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Old 01-16-2012, 09:33 PM   #1
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Default Power steering fluid flush?

Hi all! I have absolutely no idea where to get this info, and I'm getting conflicting info from dealerships. I'm wondering what you all say.

I've got an '05 Chevy Uplander with 83800 miles on it. One dealership told me last Friday that the power steering fluid is dark brown but should be clear. Therefore, it needs to be flushed. Another dealership told me today that the power steering fluid is fine.

I checked it myself, and it is obviously brown... but NOTHING anywhere (not even the manual) says what color it'* supposed to be! ie: I don't know if Friday'* dealership is making up the story about it supposing to be clear just to sell me a $100 service, or if every other dealership that claims to have looked at it recently...hasn't (I guess.)

The manual also only mentions checking it to see if it'* low... it says nothing about having it changed on any sort of basis.

Googling has only brought up other people stating the same thing about the manual... and getting no answers.

Unfortunately, information stating that it'* not good if its darker than it used to be isn't helpful information, as I always trusted the dealership'* word that it was fine until now...this is the first time I've ever seen the stuff myself. (I know very little about cars.)

Is anyone willing and able to tell me what color this stuff is really supposed to be? To my knowledge, what'* in there is original...unless someone flushed it in the first 14k miles.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:04 PM   #2
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I think some of the power steering fluid I have used is clear and some has been cherry red like trans fluid. Not real sure but it doesn't matter. If it is brown and nasty looking replace it to be safe. What I do is suck all the fluid out of the power steering pump with a syphon pump (approx 5 to 6 oz.) Then top it back off with fresh fluid. Start the car turn the wheels all the way to the left then all the way to the right. Stop the car syphon as much of the fluid out of the resevoir and replace it with fresh fluid. Repeat the process 3 or 4 times untill the fluid you are sucking out is as clear as the fluid you are putting in. Whole process takes about 15 minutes and cost whatever about 2 quarts sets you back. I do this every 3 or 4 years and have never had any pwer steering pump problems. I have driven 3 FWD Bonnevilles for a total of 700,000 miles.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:31 PM   #3
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to be 100% honest with you, it probably wont hurt anything to leave it alone with only 83k on the car. but if you have the money its always good insurance to change it. as with all other lubricating fluids over time it will accumulate dirt, moisture and particulate from normal wear and tear on your power steering system. but unless you see visible particulate (in which case you need to find out why because it shouldn't be there) it should be fine.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:38 PM   #4
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Brand new out of the bottle power steering fluid is red. It probably turns brown within a few hundred miles or so. The color really does not matter. If your power steering pump is whining, and/or the fluid smells burnt, you may need to replace it. It am pretty particular at changing my car'* fluids on a regular basis, but I have never changed power steering fluid on any car I have ever owned.
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:21 AM   #5
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Welcome to GM Forum, Katie. I'm just moving this thread to the Chevrolet Mechanical/Maintenance section. More gearheads there.

Also, feel free to take a minute to say hello.

Last edited by SignOfZeta; 01-18-2012 at 03:21 AM. Reason: Typo.
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