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

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

Old 07-30-2003, 08:17 AM
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Power Steering Fluid

is it normal for power steering fluid to decrease a little over time? like a few years time?

Is it ok to just add new fluid and top it off? what kind should be used for a 97 max?
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Old 07-30-2003, 09:00 AM
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Instructions on how to change Power Steering Fluid is provided here:

4th generation Maxima specific, but should apply to 3rd and 5th gen Maximas as well:

http://www.motorvate.ca/mvp.php/702

It's a simpler approach and is better than trying to pull power steering fluid lines and flushing in a similar way to a transmission flush because power steering lines operate at a MUCH higher pressure than the transmission fluid return line. You're likely to hurt yourself if you try flushing the power steering fluid in this manner.

A 30 to 60k interval is probably sufficient. A synthetic ATF which is Dexron II or Dexron III compatible (such as Mobil 1 ATF or Amsoil ATF) should be used for longer usable life.
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Old 09-05-2003, 11:52 PM
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I had always thought that ATF is what you put in the power steering resevoir, but today at Wal-Mart I saw "Power Steering Fluid" .. how is this different from using ATF?
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Old 09-11-2003, 06:48 AM
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Usually it isn't different at all. If your owner's manual recommends Dexron II/III fluid, then it's still ATF.

Make sure the bottle says Dexron compatible and you're good to go.
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Old 11-25-2003, 03:05 PM
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I've done this several times. Fluid looks nice and red, but still smells burnt. Should it be flushed instead? kinda like flushing atf in transmission?
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Old 11-26-2003, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by SamMan23
I've done this several times. Fluid looks nice and red, but still smells burnt. Should it be flushed instead? kinda like flushing atf in transmission?

Problem with that is power steering fluid operates at a very high pressure, making DIY flushing a potentially dangerous operation......not saying it can't be done, but it isn't like ATF, which runs at a reasonable pressure.
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Old 05-16-2004, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bill99gxe
4th generation Maxima specific, but should apply to 3rd and 5th gen Maximas as well:

http://www.motorvate.ca/mvp.php/702

It's a simpler approach and is better than trying to pull power steering fluid lines and flushing in a similar way to a transmission flush because power steering lines operate at a MUCH higher pressure than the transmission fluid return line. You're likely to hurt yourself if you try flushing the power steering fluid in this manner.

A 30 to 60k interval is probably sufficient. A synthetic ATF which is Dexron II or Dexron III compatible (such as Mobil 1 ATF or Amsoil ATF) should be used for longer usable life.
Won't mixing new and old fluid be bad?
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Old 05-16-2004, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by RastaManMax
Won't mixing new and old fluid be bad?
If you add the correct fluid, it should be fully compatible and it will cause no harm mixing old and new. I recommend you remove/replace the fluid a few times in the course of a couple days to increase the concentration of new fluid in the system. Change the fluid, drive the car around for a bit, and repeat the process, etc, etc.
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Old 08-02-2004, 10:26 AM
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Can I use Synthetic Valvoline? I hav eno idea the book says PSFII, I looked at the STP, Valvoline and none said PSFII. Can someone give me a brand name?
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Old 12-22-2004, 08:00 PM
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would someone post brand names here? or a list for a 97 maxima?
i was thinking of MOBIL 1 ATF, but i read that someone had to topoff as it went below the COLD MIN???
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Old 12-22-2004, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by FishyMan
would someone post brand names here? or a list for a 97 maxima?
i was thinking of MOBIL 1 ATF, but i read that someone had to topoff as it went below the COLD MIN???
I've used AMSOIL ATF (in power steering applications requiring D-III) for years in a number of vehicles and it's worked great. The PS units appear to run cooler and the fluid seems to hold up well.
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Old 12-22-2004, 08:30 PM
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Any ATF rated Dextron-II/ Dextron-III will work.
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Old 12-23-2004, 01:28 AM
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thank you excuse my noob..

i'm gonna pick mobil-1 syn atf tomrorw. the mobil.com site says it is approved for general motors dexron III

so im guessing its good

thanks ^.^
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Old 12-23-2004, 09:04 AM
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Yes, you won't be disappointed. I just sucked out my old power steering fluid and refilled with the Mobil 1 ATF last week and everything seems to be running fine.
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Old 12-23-2004, 06:04 PM
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creeps i went down today.. and couldn't find mobil 1 ATF, though CHOKE valv, and other kind brands.. are valvoline brands good? i guess aslong dexron 3.. ill ck another shop if not ill just pick the valvoline brand..

i also saw a seperate section of PS fluid. like pyroil and what not.
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Old 12-24-2004, 12:29 AM
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okie so no mobil 1..

i setteld for valvoline atf for dexcron III it should be okay right?

