2002 Ford Focus -Oil in power steering reservoir

What causes for there to be oil inside the power steering reservoir?

Motor oil and not power steering fluid? The only thing I can think of is someone accidentally adding it to the PS reservoir.


It could also be dirty due to age… maybe its time to replace it.

Power steering fluid IS oil. Not motor oil, more like transmission fluid.

The OP needs to clarify the situation for us.
Is there actually motor oil in the PS reservoir? If so, it needs to be flushed immediately.

As to how motor oil could have gotten in there, it could only be as the result of somebody pouring motor oil in there.
This could be the result of a bone-headed mistake, or it could be a case of vandalism.

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On many of my older cars it was brake fluid. It’s still an oil with each manufacturer having their own formula.

Which older cars? The most common brake fluids used since synthetic rubber was invented is glycol-based and miscible with water. I’ve never heard of this being used for power steering fluid but I’d be interested in finding out any cars that did.

The early mineral oil based brake fluids were used from the 1920s into the 50’s in Brit cars, because they still used natural rubber seals and Rolls Royce and Citroen with their central hydraulic systems powering more than just the brakes.

And then there is DOT 5 silicone brake fluid used in Harley Davison bikes but little elsewhere from what I can find.

The reference: Brake Fluid for Classic British Cars – Moss Motoring

Continuing the discussion from 2002 Ford Focus -Oil in power steering reservoir:

Yes motor oil is what im guessing and mixed with power steering fluid

Is this causing a problem? Power steering needs a hydraulic fluid to operate, power steering fluid is oil.

I mean its not really causing any problems now but i would get it taken care of before it does if that makes sense.

Why do you believe there is motor oil in the power steering reservoir? Did you pour motor oil into the reservoir? How much?

Naw man i would never do that hahaha its because when i went ro check the fluid i noticed a dark liquid which resembles motor oil

That’s old power steering fluid. Find out what kind your Focus uses, buy some, get a turkey baster, removed as much as you can of the old fluid (dispose of it at the recycling center), and put in the new fluid.


Drain oil is dark, fresh motor oil and power steering fluid are a light yellow color. Power steering fluid turns dark with age.

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Ah ok cool thank you so much. So your suggesting is for me to flush it or drain it then replace with new fluid.

I guess you just bought this vehicle so you should just replace all the fluids and check to see if there are other service items that might be due. Frankly all anyone can guess is that someone put something in the reservoir that should not be there. Why ? Only the person who did it can answer that.

My kid has 07 focus. I’ve done fluid several times. A turkey baster doesn’t work. Remove rubber hose on bottom of reservoir. Let drain out. Refill. Takes 5 min.

Could it be possible that i didnt connect the hoses somewhere where it should be because i found a hose that isnt connected to anything and i have no idea where it goes.i know where it comes from which is from the top of the transmission and leads towards the egr valve.