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Poured some windshield wiper fluid into the power steering fluid reservoir

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by MistahYebba, March 5, 2018.

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    1. MistahYebba

      MistahYebba Active Member

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      Help! :D

      I poured some windshield wiper fluid into the power steering fluid reservoir, then I started the engine. It's all pinkish and milky now. >.<

      I used a turkey baster to suck out all of the fluid inside of the reservoir.

      Then, I disconnected the lower cooler hose and let it drain.

      Next, I filled up the reservoir with fresh fluid and let it continue to drain until it was draining only fresh fluid.

      I left the lower cooler hose disconnected and started the engine and turned the wheel but it quickly blasted out the fresh fluid. It's still pinkish and milky.

      I ran out of PS fluid and need to get some more soon.

      I'm confused on when I should turn the steering wheel lock-to-lock, and if the engine is supposed to be running or not when I do so.

      Can someone explain to me the proper way to drain it and get only fresh fluid in there so I don't damage anything further?

      Thanks!

      -Michael
       
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    3. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      It should be running when you turn the wheels. You’ll just need to flush it more.
       
    4. MistahYebba

      MistahYebba Active Member

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      Thanks for your reply!

      I went and got some more PS fluid to keep flushing.

      What I did was top off the PS reservoir, start the engine, turn lock-to-lock a few times to get the fluid all nice and circulated, shut off the engine, drain all of the fluid by disconnecting the lowest PS hose, reconnect the hose, then repeat... again, top off the PS reservoir, start the engine, turn lock-to-lock a few times to get the fluid all nice and circulated, shut off the engine, drain all of the fluid by disconnecting the lowest PS hose, reconnect the hose, then repeat...

      I did this as many times as I could until I was on my last fill of PS fluid.

      I filled up a WHOLE GALLON of the contaminated, pink, creamy, milk-like fluid. It felt like it was never-ending.

      Now that I have done that, I am still not left with completely clear PS fluid, but it's definitely better......

      How do I know I'll be okay?

      -Michael
       
    5. MistahYebba

      MistahYebba Active Member

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      I don’t know what fluid was in there before I started all of this, but the picture of the drain pan here is how the fluid looked when I decided to drain it all. As you can see, reddish, pinkish, creamy, milky, interesting.

      I am also attaching a picture of my reservoir AFTER draining and refilling multiple times.

      As you see, it has a yellow appearance.

      The fluid I used is Prestone PS fluid. It pours out clear with a blue tint... so I am worried about why it is yellow. :(

      Too many different colors going on!

      -Michael

      EA9B4AF3-B63E-4F75-8A02-3EB7FFD7E714.jpeg

      2215D7F5-0634-4300-8CFE-BC8BD1670A1C.jpeg
       
    6. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      I’d flush until it looks like new fluid. A very small amount of water will contaminate a fairly large amount of oil. I’d drive it for a day, which should evaporate off the alcohol component of the washer fluid.
       
    7. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      I probably would have went with Mercon V. If that fluid isn’t a high enough quality you will develop a steering shudder, and the pump will start to whine.
       
    8. swshawaii

      swshawaii Explorer Addict

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    9. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Oops, I hope people don't mix fluid often, as shown there it can be nasty, or bad.

      I had a noise last year that got me to flush my PS first, and then replace the pump from Rock Auto. I used a gallon jug of the cheap store brand available.

      I first removed the cooler hose and connected a long length of hose, draining into a big coolant pan. Then I ran the engine for a couple of seconds. Next I topped off the reservoir, and started the engine. With the engine running, I poured new PS fluid in slowly to keep it from emptying completely. I shut the engine off right after the PS container was empty. I put the cooler hose back on. That got a gallon flushed through the system, and I refilled it with an Amsoil PS fluid.

      That works, but for my work truck I'm going to add an external filter and maybe another cooler(the old trans cooler). More fluid will run cooler, and last longer.
       
    10. Joe in NY

      Joe in NY Active Member

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      Power steering on Fords use Mercon V ATF. Not Power Steering Fluid.

      RTFM - It helps
       
    11. swshawaii

      swshawaii Explorer Addict

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      ^ Don begs to differ on that. Regardless of what the Ford manual says, personally I'm more inclined to believe him. JMO

      Power Steering Fluid Flush: 4.0 SOHC
       
    12. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      Either fluid will work, Mercon V certainly is the “right” fluid and won’t hurt anything. If using PS fluid it has to be a high quality, and preferably synthetic.
       
    13. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Any fluid needs to be high quality, who puts cheap crap in their cars? Those people deserve the problems they cause, like Mustang guys who have big leaks from their steering racks. The Lincoln Mark VII uses the identical rack, yet those rarely ever leaked, but they are all 27+years old now. Age kills parts too.

      I'd like someone who swears by ATF for once, to simply say "Don't put power steering fluid in the power steering." Think about that, for a second, how dumb does that sound to say?

      I used to use ATF like everyone else, because it was recommended. Then my brain asked, why, how long has that been done, and again, why? I can only guess that early PS pumps were made to use ATF because there wasn't a PS fluid, or Ford didn't want to make one. Things change, PS fluids have been around for decades now, and developed to be specific for PS systems, not for a transmission(but also work in a PS pump). I don't use a cheap brand of PS fluid, except to do a flush. What would it cost to flush a PS system with four quarts of Mercon V, interesting yes?
       
    14. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      Lots of people use cheap fluid. I don’t, typically, and fail to see why you would even use it for a flush.
       
    15. Centaurus5.0

      Centaurus5.0 Elite 5.0L Fiddler Elite Explorer

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      2005 Explorer Owners Manual

      http://www.fordservicecontent.com/Ford_Content/catalog/owner_guides/05expog3e.pdf

      POWER STEERING FLUID
      Check the power steering fluid. Refer to the scheduled maintenance
      guide for the service interval schedules. If adding fluid is necessary, use

      only MERCON ATF.



      1996 Explorer Owners Manual

      http://www.fordservicecontent.com/Ford_Content/catalog/owner_guides/96expog1e.pdf

      Use only power steering fluid that meets Ford specification such
      as MERCON Automatic Transmission Fluid (or equivalent).


      As long as the fluid 'meets spec' then I would reason it doesn't matter if it says ATF or Power Steering Fluid on the bottle. Only testing can tell if one is better than the other. I replaced the fluid just in the reservoir at around 60K with amsoil atf and the steering was noticeably smoother. Was it any better than putting synthetic ps fluid or motorcraft mercon v? I dunno. Unless the ps system gets damaged somehow, I don't plan on touching the ps fluid ever again.
       
    16. Centaurus5.0

      Centaurus5.0 Elite 5.0L Fiddler Elite Explorer

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      Not all vehicles are keepers. Many up here are rotted and leaking and are a break down away from the scrap yard. I use the cheapest of cheap fluids (or even used) in a beater on it way out.
       
    17. MistahYebba

      MistahYebba Active Member

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      I know the Prestone PS fluid I put in is the “cheap stuff” and not Mercon V, but my budget is tight and the fluid is quite literally designed for the PS system...

      On a positive note, the picture I showed of the yellowish looking fluid... I didn’t drain it any additional times, but after driving around for a day, I dipped my finger in the reservoir to check the fluid quality and it looks nice and clear.

      The PS seems to be working fine for me still with the cheap stuff.
       
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    18. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      I like the Prestone brand, that's a good choice. I call the store brands cheap, and some odd brands you never hear of much. The Amsoil is a good $8 for a half pint, that's expensive. Amsoil ATF is about $11 a quart, that's a fine choice also.
       

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