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Old 07-30-2010, 01:31 PM
 
Location: U.S.A.
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I would like to start running synthetic fluid in my truck's power steering. I have a few bottles of synthetic ATF left over from a transfer case fluid change and was going to swap it out for the conventional stuff I have in the PS system right now.

Its just a typical Saginaw rotary vane pump and I have heard that running ATF is fine but nothing has been confirmed. My current understanding of these two hydraulic fluids is that the main differences between ATF and PS fluid is the addition of red dye in ATF for leak diagnosis. If I could actually find synthetic "power steering fluid" I would just buy it but oddly enough I have not come across it in any stores and I don't feel like ordering some online if I can just use synthetic ATF.
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
15,888 posts, read 51,508,512 times
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The difference between ATF and purpose-made PS fluid is small, if anything. IMHO the best you can get is Redline PS fluid, but very likely the ATF you have in hand is better than what's in the system right now.

Back in the 60's and 70's, power steering systems called for ATF, I forget when exactly PS fluid as such went on the market.

Of course I am not giving you a definite answer since I don't really have one, I don't know what ATF you have, or what truck you have, and I probably don't have any first-hand experience with either one.
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Old 07-30-2010, 02:06 PM
 
Location: U.S.A.
3,306 posts, read 11,005,813 times
Reputation: 2956
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
The difference between ATF and purpose-made PS fluid is small, if anything. IMHO the best you can get is Redline PS fluid, but very likely the ATF you have in hand is better than what's in the system right now.

Back in the 60's and 70's, power steering systems called for ATF, I forget when exactly PS fluid as such went on the market.

Of course I am not giving you a definite answer since I don't really have one, I don't know what ATF you have, or what truck you have, and I probably don't have any first-hand experience with either one.
I have Mobil 1 ATF on hand and the truck is a 2nd gen. Cummins Ram. I have 4" taller than stock tires, a 400lb winch bumper and that very heavy Cummins motor, it all makes steering a little tight if you can imagine. It is still manageable but definitely not one-finger steering you would find in a Cadillac.

So far I have modified the pump for more flow (quicker steering) but have not yet changed pressure since there is no way for me to really increase it incrementally or safely. The synthetic fluid route is probably my best bet at this point to ease up effort, next step would be to install a hydraulic ram assist... but thats money that is better spent elsewhere.
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