Power Steering Fluid--add or replace?

My '91 Legacy wgn is low of fluid (after either its entire life,

or since ca. '94 accident repair–i.e., I don’t think this is something

that has been checked (alas)).

The manual says to make sure that the same brand of (“dexron II type”)


Well, I don’t think I’ve a chance of determining the current brand.

And from a quick scan of in-stock ATF, it seems that “dexron III” is vogue.

But the manual also has no hint of how to replace fluid

--as in empty, flush?, and refill. A friend opines that such things

don’t have easy empty plugs like for oil & transmission.

What to do?



Dexron III is a direct replacement for Dexron II. It’s just the next generation of Dexron.

To replace the fluid, place a catch container under the PS fluid reservior, and remove the low pressure {return) line from the PS fluid reservior and install a plug on the nipple the line was disconnected from. With the disconnected hose pointing in the catch container, fill the reservior with clean fluid. Have someone start the engine long enough for reservior to empty and then shut the engine off. Repeat this until the fluid that enters the catch container runs clean. Reconnect the return hose and top off the fluid level.


If it were my car I would simply top up with Dexron III.

would simply top up with Dexron III

Hmm, the warning is explicit & bold against mixing (even) BRANDS. Wikip. points out that “dexron” is
a standard, not a brand per se, which can be met by different formulations, so I infer that there could be
some deleterious interaction of different formulations w/each other. FYI, there’s an interesting
Citgo product info sheet on Transguard Dexron VI claiming backwards compatiblity w/III & II (nb: not w/V!),
but FOR GM VEHICLES ONLY, and expressing denying such compatibility “with non-GM cars” !?

In some other forums, I’ve read that it might suffice to fill, suck out, refill, suck out,
using a turkey baster, and achieving an acceptable dilution that way.

Thanks for your thoughts,

I can’t see how you could go wrong by going to the dealer and getting a $5 bottle of PS fluid and could ask them at the same time. If it is original it would match. What makes you think that the fluid was replaced with an accident repair?

Normally I wouldn’t go to the dealer…But in this case the cost is pretty low so why not.