I replaced the power steering fluid in my Mitsubishi Outlander over the past two weeks with Synthetic Universal Power Steering Fluid (PSF).
Be sure to check the application guide for your vehicle as some use ATF – like the 2006 Pontiac Vibe – instead of PSF.
Using a hand pump I was able to remove about 150ml of fluid from the reservoir at a time. Then I drove the vehicle for a day to work the new fluid into the system. I did this for 3 bottles of PSF which is ~1.5L since the power steering system capacity is 1L on my Outlander.
It’s not as good as a full flush but does remove most of the old fluid over time and some of the impurities in the system. The advantage is that it’s a lot easier for a home DIY mechanic to do themselves instead of the full flushing procedure which for a 2009 Outlander is basically:
- jacking up the front wheels – to turn them from lock to lock without destroying the tires
- disconnecting the spark plugs
- disconnecting the return hose from the power steering reservoir
- using the starter to cycle the power steering pump to discharge the fluid into a container
- connecting everything again
- filling and bleeding the system
If you notice big chunks of solids in your fluid have the entire system flushed properly. I’ll probably do a full flush next time in two years.
This is the first batch of fluid that came out compared to a fresh bottle. I’m sure the Mitsubishi factory fill probably isn’t the same colour as the new PSF bottle on the left but you can tell it has seen 2 years and 42,000km of use.
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If you’re interested in the difference between PSF and ATF for the power steering on your vehicle check out this post over on BITOG.
The general rule of thumb is if it specs an automatic transmission fluid use an ATF that meets the specification (ie, DEXRON IV, etc). If your vehicle specs a power steering fluid than use PSF.