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How do you change the power steering fluid? What fluid should I use?

Fluids and Lubricants Motor oil, transmission oil, radiator fluid, power steering fluid, blinker fluid... wait, there is no blinker fluid. Technical discussion and analysis of the different lubricants we use in our cars.

How do you change the power steering fluid? What fluid should I use?

Old 06-01-2007, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by MichMaxFan
Ok, sounds like a plan to me. Thks for the help.

You are fortunate, IMO, to NOT live here anymore. Things are bad. Really bad. Unless you are in medical field. They just said on news recently that foreclosures are worse now than they ever have been, and worse than the Great Depression. Some is due to overextended mortgages, but many from the economy here. I don't see it getting any better for a long time. GR area has like 1,000 foreclosures already this year.
Sorry to hear that...we enjoyed the three years we lived there...it was a nice place to live. There used to be lots of manufacturing firms in the area...some big, some small..but they provided jobs for folks. Hopefully things will turn around.
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Old 06-01-2007, 10:34 AM
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So you suggest unhooking the return line and keep the bottle full and run the car a few secs? Or, just keep using turkey baster over and over..
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:15 AM
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Capacity for PS systems is usually 1Q including what is in the PS reservior.
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by MichMaxFan
So you suggest unhooking the return line and keep the bottle full and run the car a few secs? Or, just keep using turkey baster over and over..
Either way will work...it just depends how involved you want to get.

Disconnecting the return line is a good way to flush it...advantage there is that you will get it all swapped out. Recommend you have a helper to turn the car on and off as needed.

The suction/turkey baster method is the easiest way to do it, but it will take several times to raise the concentration of fresh fluid to a high level.
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Old 06-01-2007, 12:53 PM
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Thanks. Which one is the return line? I "assume" it might be the one that leads to the front of the radiator and loops back again? The other one leads straight down to the pump so not sure which one it is??? And if it is the one that loops toward the rad then where in the line works best? ---Right at the reservoir?
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by MichMaxFan
Thanks. Which one is the return line? I "assume" it might be the one that leads to the front of the radiator and loops back again? The other one leads straight down to the pump so not sure which one it is??? And if it is the one that loops toward the rad then where in the line works best? ---Right at the reservoir?
Not sure about the configuration on your year. Recommend you just stick with the suction/turkey baster method...it's easy, clean, zero risk and it will be effective in the long run.

BTW, the capacity on my PS system (4th gen) is one and one-eighth quarts. Run a couple quarts of fresh fluid thru the system over the next week or so and you will be good to go.
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Old 06-01-2007, 07:17 PM
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Yeah, that is the route I prefer so I don't get air into the system...picked up a few qts of fluid tonight and forgot the turkey baster, darn it!!
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:04 PM
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Update...

Looked for turkey baster, but the diameter was too large in my opinion to fit inside the reservoir, and so for $3 I got a cheap suction "pump" that was merely 5 feet or so of tubing and a sqeeze thing to get air suction and the fluid going into my jug. Works great - tubing is flexible and perfect for this job. Takes out fluid slowly, but takes less than 10mins or so and reservoir is nearly empty. I get just shy of 8oz. at a time out so it will take a good 12 times to really reduce the concentration of the old fluid, based upon my assuming 40 oz or so in the system from what others have said. Then, I figure every oil change (3,500mi for me) I will just suction it out while I am doing the oil and it will always have new fluid and the math tells me that doing it this way I am basically changing the fluid every 35,000 miles or darn close to it. It may be overkill, maybe not, but considering I will do this only 4 times per year or so, it will cost just 1 qt of fluid....CHEAP protection!!! I don't care if it's overkill since $4 in fluid an my few minutes is cheaper than leaky ps system that new fluid may just prevent for me.

Thanks for all everybody's help! I hope this helps somebody, too!
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:18 PM
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great thread guys! i'll be doing some turkey basting tomorrow for sure now!
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Old 09-24-2007, 01:37 PM
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I found current turkey basters to large in OD to fit the ID of the PS container. I used my Mighty Vac and sucked it out and refilled. wasted my 2.99...LOL.
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Old 09-24-2007, 04:00 PM
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no need for turkey baster, jsut disconnect the hoses leading to and fron the resevior and empty it into a wide container good enough to catch the fluid (use a plastic bucket some people make salads in)

gets more fluid out and its faster
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Bobo View Post
Just use Dextron III automatic transmission fluid.
so its settled then. use dextron III ATF in a 1997 maxima? the manual is vague at best.
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Old 12-30-2007, 02:39 PM
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Turkey baster method won't get all of it out of the reservoir. As soon as you let go of the suction ball, it will run back into the reservoir.

