How to change your power steering fluid - Chevy Traverse Forum: Chevrolet Traverse Forum
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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How to change your power steering fluid

This is a how to change it- a little at a time.
The other option is to disconnect the PS lines and force flush.

Ive done this on my other cars. most notably my 2003 Trailblazer. I did it on that one every 15,000 to 20,000 miles... and 157,000 later-- PS is still going strong. I prefer doing it this way. no leaks to worry about with the hoses. I know there was other Trailblazer members who disconnected hoses and ran engine to force out the fluid - then refilled- you get it all out- but it comes out with force and like I said- reconnecting hoses.
This method has worked for me- and its what Ill do.

So- im going to do the same thing with the Traverse.
Since my PS lines ARE NOT leaking-- I dont like to loosen and flush and then reconnect--- only to find out that the perfect seal that was-- is no more... and they MAY possibly leak.
So what I do is remove all the PS fluid from the reservoir- and refill with new fluid. This should allow the fluid to sort of make its way around the system and mix. In a few days ill suck out more fluid and refill with fresh fluid. I will repeat this a 2nd time---- a 3rd time- depending on how dark I see the fluid.
I did this today and it took me about 30 minutes- with taking pics and stuff.


1st. you want to get a bottle of Power Steering fluid. The one I bought is shown. I also bought a small turkey baster ($1.9- both of these items at Wal Mart. You may also need to buy a small hose- like the one show (auto parts has hoses). I happened to have some. The manual doesnt say anything about GM Only fluid. THe Prestone bottle says its for use in GM cars.
I placed plastic under the car and in front of the car where I would be stepping.



THe PS reservoir on the lambdas for some odd reason has a small hole that makes using the turkey baster by itself- impossible (like on the Trailblazers- they had big openings- and you could use a large turkey baster.)
So thats why you have to use the small tube... attach it to the baster like so.



Then youll want to remove the OIL FILL cap. once taken off- you can pull up on the engine cover. Its held in place by 4 pop on/off studs. Simply lift.
As shown- the cover comes off- and now you can access the PS reservoir



Insert the small tube into the hole... and begin to suck out all the fluid. Youll have to do this multiple times.
I placed a white paper towel so that you could see the fluid. Its very dark. Like a dark cherry red once its on your napkin.
I dont know if its this color from the factory. (but the new fluid is CLEAR).



I used a water bottle to temporarily store the used liquid. I placed it next to the PS pump so that I wouldnt be moving all over the place with a baster full of oil. Continue to suck out most of the fluid.



Once done- I proceeded to clean around the PS reservoir with Simple green. Clean any other part that may have gotten dirty.



Once clean- I refilled. Check level and put cover back on
Before starting- the level was at the MIN. I left it at the MAX line.

Heres the old fluid... with less than 22,000.



My PS pump is not that loud. Its louder than my Trailblazer. But not loud to make me want to take it to the dealer.
Ill drive it around and see if it quiets it down... but thats not why changed a bit of the fluid.

FYI- I Only used about 1/3 of the Prestone bottle







2010 FWD LT1-Gold Mist Metallic- seats 8.
Build Date- July 31, 2009-2nd day of Spring Hill 2010 production.
2013 Equinox 3.6L - 60,000
2010 Traverse 3.6L- 127,000
2003 Trailblazer 4.2L- 180,000
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-16-2010, 09:27 PM
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Re: How to change your power steering fluid

Great write up there Rbarrios.

This is something that no doubt, get's overlooked on the maintenance schedule. As a matter of fact, I've never changed, or added any PS fluid to my Silverado, in the 5 years that I've owned it, and about 40k miles. Now the truck has 196,500 miles on it, and to my knowledge, the PS pump is orig, and I check the fluid level every time I change the oil, and it is still very clean, and to the top. This is something I may tackle on the Silverado this spring, and probably on the Traverse as well. Thanks to you, we have a great place to start.

