Power steering questions | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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Power steering questions


September 4, 2012
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 XLT 5.0 2wd
Hey guys!

Couple of basic questions for 'ya. I have a "96 XLT 5.0 Explorer. Recently I started getting shaking when turning/changing lanes at high speed(freeway), and then eventually it started whining on turns even at low speeds. I know at least the whining is from being low on power steering fluid (it is - I checked). My manual (downloaded online) says to "use only power steering fluid that meets Ford specification such as MERCON Automatic Transmission fluid (or equivalent)".

My question is.....does that mean not the ones that say Mercon V (or LV or SP) or just plain ATF? In other words just use one that says something Like Mercon/Dexron?

Also I've read online that some say Mercon V is now backwards compatible with regular Mercon vehicles and some say don't use it. Appreciate any advice.

And I noticed that the fluid is fairly dark looking. Been checking on youtube to watch some power steering fluid changing/flushing vids, and the guy jacks the front end off the ground to turn the wheels and get all the fluid out he can before he disconnects the line underneath. But I read in a thread on this forum that is a big no-no with Explorers. I may change out the fluid completely, or at least as much as I can get without disconnecting any underneath hoses.

So my questions are.....

How many quarts of fluid do I need and is it a no-no to jack the front end off the ground and turn the wheels back and forth in that position on my Explorer? (wouldn't want it to Explode!) :)

thanks in advance for all help!