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Unread 09-10-2009, 05:19 PM   #1
Liberty03
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Toronto, Canada
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How to flush Power Steering Fluid??

Hi there,
My liberty is getting to the point where its time to flush out the Power Steering Fluid but I can't seem to find a "How to". I looked through my Haynes manual and they talk about bleeding the system to remove air but nothing on how to just replace the fluid. Is it just a matter of replacing the fluid in the reservoir? If so that seems like you are doing half the job.

Thanks for the help

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Unread 09-24-2009, 12:04 AM   #2
colt808
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I've done it several times on my 98 GC, so it shouldn't be that different. Here's what you'll need:

A jack and 2 jackstands
2-3' of clear hose 3/8" ID
3 or 4 quarts of fluid (PS or MS5931 depending on what yours uses)
A hobby clamp (giant clothes pin with rubber on the ends - you'll find them in a hardware store)
An empty 1 gallon container (a old milk jug works great)

1) Jack up the front end until the tires are off the ground, then support with the jackstands.

2) Using the hobby clamp, pinch off the return line and remove the hose clamp from the steering box. This will keep the reservoir from draining out onto the ground. You can also use a 3/8" diameter piece of dowel to plug the hose instead of the clamp, but make sure you have a drip pan as the reservoir will drain out.

3) Attach the clear hose to the nipple you just removed the return hose from and place the other end in the gallon container.

4) Remove the fill cap on the reservoir.

5) Turn the wheel SLOWLY to the right then left. The fluid will start pumping out into the gallon container. During this process it is important to keep topping off the reservoir with fresh fluid. It goes faster/easier if you have someone else turn the wheel while you fill, but it can be done solo.

6) Here's when using the clear hose is important...it allows you to see the fluid as it pumps out of the system. When the fluid coming out is clean, your system has been flushed!

7) Reconnect the return hose and bleed the air out of the system before starting the engine. If you kept your reservoir filled during the flushing process, there shouldn't be much air.

You should check and top off the fluid for the next few days.

Last edited by colt808; 09-24-2009 at 12:35 AM..
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Unread 01-27-2010, 03:33 PM   #3
TontoKowalski
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colt808 View Post
3 or 4 quarts of fluid (PS or MS5931 depending on what yours uses)
system has been flushed!
Colt,
Did you use MOPAR Fluid in your 98?
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Unread 01-28-2010, 02:58 AM   #4
scottunangst
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TontoKowalski View Post
Colt,
Did you use MOPAR Fluid in your 98?
my '05 liberty crd owners manual calls for atf+4 for use as power steering fluid.
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Unread 01-28-2010, 09:24 AM   #5
Liberty03
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thanks for the info colt808!!!!
I will give it a try once we get a bit of a break in weather around here.

My '03 also states Mopar ATF+4 to be used as the power steering fluid.
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Unread 01-28-2010, 01:30 PM   #6
colt808
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TontoKowalski View Post
Colt,
Did you use MOPAR Fluid in your 98?
Nope just regular store brand power steering fluid. I was planning to pick up the MOPAR fluid from the stealership, but the parts clerk let me in on a secret...it's just regular power steering fluid. He recommended going to Walmart. They only had small quart size bottles with stop leak additive, so I ended up going to Checker and getting a gallon for $9.99. Still beats MOPAR fluid which was $12.99/quart. I only used about 1/2 a gallon (2 quarts).

Note that if your fluid is really nasty looking or you're doing this after a pump failure, check the system for leaks/the cause of the failure first.
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Unread 01-28-2010, 01:50 PM   #7
95BadBoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TontoKowalski View Post
Colt,
Did you use MOPAR Fluid in your 98?
I will second the use of ATF+4 in your power steering., doesn't have to be Mopar brand. Just needs to be to ATF+4 specs. FWIW But then again - it's your rig, just saying.
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Unread 01-28-2010, 05:10 PM   #8
colt808
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95BadBoy View Post
I will second the use of ATF+4 in your power steering., doesn't have to be Mopar brand. Just needs to be to ATF+4 specs. FWIW But then again - it's your rig, just saying.
Hmmm...we're talking about the ZJ? Because it requires PS fluid, not ATF+4...the pump and rack are not designed to run ATF, doing so would likely degrade the seals and cause serious leaks or worse, damage the entire steering system. Newer Chrysler/Jeep models are designed to run ATF+4, but the majority of pre-99 models are not.

Just so there's no confusion on this, the two are not interchangeable. If your system calls for ATF+4, do not use regular PS fluid and vise versa.
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Unread 01-28-2010, 10:37 PM   #9
95BadBoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colt808 View Post
Hmmm...we're talking about the ZJ? Because it requires PS fluid, not ATF+4...the pump and rack are not designed to run ATF, doing so would likely degrade the seals and cause serious leaks or worse, damage the entire steering system. Newer Chrysler/Jeep models are designed to run ATF+4, but the majority of pre-99 models are not.

