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  #1  
Old 12-22-2003, 07:08 PM
fahrgewehr2's Avatar
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Wilmington, NC
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Power steering fluid question

Heard a groaning/whining sound in the SE today while driving around town. Checked PS fluid level thinking it may be low, but I find plenty in the resevior. Problem is, its very bubbly with a froth on top. That can't be good, right? Get back in the car and everything is normal again. I have always used ATF dexronIII. YES, I know I should be using proper power steering fluid...

So I guess ill go ahead and put new fluid in, and maybe flush the system as well.

Any ideas on what happened here?

Mike
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'90 300SE 298k
-300K and it gets put into retirement.
'80 300D 255k Purchased new by family in 1980.

Had a:
1973 220 (gas)
1980 300SD
1992 400E

Last edited by fahrgewehr2; 12-23-2003 at 02:59 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-22-2003, 08:33 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Sounds like you sucked some air into the steering gear from low fluid (or evil spirits). Iv'e also seen wet PS fluid freeze the ice out -- makes the fluid foam and the pump howl. that was a very cold morning, though, had to jumpstart the old Olds that day.

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #3  
Old 12-22-2003, 08:51 PM
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Location: Evansville WI
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Have someone inspect the steering gear box and the power steering hoses for leaks.

Gilly
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  #4  
Old 12-22-2003, 09:24 PM
fahrgewehr2's Avatar
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Location: Wilmington, NC
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Thanks Fred and Gilly. I'll flush the system out and refill tomorrow. Filter is only 3 weeks old, as I did a major service 3 weeks ago. I only changed the filter- not the fluid. Can I just unhook the return line, drain while the car is idling, while at the same time pouring new fluid in the resevoir? Is there a better way? I don't find anything in the FSM CD.

Mike
__________________
'90 300SE 298k
-300K and it gets put into retirement.
'80 300D 255k Purchased new by family in 1980.

Had a:
1973 220 (gas)
1980 300SD
1992 400E
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  #5  
Old 12-22-2003, 09:33 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
I'd inspect for a leak BEFORE removing lines and all that stuff. Could create alot of confusion about what is/was a leak and what is "slop" from doing the change.

Gilly
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  #6  
Old 12-23-2003, 02:26 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 481
there is a 12mm nut on the steering box that will drain the steering fluid, you have to turn the steering to just the right spot to get it to drain. These usually leak on the high pressure line but, because of the plastic outer casing it drips onto the steering box so check the high pressure line. When you refill, fill up the resevoir and turn the steering fully to each side a few times this will fill up the steering box and get rid of most of the air.
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Martin Ingram
Colorado Springs
2005 320 CDI
2006.5 VW Jetta TDI
1991 560SEL (179000 Sold)
1972 280SEL 4.5 ('The Lead Sled' 320000 miles when sold.)
1972 220D (225000 when sold)
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