DIY Change power steering fluid?


#1

I have 2009 mazda6 3.7L V6 with 124k miles

Can I change my power steering fluid by using some suction device and suck out the fluid from the reservior, put in new fluid, and repeat that a few times? would that work or should I take it to a shop?

how many quarts of fluid do I need?

Would I notice anything different, e.g. handles better, after this is done?


#2

That’ll work, a turkey baster works fine, a quart should be enough. You will notice nothing, it’s just preventative maintenance, every 5 years isn’t a bad idea.

Make sure it’s the right fluid for yours, check the owner’s manual, maybe an oil web site. Aren’t too many different ones, but just make sure.


#3

I discovered by accident on my 70’s Ford truck I could un-do one of the PS hoses and turn the steering wheel back and forth (with the engine off) and expel quite a bit of fluid out the end of the hose that way. Not sure if this is a recommended method, but it worked for me anyway. One caution: It really comes out fast, and it is very messy if you don’t catch it in a container. Which is difficult, b/c the hose squirms around during this process. Best if you have an assistant.

Does the service schedule say to do this at this time? If not, and there is no reason to suspect there’s something wrong with the PS, me, I’d just top it off. I wouldn’t do it just for the sake of doing it in other words.


#4

so i will notice nothing? maybe i should just leave it alone then…


#5

Besides keeping the fluid level where it should be, I’d leave it alone unless as mentioned above there is some symptom you are concerned about, or the manufacturer’s service schedule for the car says it is time to be changed.


#6

I would go ahead and do the turkey baster method. It’s quick, its easy, it can’t hurt anything, and keeping your fluids fresh and clean is always a good idea - so in the long run it helps things.


#7

I do this with my power steering and brake fluid. Yes I know the brakes should be flushed by bleeding but around here if you try to open a bleeder over 3 years old you will likely snap it off because of rust.


#8

There were a lot of dirt built up right around the cap of the power steering reservior, what’s the proper way of cleaning it? do I use the engine degreaser, then rinse off?

I don’t want all the dirt to go into the reservior…


#9

On the outside? Leave the cap on and rub the dirt off with paper towels, nothing else.


#10

I just clean it off carefully with a rag, being careful not to let the crud go into the reservoir. Go slow and easy.


#11

I change my PS fluid every few years using a cheap siphon pump from the auto parts store. It’s pretty easy, and it just might preserve the seals on the PS system.


#12

The reasons other fluids are changed is due to contamination, dilution by undesired elements (like combustion gasses), breakdown of the fluid’s molecules due to heat and mechanical stresses, depletion of additives (such as the anticorrosives in coolants), and the possible absoption of moisture resulting in icing (such as brake fluids). Power steering fluid is not subjected to the possibility of system failure dues to any of these conditions.

But I support changing it occasionally, using the turkey baster method. Whitey might be right, fresh fluid might help preserve seals and at least it won’t contaminate them. It might even better preserve the pump, since it does lubricate it. The good news is that PS fluid regularly circulates though the reservoir as the pump runs and it’s an unsealed system, which means that the turkey baster method DOES work. Most hydraulic fluids don’t constantly recirculate through their reservoirs.

Go for it.


#13

I drain and refill the reservoir on my Matrix once a year.
It just takes a few minutes.
Since a turkey baster won’t fit I use a small flexible hose and siphon it.