Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Parker County, TX and Santa Fe County, NM
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
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Re: Power Steering Flush?!
I've done it on a couple of FJ80's that had +/- 200,000 miles. I'd be very surprised if an FJC with only 40,000 miles needed it unless you've really hammered your steering (like with huge tires and a LOT of rock crawling). Look at and smell the old fluid. If it's very dark and smells burnt, it may need flushing. If it doesn't, suspect your mechanic of making up work to bill you for.
If you need or want to, the procedure is simple but takes a little while and needs an assistant:
1. Disconnect the return line from the pump back to the reservoir, and turn it down into the biggest cup or container you can fit in the space available.
2. Make sure the reservoir is full; higher than the "full" mark is OK for this exercise.
3. Have your assistant start the engine and shut it off after just a second or two. Without the old fluid returning to the reservoir, the pump will empty the reservoir very quickly. The goal is, to pump out the old fluid WITHOUT draining it all the way to the bottom of the reservoir and introducing air into the system.
4. Re-fill the reservoir with new Dexron-type ATF (synthetic highly recommended!) and drain the catch-cup if necessary.
5. Repeat steps 3. and 4. until all of the fluid coming out of the return line is fresh, clean, sweet-smelling, bright-red new ATF. When this is achieved (usually about 1 to 1.5 quarts, depending on the system), refill the final time to the upper fill line on the reservoir.
6. Reconnect the fluid return line to the reservoir and tighten or replace the hose clamp.
7. If you drained it dry or if their are any air bubbles bubbles or any foam in the ATF in the reservoir, you will have to bleed the system by putting both front wheels completely off the ground with jack stands, turning on the engine (transmission in PARK or NEUTRAL!), and slowly moving the steering wheel from lock-to-lock. Add more ATF if necessary. You may have to do this 7 or 8 times before you get rid of all the air (foam and/or bubbles).