Change your Power Steering Fluid, DUMMY! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Change your Power Steering Fluid, DUMMY!


March 5, 2004
Reaction score
City, State
West Houston, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
1995 XLT
Ok, I'm the dummy.

I've had crappy steering performance for the past few weeks in my 95 ex. Jerky wheel, not wanting to return to center, hard to turn...etc. With 190k on the clock, I wasn't surprised.

After letting it sit in my office parking lot for a week I returned to find that I no power steering at all. Being that I always have the worst problem possible, I figured that I need a new rack, power steering pump, and perhaps my 3rd 4r55e (just kidding).

Well, as many have said on this forum, you do need to change the power steering fluid every so often. Mine was black and full of floating debris. I put almost 100k on this truck and I've never changed it. I'm guessing that the all of the floating crap settled in the rack as it sat in the office parking lot.

I did the turkey baster method with a two liter soda bottle to catch all of the waste fuild. Its a messy process. Throw a towel under the truck.

I used a quart of trans fluid (lots of detergents) for the initial flush (the manual acually calls for Mercron), followed by a quart of STP power steering fluid for the next flush, and did the final fill with the STP stuff. Its sort of clear. I may do this again in a few days.

It’s about 90% back to its normal weak stock form. I hope this helps someone someday! :thumbsup:

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Can you explain this procedure to me, Sir ? i am having the same problems that you had with the steering of my explorer, and, yes, the p/s fluid is black.

Mine is a 96 v6 4x4 with 102,x.. miles.

Edit: im sure its not leaking, at least visually..

Any help would be very appreciated. Thanks.

Step 1: Buy 1 quart of Ford approved Transmission fluid and 2 pints of power steering fluid

Step 2: Find a crappy turkey baster

Step 3: Find an empty 2-liter soda bottle

Step 4: Turn on the vehicle and remove the power steering fluid reservoir cap

Step 5: Start sucking the fluid out with the baster. You might hear the pump whine as you get near the bottom of the tank reservoir. Dump the waste into the empty soda bottle.

Step 6: Fill the reservoir up with fresh fluid AND REPLACE THE CAP. Use the transmission fluid first followed by the power steering fluid.

Step 7: Turn the wheel back and full lock..but don't hold it there

Step 8: Repeat until you run out of fresh fluid and the reservoir is full.

If this does not improve the situation, you may have a worn or broken part such as the pump or the rack.

I had 1 qt of transmission fluid and two bottles of power steering fluid in my garage. I choose to do it in this order because I know that “automatic transmission fluids” have a lot of detergents in them. I figured that if I did it this way, I'd end up at the end of the day with mostly PS fluid and some transmission fluid/old fluid in the system. While the manual does say to use trans fluid, there is something comforting about a bottle that says "power steering fluid" on it.

i hope karma doesn't get you on that 3rd transmission statement;)

Good post i need to do this procedure too. Mine has a gnarly whine!