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Discussion Starter #1
I don’t think this is commonly done, but I’m thinking of flushing my power steering fluid.

Anyone know which is the return line? A or B?

 
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Sig228 said:
I don’t think this is commonly done, but I’m thinking of flushing my power steering fluid.

Anyone know which is the return line? A or B?

i got to do the same thing, let me know how it goes
 

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I believe the small one is the return line, but don't quote me on that. Let's put it this way, whichever of the two lines that runs to the PS pump is not the return line. Also, the return line is usually located higher up on the reservoir than the feed line

A power steering flush works similarly to a brake flush. The idea is to get the on-board pump to flush out the old fluid and suck in the new fluid.

The idea is to disconnect the PS return line so that you can pump the old PS fluid out into a jar, and feed new PS fluid into the reservoir. You want to have the front of the vehicle lifted off the ground so that there is little resistance on the front wheels. Just like you would pump the brake pedal to do a brake flush, you want to turn the steering wheel left and right to pump out the old fluid.

It's really a two man job, because one person will turn the steering wheel lock-to-lock back and forth, and the other will feed new PS fluid into the reservoir as the old fluid runs into the jar.

Power steering fluid usually lasts the longest of any fluid in your vehicle, so it does not need to be changed as often as your engine oil or transmission fluid.
 

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Here's the perfect DIY instructions Ken4 posted in Toyotanation:

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/t19334.html


Ken4 said:
First I jack up the front end. I do this so that I dont need to start the engine. Lifting the front end means I can simply turn the steering wheel and pump out the fluid.





Then I cover the surrounding area with lots of rags. In my case that would be old underwear. LOL.





I use an old shampoo pump bottle to pump out the old fluid from the reservior.







I then top up with fresh Castrol Dex III, I buy them in 18L buckets. Next comes the secret, the correct connectors. One to connect the return hose to a bucket.





And the other to act like a plug to cap off the reservoir inlet.





So the connection looks something like this.



I use transparent plastic hose with ID about 9mm. I lead the return hose to a bucket.



After all the connections are in place. I simply turn the steering left and right. Fluid pumps out easily. Like doing a blood transplant.



I dont allow the fluid to drop too much in the reservoir. I cautiously top up quickly. Cos if air enters the PS system, that would be disaster. In my case, I discovered once I started the fluid flowing, I didnt have to turn the steering no more, the fluid was flowing out by itself, 'siphon effect'. Within a minute, fresh fluid was already coming out the return side. The PS system only has about 1L of fluid in it. The total amount of new fluid I used was only about 1.5L. So now I remove the connectors and reconnect the return hose to the reservoir. There will be some small spillage cos new fluid will be coming out the reservoir inlet. This is where the rags (or underwear) comes handy. I covered the reservoir area very well cos I was afraid oil might get on to the belts but it was really overkill. The amount that spilled out was very little. Just one rag under the reservior would have been sufficient. It took me less than 30mins to do the DIY flush. This flush was as simple as doing an oil change. The connectors and hose cost my S$5. 1.5L of Dex III is about S$6
 
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Hmm, my only concern with this type of flush is that you have the potential for running the system out of fluid if you don't pay close attention...

I just siphon out what I can from the reservoir every other oil change or so...it's a good reminder for me to do that and rotate the tires at the same time...

Bogatyr
 

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This isn't a big deal, but something that is always overlooked in cars and should be addressed eventually...

Our two cars are 12 and 14 years old, respectively. The power steering fluid in the older one finally went bad a few months ago and the pump started making disturbing noises. To replace the fluid, I siphoned out the old fluid in the reservoir and replaced it with new, drove it a couple of times, and then repeated. This took about 10 times over a few weeks, did not completely replace the fluid, and was a bit of a pain.

Today I used the method in this thread for the Rav. It was easy. The whole thing took about 15 minutes. It's more of a fluid replacement than a flush in that no cleaner or pressure is used. I didn't get the connectors, just 6 feet (1.8 m) of 5/16" (8 mm) plastic/vinyl tubing .

Procedure:
Place rag under reservoir.
Siphon out old fluid in reservoir.
Disconnect return line (see below photos).
Block return line hole in reservoir with tapered punch, stopper, or similar object. (There is no pressure here, so a loose fit is ok.)
Fit/connect plastic hose into return line. (My plastic tubing slid perfectly into the return line. No clamping or connector was needed.)
Put other end of hose into a 1 gallon milk jug (or similar).
Fill reservoir to very top with new fluid.
Start engine and immediately turn it off. <--- This is important.
Refill reservoir to very top.
Repeat engine start/stop and fluid refill several times.
I turned the wheel a little each time too. Don't worry if a little air gets in the system. It bleeds off.

To bleed the system, run the engine at high idle and turn wheel left and right a few times, but not all the way to lock. Then run at high idle with wheels straight for a couple of minutes. Watch reservoir to ensure fluid level is correct.

The return line on our '96 is the one that points towards the front of the vehicle and runs all the way over to the steering assembly under the steering wheel on the other side of the vehicle. This is the one you want to disconnect and drain. You can see it on the far right side in this picture. (Disregard the colored frame in the photo.) The hose makes a U turn immediately after it leaves the reservior and heads back toward the firewall:
/forums/album_pic.php?pic_id=3522


The line to the pump is the larger one that points towards the firewall. Do not disconnect it. You can see it here heading downwards. (Disregard the colored frames in the photo.) :
/forums/album_pic.php?pic_id=3528

This thread should probably be in the DIY section...
 
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