Just so there's no confusion on this, the two are not interchangeable. If your system calls for ATF+4, do not use regular PS fluid and vise versa.
colt - my bad, without paying attention as usual I was thinking discussion went back to the KJ side of things.

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FS or FT (2) JK Rubi 17" Moab Rims - really nice shape
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Unread 01-29-2010, 08:55 AM   #10
colt808
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Originally Posted by 95BadBoy View Post
colt - my bad, without paying attention as usual I was thinking discussion went back to the KJ side of things.

No bad...to be honest, it got me thinking too. Then I remembered a guy in my unit who had ATF+4 in his rig after a visit to jiffy screw. It handled great on the highway, but 10 minutes into some off-road driving the entire system crapped out. He was lucky that all he had to replace was the pump and belt after a complete flush. The smell of burning fluid in the engine compartment was another matter.
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Unread 01-29-2010, 09:23 AM   #11
TontoKowalski
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Now you guys got me scared. I just found a service special at Sears Automotive for a full flush for $54.00. I'm really hoping that they put the right kind of fluid in there!
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Unread 02-27-2010, 09:28 PM   #12
johnnydice
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I got one of them 12 volt vacuums pumps on ebay for like 5 bucks ..i slide the hose down inside suck up all the lower fluids and anything else at bottom first .. best to have fluids a little warm by running the engine , but gets down in it nice . then refill slowly or you can use the pump with hose to replace the fluids to .. just switch the tubes . i also use it to keep brake fluids fresh too . also great for the differentials quick change. gonna try it on the transfer cases soon , but really does do a great job . look up 12 volt oil changer on the ebay
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Unread 02-27-2010, 09:31 PM   #13
tjkj2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colt808 View Post
Hmmm...we're talking about the ZJ? Because it requires PS fluid, not ATF+4...the pump and rack are not designed to run ATF, doing so would likely degrade the seals and cause serious leaks or worse, damage the entire steering system. Newer Chrysler/Jeep models are designed to run ATF+4, but the majority of pre-99 models are not.

Just so there's no confusion on this, the two are not interchangeable. If your system calls for ATF+4, do not use regular PS fluid and vise versa.
There is a TSB that updates the PS fluid,besides a few Jeeps that use the PS pump to run the fan which still uses regular PS fluid,to ATF+4 for all models.Running regular PS fluid as long as it has been flushed real good will hurt nothing in newer Jeeps labeled for ATF+4 in the PS system.
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Unread 10-24-2010, 09:16 AM   #14
Tjosh97
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This is a great write up wish it had some pics too for the beginners like myself This should be the same for TJs correct?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colt808 View Post
I've done it several times on my 98 GC, so it shouldn't be that different. Here's what you'll need:

A jack and 2 jackstands
2-3' of clear hose 3/8" ID
3 or 4 quarts of fluid (PS or MS5931 depending on what yours uses)
A hobby clamp (giant clothes pin with rubber on the ends - you'll find them in a hardware store)
An empty 1 gallon container (a old milk jug works great)

1) Jack up the front end until the tires are off the ground, then support with the jackstands.

2) Using the hobby clamp, pinch off the return line and remove the hose clamp from the steering box. This will keep the reservoir from draining out onto the ground. You can also use a 3/8" diameter piece of dowel to plug the hose instead of the clamp, but make sure you have a drip pan as the reservoir will drain out.

3) Attach the clear hose to the nipple you just removed the return hose from and place the other end in the gallon container.

4) Remove the fill cap on the reservoir.

5) Turn the wheel SLOWLY to the right then left. The fluid will start pumping out into the gallon container. During this process it is important to keep topping off the reservoir with fresh fluid. It goes faster/easier if you have someone else turn the wheel while you fill, but it can be done solo.

6) Here's when using the clear hose is important...it allows you to see the fluid as it pumps out of the system. When the fluid coming out is clean, your system has been flushed!

7) Reconnect the return hose and bleed the air out of the system before starting the engine. If you kept your reservoir filled during the flushing process, there shouldn't be much air.

You should check and top off the fluid for the next few days.
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Unread 10-24-2010, 10:21 AM   #15
colt808
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjosh97 View Post
This is a great write up wish it had some pics too for the beginners like myself This should be the same for TJs correct?
You're only a beginner once...

When I did it the first time, I made a few mistakes. But that's all part of the learning process. In my case, I didn't pick up enough fluid and ended up having to bleed the system a second time when I ran out.

And yes the process is the same for the TJ. Anyone who can use a wrench can do it...just make sure you have enough fluid.

I'll probably post some pics to this thread the next time I do it.
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