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Old 25-03-2011   #1
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Power Steering Fluid Change???

Ok, so I have been experiencing some resistance in the wheel when steering to the right but not the left for some time. While researching the issue online the question of power steering fluid change popped out. Apparently there is no set recommended time or mileage limit but this is one of the most overlooked essential fluids in the car (along with tranny oil). Now, the recommended fluid is the Tutela GI/R which is a bit harder to find but I located it @ 14eur a liter (which is 300% more expensive than the older Tutela GI/E (dextron III equiv.). Capacity is 0.7L but one needs considerably more in order to get all the old fluid out of the system if doing it manually.
In my car the fluid is totally black with a chemical but not burnt smell. This tells me that either it was red when new (GI/E) and turned black from age because it was never changed since 10/05 OR it was replaced @ some point with some Dextron II/III equivalent. The reccomended GI/R is green in color.

So can someone look in their's over the weekend and let everyone know the color and condition of PS fluid? It is in the white bottle with a black cap in the back of the engine to the left side (at least is so on LHD). The system is of course totally GM so I am tempted to go with Dextron III being cheaper and needing a lot to manually recirculate all the old fluid out. I'm just not sure which way to go until I here from someone else. Changing can't hurt (other than the wallet) but might help with the instant locking of the wheel. Thanks!
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Old 26-03-2011   #2
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Re: Power Steering Fluid Change???

I have generally made a practice of "refreshing" power stering fluid around every 2 to 5 years. Around 36K miles.

To do this I just syphon off 75% of the resevoir (NOTE! no engine running, igniton off etc.) and then top back up with fresh fluid.

One could repeat this process (with driving periods between) several times to move from a 'refresh' to a 90% plus fluid change but I don't think this is necessary.

Also, don't get too hung up on Fiat Fluids. Fiat use generally industry compatible fluids so for example DEXRON is available from Texaco and others.

Make sure you check what Fiat recommend (in your handbook often listed as a Fiat specific AND alternative general spec requirement) and go with what you can easily get for a good price.
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Old 27-03-2011   #3
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Re: Power Steering Fluid Change???

Ok, thanks for the answer I am planning to do it myself most likely. My concern is with mixing fluids since I don't know what is in there (being neither red (older GI/E) nor recommended per handbook green (GI/R). Might just go with Dextron III but need more info. Just need to find a turkey baster, which is not going to be easy since no one really bastes turkeys in Serbia
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Old 27-03-2011   #4
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Re: Power Steering Fluid Change???

I've got some GI-R I bought a while ago to top up my rack and it's not red, more like a brown mineral oil. The rack is a Vectra one, is the Opel fluid cheaper than the Fiat stuff?
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Old 27-03-2011   #5
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Re: Power Steering Fluid Change???

Aha, there we go if its brownish it probably turned black from being in there for 5.5yrs. Will check with Opel for their price and recommended oil tomorrow and decide. Thanks
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Old 28-03-2011   #6
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Re: Power Steering Fluid Change???

Update, found GI/R at the dealer's also Opel has it, GM part number for synth PS fluid is 931 605 48, also FEBI 06161 and even VW synth can be used. They are all synth and all green. Still having a problem finding a turkey baster or a large syringe.
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Old 28-03-2011   #7
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Re: Power Steering Fluid Change???

Quote Originally Posted by notorious View Post
Still having a problem finding a turkey baster or a large syringe.
How about a bicycle pump with tube attached. I've used this method/approach before to great success.
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Old 28-03-2011   #8
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Re: Power Steering Fluid Change???

I found a 120ml big caterer syringe for less than a euro so will be doing this in the next few days. I'm still waiting to hear on Fiat Club discount and availability of GI/R fluid @ Fiat dealer for around 13 eur/L if not will get it @ Opel for 15 eur.
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Old 31-03-2011   #9
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Re: Power Steering Fluid Change???

Ok, did the first fluid exchage today, will drive for a few days and do it again. The fluid I took out is very black indeed vs. the nice green hue of the new fluid. It was also a bit on tthe low side. The dipstick is prety crappy with no clear marks just an area with a diff. texture that marks min & max. In adition to the catether syringe (ouch!) I used IV drip tubing but aquarium air tubing can be used as well. You need just 5-8 in total length but it's all cheap 1.5 eur total for syringe and tubing. Opel fluid is 14.50eur/L no discount but other dealers were more expensive. Note the GM fluid numbers on the bottle. Wear gloves, try not to spill too much. Here are the pictures:









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Last edited by notorious; 31-03-2011 at 18:32.
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