I use this, can be found at most hardware/automotive stores:



This will get all the oil out. I then refill with Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF. I do this every oil change to keep it fresh.
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Old 03-27-2008, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by NUmaxima View Post
I also spoke with a Nissan dealership like TopSpeedNY and they told me that if you are doing a complete drain and refill for an 02 max, you must use power steering fluid when refilling. However, if you are just topping off, you can pour in some Dexron compatible ATF, aka M1, Amsoil and so on.

The parts guy I spoke was real cool. He explained that ATF does not have the proper additives for the PS system to work properly. Draining and refilling with ATF will lead to an eventually breakdown of your system. The PS system in an 02 max requires a higher viscosity substance like PS fluid.

I hope that clears some things up.

That is so dumb for a parts person to say that. The owners man clearly states ATF ONLY. Go with Amsoil and don't look back!

Zack
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Old 03-30-2008, 06:34 PM
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I cant find the mobil 1 thats dexron iii compatible, the new mobil 1 is mercuron compatible. What can i get from pepboys or autozone to use for my power steering? Thanks
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:35 PM
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what about using nissan ATF? thats what i used last time i did a drain and fill
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Old 04-12-2008, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by hotstartup View Post
what about using nissan ATF? thats what i used last time i did a drain and fill
It should work if it's the matic-D fluid.
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Old 04-12-2008, 05:14 PM
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not sure if its matic-D or not, it was whatever the dealer sells for tranny fluid for our cars. ill be doing another drain and fill ill just get the power steering fluid this time. are there more tahn one kind of ATF from the dealer for the max?
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Old 04-12-2008, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by hotstartup View Post
not sure if its matic-D or not, it was whatever the dealer sells for tranny fluid for our cars. ill be doing another drain and fill ill just get the power steering fluid this time. are there more tahn one kind of ATF from the dealer for the max?
Yes, there's D, J and K fluids for different transmissions. It will say on the bottle what it is.
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Old 04-12-2008, 06:51 PM
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doesnt say, just says Keyline. atf fluid for nissan and infiniti.
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by hotstartup View Post
doesnt say, just says Keyline. atf fluid for nissan and infiniti.
I didn't notice you're in Canada. I can't tell you why, but it appears that Nissan labels their ATF differently for the Canadian market. Service manuals for my '98 and '00 state that for the Canadian market to use "Genuine Nissan ATF"...no mention of type-D like they state for the US market. So you should be fine. If in doubt, check back with your dealer and see if that's the only ATF they offer. Good luck.
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Old 04-13-2008, 09:33 AM
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thanks, i think im just gonna get the power steerin fluid they sell next time. Will do a drain and fill again soon, this time with the power steering fluid. doub i got enough concentartion of the ATF to mess anything up.
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:28 PM
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Is valvoline MaxLife DEX/MERC ATF ok to use? Heres the site

http://www.valvoline.com/pages/produ....asp?product=6
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Old 05-17-2008, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by maxx0831 View Post
Is valvoline MaxLife DEX/MERC ATF ok to use? Heres the site

http://www.valvoline.com/pages/produ....asp?product=6
Yes
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Old 05-17-2008, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by 2quik View Post
I cant find the mobil 1 thats dexron iii compatible, the new mobil 1 is mercuron compatible. What can i get from pepboys or autozone to use for my power steering? Thanks
That is the Dexron III compatible version, however the front of the bottle only shows Mercon V.

http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/...hetic_ATF.aspx
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:22 PM
  #106  
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bit of a bump, but it seems relevant. What could be ideal.. would be to find some sort of high temp stable dye, inject some into your fluid, run the car for a few mins to mix it, then use that to determine when your turkey baster job has removed enough of the old fluid...
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by MaxBlu5 View Post
I was a little weary of trying to remove the hoses, so I came up with an idea. I was out at a store yesterday, and walked passed soap bottles. I came up with the idea of using the soap pump thingy to get the remaining fluid that the turkey baster couldn't. There is a barrier in the actual reservoir, but on the side in the tank there is a opening, and was able to put the pump in there to pump out the remaining fluid. I got pretty much all of it out. So, if your scared in other words like me, lol, on taking off the hoses, this method works.
I know this is an old thread, but the soap bottle pump thing worked very well. Was able to get like 95% out the reservoir. I actually used a lotion-bottle hand-pump thing which has a longer neck and was able to stick it in the reservoir pretty far.

My old PS fluid was brown and lumpy!



Something like above with a longer neck (if you don't know what we're talking about).

