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Plan to exchange power steering fluid cancelled

Discussion in '100-Series Cruisers' started by KathmanduCruiser, Mar 5, 2007.

  1. KathmanduCruiser

    KathmanduCruiser

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    Today, I bought some Mobil1 ATF, a turkey baster, a few feet of plastic tube and went home with the idea of doing the power steering fluid exchange by sucking in and replacing as much fluid as I could.

    I dripped the fluid into a clean sheet of paper and the thing looked like it was just poured in. So I did not even bother to do the change. It seemed to me like it was in real good shape.

    Should I still have done the exchange? I will do a drain and fill of the transmission oil a few times this weekend. The fluid, while not bad, does not look as pristine as the power steering fluid.

    Also, 2000 miles after the engine oil change, the oil looks a bit dark. How dark does your engine oil get after a few thousand miles?
     
  2. NMuzj100

    NMuzj100

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    Some of the additives in a fluid can be "worn out" or "used up" without the fluid looking bad but I'm not sure thats the case with powersteering fluid since it is primarily a hydraulic fluid.

    Your experiance is probably why its not a routine service.

    Normal for the oil to darken some even after a short time in service. Is this your first change with Mobil1? If so then it may clean/dissolve/absorb deposits/varnish ect... left by previous oils in the engine. This is why a UOA done on the first run of a new oil can be problematic. Does this oil look like sludge because it's garbage or because it just cleaned out the sludge left by the POs garage sale oil?
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2007
  3. KathmanduCruiser

    KathmanduCruiser

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    NMuzj100,

    I had not thought about the additives being used up even though the oil 'looks' good. But I think you are right in that that might not be what is happening here and that is perhaps why it is not a routine service.

    UOA, I am assuming, is Used Oil Analysis, right?
    This is my first change with Mobil1. I do not know what oil the PO used to put on it. It does not look like sludge. When I wipe the dipstick off, I only see the edges with a slightly darker band than the middle part. However, the middle part is sorta dark as well. Hopefully, it is the sludge being cleaned.

    I am thinking about mixing some seafoam with the engine oil and driving for about 15 minutes before doing the next oil change to potentially clean the sludge that might be deposited there.

     
  4. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer

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    Beware of add-in oil treatments.
     
  5. NMuzj100

    NMuzj100

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    Maybe sludge was a bad choice of a word to use in my previous post. I seriously doubt your engine has sludge of any kind or degree. Your oil darkening is perfectly normal.

    Just let the oil work for your interval, change it and if you are worried check the next change with an UOA. (cheap, can't hurt the engine and gives us something to talk about on the board)

    For additives I am basically of the school that thinks "if it needed them they wouldn't help".

    Aside - If I had "snake oil" to sell and wanted people to pour it into their expensive cars I would not name it for something that rolls up on the beach looking dirty and smelling of rotted fish. :confused:
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2007
  6. Jim_Chow

    Jim_Chow

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    Fluid is probably okay if it looks nice and red. Mine was burnt smelling, thick, and black after only 3 yrs. in AZ. Left a stain on the plastic resevoir that continues to leech burnt aroma into any new fluid I add. I put about 4 qts of dextron II/III ATF in there, so it should all be new by now. I thought about replacing the resevoir, as that's the only way to remove the burnt smell...new one costs $130 from CDan. FWIW, the original PS fluid on my 4runner wasn't changed until 14 yrs later, was black, but no leaks. Now, I might have a slow leak in the steering box, but you can't expect miracles after 21 yrs!
     
  7. jditom

    jditom

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    This is one of the few things I had the dealer do to my 80.
    $69 they drained, flushed, and toped it off.
    It looks like new.
     
  8. justimaginejack

    justimaginejack Looking for a new Cruiser

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    I asked 2 Foriegn Only guys who specialize in Japanese vehicles and they both own Toyotas. They said they have rarely ever seen anyone need to replace it. One of the Mechanics and he said he had a Toyota DD with over 238K on it and it still didn't need to be changed, so I left mine. Not to say you may not get some improvment with new fluid.
     
  9. KathmanduCruiser

    KathmanduCruiser

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    Thanks for your opinions.

    As I read your posts, I think the best thing to do is not put any sort of additive. Instead, I will do some oil changes in closer intervals (3k miles) and see if the possible old buildup can be taken out. After my next change, I can get an oil analysis done too.

    How much does it cost for the UOA?
     
  10. KathmanduCruiser

    KathmanduCruiser

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    Jim,

    I think, even though it was dark, it was not a problem because as NMuzj100 says, the fluid might be primarily used as a hydraulic fluid - and thus has less "stress" (for the lack of a better term) that it goes through.

     
  11. 100 TD

    100 TD

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    Remembering that this is a hydraulic pump and circuit, as with most hydraulics if no contamination gets into the oil and its not overheated then it is usually OK to leave the oil in there for extended periods. The contamination comes from people putting water, brake fluid, windscreen washer fluid, coolant etc into the reservior, but also from the wear of the internal pump and components. Other contamination is just from moisture and dust in the air being sucked into to the system every day as the oil heats up and expands then cools again drawing air/dust/moisture in and out every time the vehicle is used. Small amounts, but every time your car starts and stops, and after you wash the engine bay at the car wash etc. IIRC the design of most of the reserviors will have the return tube located on the bottom with the actual tube protruding higher than the bottom or will will pickup from the side or have a baffle or have 2 chambers etc. This will allow the heavy metal particals and dust to collect on the bottom and not go back into the pump. The oil does however also have dust and wear particles suspended in it circulating continuously, so a change of fluid every 90,000 miles (or earlier), or when you do other major maintenance, can only increase the longevity of the components in my book. If you can easily take the remote reservior off and clean it out and pump out the old oil and flush with new oil like when doing your transmission it would surely help. My thoughts.
    EDIT Am about to do mine at 60000 kms, cheap insurance!