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Old 12-23-2003, 10:19 AM
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Question power steering fluid

I know in the owner's manual it says to use MB steering fluid, but is there anything else over the counter we can use instead that I might get locally?
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Old 12-23-2003, 11:35 AM
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Yes, you can use ATF D.

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Old 12-23-2003, 11:48 AM
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On your 190, I'd try to get the MB stuff. You gotta get into rather oldish MB's before I'd use ATF. Go with the owners manual as a guide, if MB says to use ATF, then that's what you use.
So try to get the MB power steering oil, and what I'd recommend if you really CAN'T get it easily enough is to find any type of product that says on the container that it is "Power Steering Fluid".


PS If I were stranded somewhere and say I had a major power steering leak, and I fixed it and now I NEEDED some fluid in order to avoid damaging the steering system, and all that was available to me was ATF, then I WOULD use it. It can do the job, but if I am somewhere where I can pick and choose I'd get the MB fluid if possible.
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Old 12-23-2003, 01:15 PM
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STP makes a power steering fluid for more severe requirements and specifically says it meets Honda and (I believe) Mercedes requirements. I bought some a few years back at Advance Auto and never had a problem in prior 124 class systems.
Cheers, SocksE420
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Old 12-23-2003, 02:32 PM
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Do NOT USE ATF IN YOUR POWER STEERING. The owners manuals called for this on into the eighties, but ATF has evolved drastically since then. The owners manuals were written before the formulation changes of ATF. Modern ATF is harmful to the seals in your power steering system.

Simply go into any auto parts store and get Power Steering Fluid. It is more expensive than ATF, but will work perfectly in your MB power steering system.

Merry Christmas.
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Old 12-23-2003, 04:14 PM
Q Q is offline
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I can attest to the problems associated with using ATF. My hoses swelled causing significant leaking. I replaced all of the hoses and then noticed that the seal on the PS box is now leaking.
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Old 12-24-2003, 12:23 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by LarryBible

Interesting statement. Numerous MODERN asian cars come from the factory with Dexron-III in their ps systems. Their factory shop manuals indicate that Dexron-III is to be used upon refill after draining, etc. Not trying to say this applies to MBs, just saying that as a "blanket" statement, it's wrong.
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Old 12-24-2003, 09:23 AM
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Those are different and new cars, built since ATF has evolved to its current formula. Think about it, don't you think that they might have different seal material that is not effected by ATF?

It's possible that the newer MB's built in the last few years since ATF's evolution MIGHT have seals that would be tolerant. Are you willing to risk several hundreds of dollars in potential repair to save about a buck and a half for a fluid that rarely needs replenishing anyway? The risk/reward here doesn't appeal to me.

For the older MB's it is KNOWN that the seal material is not compatible with modern ATF. The manuals specify it, but their crystal ball had no way of knowing that ATF would change. I have personally paid the price in resealing a pump because of this.

It's up to each individual to make their own choices and also take responsibility for their own decisions. It's your car and your free to use what you want. I am simply trying to share information. Do with this information what you wish.

Merry Christmas,
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Old 12-25-2003, 09:35 AM
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Hey, you guys know and that's why I asked. I can do older and new VW's but I'm new to Mercedes.
Merry Christmas
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Old 12-25-2003, 10:30 AM
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I own a late 80's BMW that calls for ATF in the PS reservoir - due to the changes in ATF since this car was manufactured, does this mean that I need to change to another fluid to avoid damaging the seals?


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Old 12-25-2003, 05:36 PM
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If I were you I would use Power Steering fluid from the auto supply.

Good luck and Merry Christmas,
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Old 12-26-2003, 02:58 AM
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Absolutely use MB power steering fluid like Larry says. I do - but what gradually cured the leak from the steering box (from a PO using ATF), was a few drops of Brake Fluid added to the PS Fluid. It reconditions the seals in some fashion or other. Some people hate this Idea, but I did pick it up on this forum and it worked from me.
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Old 12-26-2003, 08:50 AM
dtf dtf is offline
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It's up to each individual to make their own choices and also take responsibility for

The comment by Larry should be part of like a 'mission statement' for this web site. I think the moderators feel this way too. I personally have gained tremendous knowledge about my cars and it has helped keep costs down and cars on the road. I do plenty of additional research when I don't agree/understand the opinions here but I always understand they are delivered with constructive intent. Merry Christmas.
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Old 12-28-2003, 12:54 PM
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Thumbs up Opinions

I agree completely with dtf and Larry! There is a LOT of very good, helpful information posted on this site, and it is a tremendous asset to those of us who try to save a little money by doing as much of our own work as possible. I for one am extremely thankful for every opinion I read here.
Happy New Year to all!

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Old 01-02-2004, 01:04 AM
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Forgive the question. I thought it was just for the serpentine belt cars which required the later type of fluid. I was under the idea that the v-belt cars, ATF works fine. I'm at 320,000 miles on an old W123 and no leakage. I'm pretty sure this information came from Stu Ritter.

The W124 gets MB fluid.

Michael McGuire
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