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Maintenance Tech This forum is for discussion of all aspects of maintenance that should be performed on the FJ Cruiser to keep it operating at maximum efficiency.
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Power Steering Flush?!

Last time at the mechanic, I was told I need a power steering flush...i only have 40,000 on my baby...is this something that can be easily done at home or should I let them do it?
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Power Steering Flush?!

In all of the scheduled maintenance that I see I don't recall seeing a power steering flush. Check your maintenance booklet. I don't think it is necessary after 40,000 miles or even more. Some high performance cars recommend a brake fluid flush after 2 years or so but that is because the fluid is generally subjected to heat from the disc brakes.
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Power Steering Flush?!

yeah..they told me it was "dirty" and should be flushed
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Power Steering Flush?!

I've not heard of a power steering flush as part of maintenance. Power steering fluid is recirculated fairly slowly and heated a bit so any moisture that's absorbed gets driven off. Brake fluid absorbs moisture and doesn't heat up much except at the calipers so the moisture stays in the fluid and eventually give poor brake response and can corrode the system. In motorcycles the brake fluid is changed every two years. It's not bad practice to replace the brake fluid in any car with a brake job. If you're going to open the bleeders change the fluid.
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Power Steering Flush?!

Same thing happened to me at the dealership. It's not part of the schedule but it seems they check it. They said mine was also dirty and contaminated. And for a $100 plus dollars they would remedy the problem. Is this really a problem or a money maker?

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Old 11-04-2009, 12:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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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).
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Old 11-04-2009, 06:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Power Steering Flush?!

If the P.S. is working fine and it doesn't smell burnt and doesn't feel gritty between your fingers and doesn't appear to have metal flakes in it then just suck out the reservoir with a turkey baster every (or every other) oil change and replace with fresh synthetic. Takes 2 minutes tops.

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Old 11-05-2009, 04:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Power Steering Flush?!

Great information! thanks!
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Power Steering Flush?!

I did mine last Spring, and despite never being offroad, the fluid was already black and had a *bit* of a burned smell to it. I debated using the Redline Power Steering fluid, or Amsoil Universal ATF. Went with the Amsoil

Jacked up the front and supported on stands, so the front wheels were off the ground. I siphoned the old crap out of the reservoir, removed the fluid return hose from the rack, and stuck the hose into a 5 gal pail underneath. Capped off the port on the reservoir and refilled with the Amsoil

Had a neighbor kid help out by starting the motor, and *gently* turning the wheel from lock to lock. It was a bit frantic as I had to keep fluid in the reservoir. Went through 4 US quarts before the return line started pissing bright red

The assist is definitely smoother now. My next project is the power steering cooler. I do belive our FJ's need both an external trans cooler *and* an external PS cooler

Toyo22r has an excellent writeup

http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forum...r-install.html

It should be a sticky in the How To section
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Old 11-08-2009, 03:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Power Steering Flush?!

Quote:
jayman previously said: View Post
I did mine last Spring, and despite never being offroad, the fluid was already black and had a *bit* of a burned smell to it. I debated using the Redline Power Steering fluid, or Amsoil Universal ATF. Went with the Amsoil

Jacked up the front and supported on stands, so the front wheels were off the ground. I siphoned the old crap out of the reservoir, removed the fluid return hose from the rack, and stuck the hose into a 5 gal pail underneath. Capped off the port on the reservoir and refilled with the Amsoil

Had a neighbor kid help out by starting the motor, and *gently* turning the wheel from lock to lock. It was a bit frantic as I had to keep fluid in the reservoir. Went through 4 US quarts before the return line started pissing bright red

The assist is definitely smoother now. My next project is the power steering cooler. I do belive our FJ's need both an external trans cooler *and* an external PS cooler

Toyo22r has an excellent writeup

http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forum...r-install.html

It should be a sticky in the How To section
Jay, I've looked thru as many online manuals as I could find and wasn't able to determine what the total power steering fluid capacity is on the FJ. Sounds like 4 qts is close. Do you have any idea?

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Original newspaper add placed by William Hepburn Russell, founder of the The Pony Express
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