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Unread 05-02-2010, 05:14 PM   #1
specwarCJ
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Power Steering VS. ATF Fluid

So I discovered that the PO was using ATF fluid in the power steering pump instead of PS fluid. I did some research and there seems to be several people on both sides of this issue.

My question is. Will it damage it?

I am switching back to power steering fluid I just wanted to know if I should expect more problems coming my way from using the ATF fluid.

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Unread 05-02-2010, 05:51 PM   #2
Pacfanweb
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Depends on the type of ATF.

Was it Ford Type F? Lots of P/S systems called for that.
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Unread 05-02-2010, 06:04 PM   #3
creepyjon
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use type F ford atf, on some of the older fords using regular power steering fluid is actually bad for your car. Of if you are really worried about your ps system, add some lucas into it. That stuff is magic in a bottle, I've seen it do some amazing things first hand!
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Unread 05-02-2010, 07:14 PM   #4
specwarCJ
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There is no telling what type of ATF it was. The person I bought it from had traded a mud truck for the Jeep and so he didn't know anything about it other than how much he wanted for it.

I was mainly concerned about the seals and any other plastic or rubber components getting ruined by the ATF.
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Unread 05-03-2010, 03:24 AM   #5
Cutlass327
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I switched from P/S fluid to Mercon V in my Ranger and F150. The normal Ford P/S whine/growl disappeared, and it never leaked in either of them.
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Unread 05-03-2010, 04:45 AM   #6
Oily
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacfanweb View Post
Depends on the type of ATF.
Was it Ford Type F? Lots of P/S systems called for that.
Some also actually call from Dexron II. Go figure.
Power steering is basically hydraulics. Ten weight hydraulic fluid should also work.
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Unread 05-03-2010, 06:38 AM   #7
Pacfanweb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oily View Post
Some also actually call from Dexron II. Go figure.
Power steering is basically hydraulics. Ten weight hydraulic fluid should also work.
Type F is totally different than Dexron II, at least as far as transmissions go.

You need to use the correct fluid. Yes, it is hydraulics, but you can't use plain old hydraulic fluid for long....there's a reason they specify the type of fluid they do.
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Unread 05-03-2010, 07:02 AM   #8
halpeters
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Transmission fluids are different due to "friction modifiers" that are part of the blend.

An Automatic transmission has "wet clutches" that run in the oil similar to a most modern motorcycle clutches (not exotic race stuff, or "dry clutch", etc). The transmission fluid needs to be matched to the clutch type in the transmission, thus the different types "Type F", Dextron, etc. are blended with friction modifiers to match the needs of the clutch....

In a power steering system, there are no clutches or friction plates, so I can't see how any of the trans fluid would hurt anything. Probably any 10wt non detergent oil would be fine. I think you could even get away with 30wt non detergent oil in a pench - at least in Florida during the summer...

Oh, if you ever wondered why transmission fluid is red (or Royal Purple is Purple), it is only a dye added to the oil to identify the type - the color has nothing to do with anything important.

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Unread 05-03-2010, 10:40 AM   #9
Cutlass327
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There may be some other additives for seals and such, but I've always used Dex 3/Mercon in my vehicles. It always seems to be on hand, compared to p/s fluid.

As for the statement from Hal, if you were to lift the hoods of a Freaightliner, Pete, KW, or even the Volvo, one truck specifies 15w-40, one may spec P/S fluid. They use the engine oil figuring a driver would have that on hand (always carry a spare gallon to top off the engine) compared to having another bottle of P/S fluid too. They have to haul everything everywhere, so less to carry = more living space.
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