I accidentally put transmission fluid in the power steering column! Is there anything I can do myself to correct it? I haven’t driven the car yet, has any permanent damage been done?

I assume that you put transmission fluid into the power steering pump, rather than pouring it inside the steering column.

That being said, this may not be as problematic as you think it is, depending on the type of car and on the type of fluid that this car requires in its power steering system.

I would suggest that you do two things:

  1. Read the relevant section of your Owner’s Manual, regarding what type of fluid is specified for your car’s power steering system. Most are simply one type of transmission fluid or another, and it is possible that you did use the correct type of transmission fluid.
  2. Post back with the necessary information that we need including the make, model and model year of your car and exactly what the manual specifies for that car’s power steering.

THanks so much for the reply. Yeah, power steering pump…haha. I dont have my owners manual on me because I didn’t take my car to work, nor can I remember the type of fluid I used. It is a Lincoln Continental, 1992. I will try to reply later today with the rest of the information. Hopefully you’re still around to help. I really appreciate your time :slight_smile:

I was able to check, it is a used car, and I know it has had numerous owners, and apparently has no users manual anymore… The transmission fluid I used was Dexron. I did some searching and read that some cars can use this instead of power steering fluid. I can’t find any online info as to what type of power steering fluid a '92 continental (automatic) needs, unfortunately. Any thoughts??

I believe that your car takes Mercon transmission fluid for both the transmission and the power steering. Mercon is a Ford tradmark for fluid that is very similar (perhaps identical) to Dexron II fluid. However, there have been several iterations of both Dexron and Mercon, and there may be significant differences among Mercon and the newer Dexron III. Exactly what type of Dexron is it?

The bottle says Dexron: meets requirements of dexron III, Dexron-IIe, Dexron II and mercon.

My friend called a Ford Lincoln dealership in the area, and, without telling them what type of dexron (only the make and model of the car) the service guy said to take it in and get it flushed, do you think this is really necessary?

If you still haven’t driven the car yet, get a turkey baster or similar and get all of the fluid out of the reservoir and then refill with the proper fluid. Chances are most of the wrong fluid will still be there and the two fluids are similar enough that if there’s some trace amounts left in there it should be fine. There’s certainly worse mis-fluiding you can do!

just to clarify, she didn’t even say that it was Dexron, just that transmission fluid was put into the power steering pump

If you haven’t run the engine, you can empty the power steering pump of fluid and put Mercon power steering fluid in it. You can use a turkey baster, a hand-pump, or disconnect the larger hose from the P/S pump and drain it out. Even if the engine has been run, I don’t think it is so bad. Still, empty the P/S reservoir, and refill with Mercon (about 1 quart). All is not calamity—a 1992 should have had its P/S fluid replaced by now, anyway. Later, drain and replace, again for an even higher percentage of new P/S fluid in the system. Forget the dealer.

Thanks for all the help everyone, I really appreciate your time

Check me out by going to www.lincolnsonline, but I am pretty sure you the owner guide says to use Mercon in the PS. Ford itself no longer sells Mercon and recommend their Mercon V as a replacement in the trans and in power steering. You can still buy Mercon-rated fluid by other companies at auto parts stores. I would not use Dextron in the trans, but it probably will not hurt the power steering. I would use Mercon V in the trans as it is better than Mercon.

ATF is not going to hurt your power steering. ATF is a hydraulic fluid much like PS fluid.