Greg.<br /><br />2010 Red Jewel LT2 (Spring Edition)
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-17-2010, 07:23 AM
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Re: How to change your power steering fluid

Great write up. I do the PS Fluid once a year on my truck, and will also be doing it on the Traverse. The only difference in my procedure, is I have a suction pump (medical used for ventilators I think) that does the work for me. It pulls the fluid into a container with cc's marked on it so I know exactly how much fluid I'm pumping out. I'll post pics of it the next time I do it. As you stated, it usually takes between 2-3 times before the fluid in the reservoir looks new again.

2011 Traverse 1LT AWD<br />Cyber Grey Metallic<br />
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-17-2010, 12:22 PM
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Re: How to change your power steering fluid

Nice report on the "how to...". On the other hand I have had power steering on every vehicle I have owned since 1968 and have never changed the P/S fluid and have never had a failure because of it on any of those. I think I will spend the time I save skipping that maintenance procedure by reading another chapter in my current novel.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in maintaining my vehicles and when younger did a lot of tinkering and maintenance "just because it was fun". Now I let someone else do what has to be done.

Bayner66<br />writing from<br />The Lone Star State<br />2014 Acadia SLT2 FWD
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-17-2010, 10:45 PM
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Re: How to change your power steering fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayner66
Nice report on the "how to...". On the other hand I have had power steering on every vehicle I have owned since 1968 and have never changed the P/S fluid and have never had a failure because of it on any of those. I think I will spend the time I save skipping that maintenance procedure by reading another chapter in my current novel.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in maintaining my vehicles and when younger did a lot of tinkering and maintenance "just because it was fun". Now I let someone else do what has to be done.
Yeah, I've owned about 8 GM vehicles dating to 1973, and have never maintained the PS system. I have overhauled them with various vehicles as part of a ground-up resotration, but never paid much attention to them as far as maintenance.

I've never had one fail either.

On the other hand, this wouldn't be a bad thing to do by any stretch. In fact, I SHOULD do it just to keep the contaminants out of the system.

These days, it's not so easy to throw on a new pump or sterring box for 30 or 40 bucks like I used to.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-17-2010, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to change your power steering fluid

and before--- the part was easily accessible. well compared to today.... you can barely get the oil filter out... imagine the PS pump.

2010 FWD LT1-Gold Mist Metallic- seats 8.
Build Date- July 31, 2009-2nd day of Spring Hill 2010 production.
2013 Equinox 3.6L - 60,000
2010 Traverse 3.6L- 127,000
2003 Trailblazer 4.2L- 180,000
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 09:29 AM
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Re: How to change your power steering fluid

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbarrios
and before--- the part was easily accessible. well compared to today.... you can barely get the oil filter out... imagine the PS pump.
Another great point. I would hate to see the price on a rack, or a pump these days, that could have maybe been prevented by changing fluid.

Greg.<br /><br />2010 Red Jewel LT2 (Spring Edition)
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-26-2011, 02:29 PM
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Re: How to change your power steering fluid

Well today the weather cooperated a bit, so I decided to change out my PS fluid. I really like the Turkey baster method, so I went to the dollar store and picked one up.

Here are a few pics. I'm sure rbarrios will enjoy someone else posting a pic now and again.


Completed the fluid exchange.


Old Power Steering Fluid.



I replaced about 250ml of fluid. I siphoned some out after I was done, and it was clear with a slight tinge to it, like slightly rusty water. A LOT better than what is in the Prego jar.

2010 Traverse 1LT<br />Built 3/10 in Lansing, MI<br /><br />Ontario, Canada
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-27-2011, 07:34 PM
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Re: How to change your power steering fluid

Does anyone know what colour power steering fluid comes in the Traverse form the factory? The replacement stuff I put in was clear. I'm wondering if the factory stuff is reddish or brown already, as I can't imagine that the fluid gets dirty that quickly.

2010 Traverse 1LT<br />Built 3/10 in Lansing, MI<br /><br />Ontario, Canada
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-27-2011, 08:25 PM
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Re: How to change your power steering fluid

Power steering fluid gets nasty colored pretty quickly. It should be the same "clear" color from the factory as the new stuff you put in.

2011 Traverse 1LT AWD<br />Cyber Grey Metallic<br />
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