i am curious as to exactly how and why atf can be used instead of the powersteering fluids..
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Old 12-24-2004, 12:43 AM
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Valvoline should be fine, yes. For future notice, you can order Amsoil ATF through talkinghorse for really cheap and you can use that for your power steering fluid.
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Old 12-24-2004, 02:12 AM
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oh cool thank you maybe when i do the ATF for th tranny..

thanks..
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Old 02-05-2005, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by S00NR1
Yes, you won't be disappointed. I just sucked out my old power steering fluid and refilled with the Mobil 1 ATF last week and everything seems to be running fine.
I just did this in my car with Mobil 1 ATF ... just wondering what you felt was not running fine which is now fine . I didn't go out yet but will see how this new fluid affects power steering ...

oh, btw, did you do it second time in 'few weeks' as suggested to increase the concentration of new fluid ?!? How many days is good to wait to do it again ??
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Old 02-07-2005, 07:00 PM
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Holy freaking apropos. I have not visited here in a few weeks and today in my 97 max noticed my level low, so what do I do? Come to maxima.org and ask a question. But wait! A thread, with all answers, already started. Thanks guys, I think I'll run off to autozone right now for some fluids

OK I tried this last night and got only around 2 oz out of the reservoir. What is the overall capacity of the system? It seems that this could take a lot of changes to have a meaningful effect on replacing the old with new.

Also, how fast does PS fluid circulate, and how long should be left between these small fluid replacement efforts? 3 miles driving? 30?

EDIT: To answer my circulation question, I'd guess it circulates quite quickly, because it seems there is an in and out tube from the reservoir, so presumably the fluid is cycled pretty quickly.
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:21 PM
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how about nissan oem power steering fluid, dealer sells them for 3.95
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Old 03-11-2005, 02:57 AM
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i've used valvoline and no probs.. all is well.. nit ni tnit
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Old 03-13-2005, 08:06 PM
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would old fluid adversely effect steering?
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Old 04-05-2005, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by aprentice
would old fluid adversely effect steering?
In normal driving conditions you will not understand anything. If you are "spirited" or drive at any competition-level old fluid overheats faster than new and you start "loosing" the power-steering assistance earlier.
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Old 04-19-2005, 11:27 PM
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Is Penzoil Dextron lll ATF a goood oil to put in the power steering????
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Old 04-20-2005, 12:22 AM
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Yes. It is good and what Nissan suggests.
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Old 04-20-2005, 03:57 AM
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yes.. a bottle of atf + baster costs under $5??? hahaha.. just do it, simplest ever..
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Old 05-21-2005, 12:15 PM
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do it like nissan says... :attention
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:21 AM
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power steering reservoir empty

Well, the power steering reservoir was completely empty when my son came back from an all-day trip.

So I added Prestone Power Steering Fluid with a leak stopper. After reading this forum, I'm worried that it's not the correct one

Do I need to suck it out with a turkey baster and replace it with NISSAN PSFII? The steering still is extremely difficult if not impossible. I added the fluid this morning, but haven't driven it.
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Old 05-31-2005, 10:35 AM
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Just use Dextron III automatic transmission fluid.
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Old 06-06-2005, 11:19 PM
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I have a '96 and probably never changed the power steering fluid before ... which Dextron # do u recommend?
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Old 06-06-2005, 11:25 PM
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Dextron number?? I am thinking you are looking for Dextron III. Personally, I just used the extra Mobil1 ATF I had in the garage....works great.
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Old 06-06-2005, 11:37 PM
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alright thanks ill use amsoil or mobile 1
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Old 06-07-2005, 09:40 AM
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Does anyone know the part number or size of the Power Steering hoses for the 4th Gen. ? I've had a leak for a while, I had someone turning the wheel while the car was running but I can't tell directly where it is coming from, and it's not leaking directly from the resourvoir. The fluid that leaked out is mostly on the frame under the radiator. I tried looking in the Haynes Manual but it didn't have the info I was looking for.
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Old 06-16-2005, 01:39 PM
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I use the old shop vac for everthing including sucking out power steering fluid from the resovoir. works great
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Old 10-14-2005, 10:41 AM
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I bought Vavoline Syn Power Power steering fluid. That should be fine right?
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Old 10-15-2005, 11:24 AM
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Do not use Val Syn Power Power Steering fluid.

Per Nissan manual, you should use ATF in the steering system. I use M1 Syn ATF.
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Old 10-15-2005, 02:55 PM
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Ok. Thanks. I'll go get some Mobil 1.
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Old 11-08-2005, 12:41 AM
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I just changed out my PS fluid with Mobil1 synthetic ATF....the difference in color was amazing...

Where did you guys buy your Turkey Baster? I didn't have one in hand so I just pulled the hose from the bottom of the reservouir....made a big mess but it now feels great to have synthetic fluid
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Old 11-28-2005, 08:18 PM
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I just changed my PS fluid and I used Valvoline Syn Power...
Is this harmful to the pump or should I just leave it as it is?
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