun Metal Brute Force CAI, tilting rearview mirrors.
“I did not enter politics out of philanthropy but rather as an extension of my own annoyance at having inherited freedoms infringed by power-crazed idiots spouting gibberish”. Nigel Farage MEP; Leader, UK Independence Party
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06h View Post
You may want to read TSB 26-001-09 is covers flushing and is explains Jeeps stance on it.
And the TSB is worth reading because there is info on flushing procedures that dealers are using for transmissions, and the use of solvents and chemicals, etc.

BUT, they leave it kinda of vague for things like PS fluid change and brake fluid changes. There never really define what "flush" means and just generically recommend against it, except for changing coolant.

They leave it open that if there was some sort of failure that would require flushing components, then use the actual fill fluid to flush the system.

So you're going to have to apply a little common sense, especially considering how the manufacturer states PS and Brake fluid is a lifetime fluid NOT requiring changing, and then when you look at how the systems work the only way to change the fluid is too flush the fluid through it, replacing old with new.

So I part ways with the Manufacturer on this, you'll have to decide for yourself if changing PS fluid as a preventative measure is helping or hurting your vehicle. Personally, I have nearly a million miles on my vehicles with changing the PS fluid yearly or every other year at least, and I have NOT had to replace a single PS component in any of my vehicles. Sure, its antediotal evidence, as too any benefit, but if my procedure was bad for the vehicle, could I make that claim?


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepJorge View Post
I'll keep monitoring the fluid and if it darkens, out it goes.
Well, you can't really tell the condition of the fluid by its color or appearance alone, I'm sure you agree. BUT, I don't think anyone will argue, if a fluid looks really bad or changes appearance drastically, it can't hurt to change it.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-29-2012, 05:48 AM
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Which line is the return line? I tried tracing them but could only see the lines hit the rack, not the reservior.
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