Last edited by ridinwitha35; 06-14-2009 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:43 AM
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do those PS fluid with stop leak formulas really work? I put some in and it stopped the grinding noise when I steer. Thanks.
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:01 AM
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I used a syringe I got from the dentist to wash out the "hole" created by having my wisdom teeth removed.

I had to clip off the end so it would draw faster, and sometimes I put a straw on the end to make it longer (and not worry about cross contamination).
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Old 05-25-2010, 03:10 PM
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ATF for power steering fluid

Just want to add my experience. Long story short I had to replace my high pressure power steering hose. We added ATF that was dexron compatible on Sunday. Now it's Tuesday and I finally picked up some Nissan power steering fluid.

I drained the power steering reservoir and the ATF is watery, as in no viscosity left. The fluid is also dark dark reddish in color. I might try to get a video of the fluid in a water bottle later on but it seems I'm going to stick with Nissan Power Steering Fluid for my 2002 SE. I'm at 204,000 miles.

To drain I just unclipped one of the hoses going to a cooling loop at the reservoir and tried to catch the fluid in a funnel in a water bottle, if there's a smaller funnel it would have worked better. I was left with a small puddle under the car but I caught most of the fluid.
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Old 05-25-2010, 04:07 PM
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i just use a turkey baster to suck the old fluid out. THen i use Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF .
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:44 PM
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power steering fluid cap

Hi Everyone!

I drive a 2003 Nissan Maxima SE, how can I refill the power steering fluid in my car? I tried opening the black cap but it won't bulge! I am so frustrated!!! Please help me! Also my car is leaking oil, my dad pour 2 10-40 this morning and then checked it a coupl minuts ago and it has no oil! Ugh, I am just had it!!!!!

-Jenn
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:49 AM
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Originally Posted by olivej View Post
Hi Everyone!

I drive a 2003 Nissan Maxima SE, how can I refill the power steering fluid in my car? I tried opening the black cap but it won't bulge! I am so frustrated!!! Please help me! Also my car is leaking oil, my dad pour 2 10-40 this morning and then checked it a coupl minuts ago and it has no oil! Ugh, I am just had it!!!!!

-Jenn
It takes a bit of force to take off the power steering fluid cap, just keep turning the cap a little each try until it pops off. Take care not to use too much force and end up smacking your face. I can tell you that it's not as fun as everyone says.

If you are leaking oil you'd see a puddle if you look under the car, I do hope there is no oil light showing up because if so.. cross your fingers there's no damage done to the engine.
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:55 AM
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When I change the power steering fluid, I usually suck all the oils in the reservoir with a turkey baster, and pour the fresh oil. I do this process 3~4 times throughout a week.
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:15 PM
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Original manual for a 2003 Maxima (VQ35DE) recommends Nissan PSF II. Nissan now sells, simply, "Power Steering Fluid" (p/n 999MP-AG000P).

Is this acceptable to use?
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:21 PM
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I'm in Lagos, Nigeria. I use a2006 Maxima (6th Generation). Nissan recommends Matic k ATF for the tranny, but that is difficult to come by at my location. My dealer suggests Matic D as an alternative. But how safe is this for the durability of my transmission? Is Matic D a compatible alternative to Matic K?
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Costee View Post
I'm in Lagos, Nigeria. I use a2006 Maxima (6th Generation). Nissan recommends Matic k ATF for the tranny, but that is difficult to come by at my location. My dealer suggests Matic D as an alternative. But how safe is this for the durability of my transmission? Is Matic D a compatible alternative to Matic K?
I would not recommend you use D as an alternative to Matic K. It could affect the operation and shift quality of the transmission. Some fluids are rated as meeting both specs, and that would be ok. Perhaps you will have better luck finding one of these multi-use fluids.
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Fok Voort View Post
Original manual for a 2003 Maxima (VQ35DE) recommends Nissan PSF II. Nissan now sells, simply, "Power Steering Fluid" (p/n 999MP-AG000P).

Is this acceptable to use?
Does your manual say "...or equivalent *8" after "PSFII" for the power steering fluid?
Mine says that, and then there's a footnote for that *8 at the bottom of the page that says:
"Genuine Nissan PSFII, Canada Nissan Automatic Transmission fluid, DexronIII/Mercon or equivalent ATF may also be used."
Does that new "Power Steering Fluid" sold by Nissan mention any of these types?
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:34 PM
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In my 1997 I just used my vac/brake bleader pump and just used the off the shelf power steering fluid.
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:01 PM
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I have 2004 nissan maxima. How do we change the power steering fuild n can I used royal purple max ATF on my power steering fuild?
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