In sub zero temps what can I put in power steering to keep from freezing

I live in Alaska where usually when it is 40 below we plug in our vehicles to keep them warmed so they don’ t freeze. However, my power steering fluid keeps mushing and freezing. Is there any additive I can put in it to keep this from happening? It burst this winter as it froze.

This indicates water has gotten into your power steering fluid. Have the power steering system drained and refilled with whatever fluid Ford specifies


I’d drain the power steering and use a synthetic power steering fluid. Synthetics will still flow at 40 below where conventional power steering fluid will not.

Lubeguard, Redline, Royal Purple all make versions. I would be shocked if this was not available in auto parts stores in Alaska.

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Thanks. I will look for it.

I will second what @old_mopar_guy mentioned about water being in the fluid which would make it much more susceptible to freezing up or thickening to the point where it cannot flow.

I would drain and fill a few times to purge any water contaminated fluid out…then finally refill with new fluid and see what you get.

@Mustangman is also correct about the use of synthetics… I’d have to look into it but aren’t there a few caveats to keep in mind when making the transition from Dino to Synth fluids? Or is it just as simple as switching over… like motor oil? Hmmm

I’m taking my cue from brake fluids…as you cannot mix the two different types… I guess I need to do some research.


Regular brake fluid is an entirely different chemical, power steering fluids are all hydrocarbons, so there should (note that word) be no problem switching.


Ah… OK… thats the info I was looking for @texases. Makes sense.

Good question for mid May? Sub zero temps?

Better to get it all fixed now, I’d forget about it, then November comes…

Well, I see that GM make a special cold climate power steering fluid. I don’t think they would if there was not a problem.

My oldest son lived about 65 miles SW of Buffalo an the highest elevation there. His fuel delivery service would not deliver heating oil to him because it got below -25F at his house and the fuel oil would gel. They delivered kerosene.

I know that the freight companies I drove for always bought treated fuel, but a lot of owner operators did not and when it hit -25F or below you would see the rigs pulling over to the shoulder when their fuel got too thick to flow.

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Do you remember when station’s started selling treated fuel?
In the winter I planed my fuel stop’s as much as possible to buy fuel in the north for that reason.

As a freight hauler I seldom bought fuel, we usually had our own pumps at the terminals and road drivers in Buffalo did not fuel their own trucks. That was a city drivers job. We were on different seniority lists and even with most companies in different teamster locals.
On the occasion that a road driver was going out when the terminal was closed, the company would have the road driver buy fuel on the road at places where they had a charge set up. If we fueled ourselves at a closed terminal the company would have to pay a city driver 8 hours pay.

I know the Montreal based company that I started at in 1966 was already using treated fuel then and Michelin radial tires on everything but the front tires. Without power steering it would be very hard to steer a tractor with radial tires on the front axle. When I retired in 95, the company had just started adding tractors to the road fleet with power steering a couple of years before.

I was just curious about the treated fuel I never used additive’s for fuel treatment but as I said depended on the truck stop’s to have it mixed in the fuel. I used the terminal’s for fuel if I happened to be routed near one otherwise it was the truckstop;s to have whatever the temp’s called for.

I have been in 43 Below with no problems, because it got so cold skirting the Eastern and Northern edge of the Adirondacks we also had 55 gallon drums of pure isoprophyl for the windshield washers.

I can’t imagine temature’s that cold I think the coldest I ever saw was 20 below in chicago one time the only reason cold weather didn’t bother me to bad was I knew I would be heading back south.

Well, I never could have been a NASCAR driver, could not take the heat in those cars. I am like on old dog, if it gets to 80 I just want to crawl under the porch.


Speaking of windshield washer’s what doe’s NY mix with the salt they put on the road’s? I remember one time between Buffalo and Erie a salt truck passed me on my left side with the spreader going it sprayed across the front of my truck my wiper’s and washer’s cleaned the glass good but when I got farther south and better weather I stopped to clean the overspray off the rest of the glass but found it had dryed and window soap wouldn’t take it off I ended up haning to use diesel fuel to get it of.

Call me a wuss but when it get’s down to 30 to 35 I am ready to hibernate.

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The station where I bought my diesel just mixed #1 and #2 for the winter. I think up to 50%. I still used a fuel conditioner though every tankful in the winter. Once after the car had been outside all day at -20 it started gelling up a few miles from home. That’s when I started using the anti-gel.

Besides salt, they use a magnesium chloride brine mixture. Once you get about 20 miles North of Syracuse they mix sand in, the colder the weather, the more sand because salt doesn’t work well when it gets really cold. When it is 25 below, you get pretty good traction on ice.

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