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Power Steering Oil Change / Flush

2013 Mazda 5 with 100k miles. Bought it with 85k - I do not think that the previous owner ever changed it. Do you recommend to have power steering fluid changed or flushed?

Having tried to suck fluid and replace, I find more dirt is coming out as the new fluid get into action. Roughly 50% oil is changed (?) - it is difficult since there are two reservoir - bottom reservoir has most oil (I do it on my Acura Integra) - oil has significant black color to it.
I called around for price:

  • dealer likely $125+tax; Likely they get the color right - might do twice to get the color - they put the oil on one end and drain on the other
  • independent shop drain & fill for $73 + tax; (AC Delco Synthetic oil) Just one change - color? Should I need to be concerned about air getting trapped as they drain and fill?

Wondering which one is better? It seems that I will be in good hands in both places (I named the m/c at the dealer) - independent shop has good reviews.

Its just about getting air trapped (unlikely event I believe knowing their reviews), getting the color right and price!

Have the independent shop flush the fluid. They’ll replaced all the fluid with a piece of equipment something like this.

It’s cheaper than replacing a power steering pump/rack assembly.


I am sorry the independent shop said that they will only do drain & fill - they do not have the equipment.

Are u saying go to the dealer?
There is a 2nd independent shop that will flush but prices are about the same as the Dealer.

Then it doesn’t matter.

Does it?


Power steering systems bleed themselves with use, in my experience. I haven’t ever had an issue with air getting trapped when repairing hydraulic power steering systems.

I think I’d keep sucking the fluid out at home and save the money, myself. You should be able to dilute the old fluid enough next time, considering you’ve replaced 50% of it already.

This is something I don’t generally do (power steering flush), but I’m sure it’s not a bad practice.

I am sorry are you recommending Flush than “Drain & Fill” in this instance?
I am sorry I did not understand your post. Thanks

I have an 09 Mazda 3, I changed the fluid myself (youtube videos helped) it was simple drain/replace I used Mobil synthetic.The steering feel is better, but that might be me.

How did it “feel better”? Less steering effort required? Or what?

Just curious, I may try it myself this winter on the 2005 Sierra. I’ve never replaced ps fluid unless I was replacing lines, steering gearbox etc.

The one time I paid a shop to “flush” my PS fluid, I watched them use a hand pump to drain and refill it. After that, I just drained and refilled it myself.

If you want to obsess about changing more of the fluid than you can with a siphon pump, just do it more than once. Drain the fluid, refill it, start the car, turn the steering wheel all the way side to side a couple times, and then drain and refill it again. If you really want to obsess about it, drain and refill it a third time in a day or two. Even if you have to buy three bottles of PS fluid and a siphon pump, you’ll come out ahead rather than pay a shop to do it.


I’m betting it was placebo effect. When my car was new, I would swear it ran smoother after an oil change, but it was just placebo effect.

Key Takeaways:

  • “It’s cheaper than replacing a power steering pump/rack assembly” as @Tester stated. Its a high pressure system. Your PS might be well made but fluid needs replacing
  • I do siphon on my Acura Integra frequently because its so easy. But this car is tall and the bottom reservoir holds the fluid. Its been ignored for 5yrs/100k - I might have changed 50% but that’s when I realized there is more dirt inside. See the arrow in this picture, the little reservoir. Then there is a L-shape black hose takes it to another reservoir:
  • For others, it is not so much about smoother effect. But ensuring the high pressure system is fed well - an insurance against costly maintenance. I sold my 30yr old Acura on a related issue - @Tester gave me the fix for it too - I could have kept it, I guess after the Lucas fix.

I got the work done at the mom-papa shop. They had trouble figuring the oil and was going to use Dexron III and wouldn’t use customer part.

What difference should I expect between

They used Motorcrft on my car - when should I do the next service? Should I do it sooner since it was Syn blend?

They tried getting the Valvoline but O’Reilly delivered the conventional oil:

it just feels smoother, to me anyway…

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When I was a kid, there was a car-wash in town that displayed a prominent sign:
A Clean Car Runs Better!


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Years ago, I spent a few hours power washing the underside of a 79 cj5 I owned. I swear it ran better afterwards. And, maybe it did! There was 20 years of mud and grease caked on, and packed inside the boxed frame. So if I knocked off 100 lbs of grime…maybe it actually did have slightly more power vs weight.

Sigh…good times. I was soaking wet and grimy after that. But no worries! Vinyl seats and no top. Just take off your shirt and air dry as you drive it home.