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Old 10-17-2012, 08:26 PM   #1
WDE46
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PS Fluid instead of ATF

So while I was under the hood today, I decided to check all my fluids. I didn't notice before, but my PS fluid is not the red ATF fluid it's supposed to be. It was more greenish in color. I think the dealer I purchased from may have done this. Will this hurt my PS in any way? How can I flush 100% of the fluid out to replace it?
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:32 PM   #2
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Buy like three quarts of ATF fluid. Siphon out what you can from the reservoir, fill. Let the car run a bit. An repeat till you use up all of the ATF fluid.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:35 PM   #3
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I heard of Jiffy Lube type places doing this.

Sorry to hear, and Good Luck to you.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:38 PM   #4
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:42 PM   #5
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What's ps?
And ATF?
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:43 PM   #6
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What's ps?
And ATF?
You serious?

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Old 10-17-2012, 08:44 PM   #7
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What's ps?
And ATF?
PS = Power Steering

ATF = Automatic Transmission Fluid
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:44 PM   #8
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OP, while you're at it, you might as well check the hose on the PS pump and if it's seeping, or the hoses under the reservoir are, you can replace factory clamps with screw clamps.

Also, if the hose is off the pump, I believe that by turning the wheels right and left to full stop, you can pump out all the fluid...and believe you can do with while the car is off, but I'm not sure about that. Anyway, you'll get a lot more fluid out that way...then you could continue on with the siphoning/turkey baster approach until your fluid is all clearish pink. Should be Dex III, I think...but check your Owner's Manual.

To bleed, just turn to full right and left stop a few times--I do it while rolling slow. tis.spaghettidecoder.org will show you tis's for everything on your car.

HTH
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:51 PM   #9
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Sounds like this stuff. Since you're unsure, I'd probably change it anyway, but FYI it's fine in all likelihood.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:33 AM   #10
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Decided I'm just gonna buy a gallon of Dex/Mercon ATF and flush the whole system with the flow through method. You take the reservoir off and attach a large funnel w/ hose to the outflow hose and a extension hose to the inflow hose. Then you turn the car on and steer lock to lock while pouring new fluid into the funnel. Wait till clear red fluid starts coming out the extension hose.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:56 AM   #11
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You serious?

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Old 10-18-2012, 11:56 AM   #12
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Decided I'm just gonna buy a gallon of Dex/Mercon ATF and flush the whole system with the flow through method. You take the reservoir off and attach a large funnel w/ hose to the outflow hose and a extension hose to the inflow hose. Then you turn the car on and steer lock to lock while pouring new fluid into the funnel. Wait till clear red fluid starts coming out the extension hose.
yes. surprised nobody suggested this. this is how it's properly done. return line shooting into a bucket, return line going to reservoir plugged with a sharpie and a clamp or something like that, then run car and feed new fluid as old fluid exits. did this on my E36 M3 back in the day and did a write up on it. for my E46 i didn't feel like making a big mess so i did it the lazy way and turkey basted like 8 times. take a picture of your setup and how you did it
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:05 PM   #13
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yes. surprised nobody suggested this. this is how it's properly done. return line shooting into a bucket, return line going to reservoir plugged with a sharpie and a clamp or something like that, then run car and feed new fluid as old fluid exits. did this on my E36 M3 back in the day and did a write up on it. for my E46 i didn't feel like making a big mess so i did it the lazy way and turkey basted like 8 times. take a picture of your setup and how you did it
I would do the turkey method if I had the correct fluid, but I want all this wrong **** out. With the turkey method I'm sure you can get 80% new fluid after just a few bastings.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:20 PM   #14
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I would do the turkey method if I had the correct fluid, but I want all this wrong **** out. With the turkey method I'm sure you can get 80% new fluid after just a few bastings.
eh i wasn't comfortable with that method. after 8 complete reservoir evacuations, it was still slightly murky. problem is you're mixing the new and old fluid
imagine taking a glass of coke, taking a swig, then filling the void with water. then take another drink and refill with water. how long til you end up with 100% clear water?
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:55 PM   #15
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eh i wasn't comfortable with that method. after 8 complete reservoir evacuations, it was still slightly murky. problem is you're mixing the new and old fluid
imagine taking a glass of coke, taking a swig, then filling the void with water. then take another drink and refill with water. how long til you end up with 100% clear water?
How much does the reservoir hold and how much does the whole system hold when full? We can calculate it pretty quick. Similar to ATF change when you empty the old and add new, then drive around to mix the old from the torque converter. After 2 or 3 times you get over 90% new fluid.

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Old 10-18-2012, 02:01 PM   #16
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Reservoir holds about half a quart.
Whole system holds about 2 quarts in my experience.
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:13 PM   #17
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I think the reservoir is closer to 300 ml...not to argue...but it was close to that and I believe I'm recalling correctly.

In any case, someone did this calculation once...and I recall there was a point of diminishing returns...it wasn't perfect.

Mango, buddy, for me...can you please link to thread for me or maybe clarify your flushing method? You have two return lines listed in your post above...not sure which gets funnel (large one) and which one I hook a hose to to drain. I want to do this badly! Never heard of this method.

We could just disconnect the return line, couldn't we...and use a coupling...without removing reservoir, couldn't we?

Anyway, appreciate clarification. I assume you jacked up the front while turning the wheels or no?
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:53 PM   #18
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I think the reservoir is closer to 300 ml...not to argue...but it was close to that and I believe I'm recalling correctly.

In any case, someone did this calculation once...and I recall there was a point of diminishing returns...it wasn't perfect.

Mango, buddy, for me...can you please link to thread for me or maybe clarify your flushing method? You have two return lines listed in your post above...not sure which gets funnel (large one) and which one I hook a hose to to drain. I want to do this badly! Never heard of this method.

We could just disconnect the return line, couldn't we...and use a coupling...without removing reservoir, couldn't we?

Anyway, appreciate clarification. I assume you jacked up the front while turning the wheels or no?
i can't find it... though the way the M3 is set up is the return line is a hard line that connects to a rubber line which goes back into the reservoir. so if you disconnect that line in the middle you'll have a hole in your reservoir so thats why i suggested capping it with a sharpie. or use your finger, d.. or anything else that comes to mind!

obviously the power steering reservoir has an out and in line. the goal is to prevent old fluid from returning to the power steering reservoir while ensuring you keep a constant stream of NEW fluid going in.
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:08 PM   #19
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The larger hose comes up in middle of reservoir and goes to pump, so if I disconnected the smaller hose, used barbed coupling to a hose going to a bucket, I'm thinking that that should flush it through the system.

Empty reservoir first and fluid is going down to pump.

How does that sound? Hmmm...sort of want!

I thought I'd read of just turning wheels with car off somewhere around here too.

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Old 10-18-2012, 04:14 PM   #20
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I found several DIYs last night that all had slight variations. One guy took off the reservoir completely, another kept it on and took off one hose, and another guy did the turkey method. The guy who kept the reservoir connected by one hose pulled the fuel pump fuse and just used the starter to help circulate hte fluid in 5-8 second bursts with back and forth steering. The guy who took it completely off used a large funnel that held at least a quart and ran the engine with someone steering lock to lock. The dirty fluid from the output comes out really fast, so you need the larger funnel to make sure ou don't suck the system dry.
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