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  View original topic: Power steering fluid in Subaru powered vanagon?
kguarnotta Wed Oct 28, 2020 2:48 pm

Hi All,

I noticed a little leaking around the power steering lines in the engine compartment. I tightened up the clamps, and was going to top it off - then thought I should maybe flush the system.

I saw a simple way to flush where you siphon some out with turkey baster sort of thing, then fill, run engine - with front end lifted in the air, turn wheel side to side. repeat process - until the stuff you suck out runs clean. I've also readthere is a filter in there... I don't have a ton of time, but thought the simple flush would be good simple thing to do. Not perfect, but I've got other bigger things I'm working on.

I've also read I'm supposed to use ATF instead of power steering fluid - does this apply to a subaru powered van as well...

bobhill8 Wed Oct 28, 2020 2:53 pm

Hey Kevin, I just ordered a new filter today. Here's the link for where I ordered it:

https://www.pelicanparts.com/More_Info/0002360055M...mp;SVSVSI=

kguarnotta Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:02 pm

thanks.

does that work for the subaru engine? IE I think the reservoir is changed with the engine, or is the reservoir kept the same.

bobhill8 Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:07 pm

sorry I can't help you there. I am in the land of the waterboxer. Does it look like this?
https://www.gowesty.com/product/steering/24085/power-steering-fluid-reservoir?v=

kguarnotta Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:39 pm

no, I odn't think mine looks like that. But pouring rain and dark now. I'll go take some pics tomorrow.

thanks,.

Wildthings Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:32 pm

Both ATF and power steering fluids and hydraulic oils. If you pump requires one kind and you steering gear another just pick one and move on.

fxr Wed Oct 28, 2020 7:04 pm

I suspect the pump is more picky than the rack.

kguarnotta Wed Oct 28, 2020 7:11 pm

sorry - wild things, did you mean to say they are both hydraulic fluids, so it doesn't matter?

I thought I read somewhere that powersteering fluid is not to be used on vanagons, which seemed really bizarre to me, but I am new to vanagons. The post said something about the seals not being compatible.

Wildthings Wed Oct 28, 2020 7:38 pm

kguarnotta wrote: sorry - wild things, did you mean to say they are both hydraulic fluids, so it doesn't matter?

I thought I read somewhere that powersteering fluid is not to be used on vanagons, which seemed really bizarre to me, but I am new to vanagons. The post said something about the seals not being compatible.

A quick internet search makes it look like both Subarus and Vanagons use Dexron ATF as a power steering fluid. Could be wrong as I didn't turn up anything official.


kguarnotta Thu Oct 29, 2020 5:55 am

Here is a pic of my resrvoir. The sticker is a bit mangled - so I can't quite tell - but it looks like it says Dexron ATF. So I'll go with that. I didn't know if I should be following this stickers advice. Frankly I have no idea how a power steering system works...I've got other issues I'm dealing with, but thought I'd tackle what looks like a simple one - while I work on the ones that are more difficlut for me.


thanks for your help.

BCgee Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:39 am

kguarnotta wrote: Hi All,

I noticed a little leaking around the power steering lines in the engine compartment. I tightened up the clamps, and was going to top it off - then thought I should maybe flush the system.

I saw a simple way to flush where you siphon some out with turkey baster sort of thing, then fill, run engine - with front end lifted in the air, turn wheel side to side. repeat process - until the stuff you suck out runs clean. I've also readthere is a filter in there... I don't have a ton of time, but thought the simple flush would be good simple thing to do. Not perfect, but I've got other bigger things I'm working on.

I've also read I'm supposed to use ATF instead of power steering fluid - does this apply to a subaru powered van as well...

Good question: I use DexIII (ATF) in my SVX Syncro power steering system based on (a) previously owning a 2.2 outback and doing the same with no problems for 180k, and (b) widespread feedback on the same in the SVX forums. No problems. Other related items to consider in due time are replacing the OEM hardline with new hydraulic hose and rebuilding/replacing your rack. I've done the latter and have been putting off the former. Good luck.

Jake de Villiers Thu Oct 29, 2020 8:18 am

You can get a simple inline filter that will protect your pump at any FLAPS.

kguarnotta Thu Oct 29, 2020 9:06 am

thanks...fyi the previous owner installed a new rack from Bus Depot - i think in 2019. I'm not sure if he replaced any of the lines. I'll add it to my list...but will probably be near the bottom. ;)



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