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Old 06-12-2011, 09:21 PM   #1
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Default ATF fluid in power steering fluid

My power steering fluid was a hair below the minimum line. For some stupid reason I purchased ATF fluid and added at most 2 ounces to my power steering fluid reservoir. Could this be critical? Need suggestions?
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:23 PM   #2
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Dont know your truck but it was common place to use ATF for power steering. It was odd when one did not call for ATF....
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:41 AM   #3
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2006 5.4 screw 2x4. Reading throughout the web, I think it will be ok. Both are a type of hydrolic fluid it seems.
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:53 PM   #4
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Type F fluid can be used in most units
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:50 AM   #5
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My truck has been hard to steer at idle when hot.
One mechanic said it was the P/S pump.
I checked the fluid and it looked and smelled like ATF.
I drained the reservoir and added P/S fluid, this has made a noticeable difference. Since I could not get all the fluid out I intend to do this again in a week or so.
My point is that heat may affect the performance of the pump when you use ATF. Might be worth the trouble to head down to autozone and get the correct fluid.
Good luck.

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Old 06-14-2011, 09:19 AM   #6
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Normally a vehicles' power steering system uses the same fluid as it's automatic transmission. ATF fluid is ok, and what you where smelling was an overheated power steering pump. I always use a brand name power steering fluid because it has additives to help things out in the steering system's hydraulics, personally I use Castrol if I can't find that, Valvoline. Please check for leaks, pay attention to the effort in steering, and listen for grinding and howling sounds. This tells you the fluid level is down and also the pumps pressure vans may be worn out and the pump needs replacement. Take a look at the illustration of such a pump and go to the link below it is a great tutorial on how a power steering pump works. The information is about an older pump but the operating theory is the same.


http://www.stangerssite.com/HowItWorksFordPump.html
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Last edited by transmaster; 06-14-2011 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:19 AM
 
 
 
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