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#18758 of 19336 Power steering fluid exchange
Jul 16, 2010 (3:06 pm)
I have a 2009 Forester with about 25K miles. For the past couple of oil services, the dealer recommends that the power steering fluid be changed. I repeatedly declined. He says it is brown. I have never changed power steering fluid in any Subaru (or car) that I have ever owned. It is not recommended in the Subaru manual. The reservoir is translucent plastic and so it it easy to see the fluid color. In all past cars that I've owned, it was solid metal. Is brownish tinged fluid normal or is the dealer trying to perform an unnecessary $120 service? Any comments appreciated.
#18759 of 19336 Re: Power steering fluid exchange [rsilverman1]
Jul 16, 2010 (7:01 pm)
I know the earlier models use Dextron which is red in color. If it is turning brown this early, then a cooler needs to be added to the system and the fluid changed. On another note, is the color change from heat or degradation of parts in the system? If the latter, seriously consider putting in an inline filter system. Take the dip and wipe it off with a white towel. See what color it is. If it is brown, changing it is easy. Not possible to get it all out, just most of it. Pull the return line and drain reservoir. Pay attention to the mounting. I found the 2003 had the reservoir below the pump which can starve the pump and burn it out. That line to the pump must have fluid in it for it to work; so raise the reservoir to fill that line back up. Keep the hole to return line plugged with a finger until you lower the reservoir and quickly slip the return line back on and clamp it. Make sure you clean up any spills to prevent engine fires.
When it is all said and done save $70, send me $50 for helping out....don't we all wish! LOL Yup, dealers are quick to take you for a ride for a simple job. Auto designers are making it harder to service, but the basics do not change. Just be careful, get a good repair manual and use some common sense and careful thought about how to do a task before you do it and you will do fine.
On another note: The trucking industry also uses inline filters for both the transmission and power steering to extend the life of the units. I have begun installing them in the older Subarus in fleet service here. The first a 94 with a 175K returned to service recently. Go to http://www.magnefine.com/ they have the best price I have seen anywhere. On automatic transmissions, if you can get a cooler installed, do so, it will extend the life of the transmission a lot even if you do not tow.
#18760 of 19336 Re: Check Engine light on NEW Outback with only 270 miles!! [new_outback]
Jul 17, 2010 (8:11 pm)
When a new car arrives dealer lot, dealer has to hood up something before showing to the public. If they forget to do this then the CEL will come on.
#18761 of 19336 Turbos on old WRXs - anything to worry about?
Jul 17, 2010 (8:25 pm)
I have an '02 WRX with over 130k miles. After 30 minutes the engine gets coarse and loud. I was wondering if there is a concern of the turbo going? If so, how much is a replacement turbo?
Generally, the car has been very good to me, even with a great deal of hard driving. Great car.
#18762 of 19336 Re: Power steering fluid exchange [girlcarbuilder]
Jul 18, 2010 (12:12 pm)
Thanks, girlcarbuilder, for your comments. It does use Dexron ATF fluid. I checked the color and it is definitely not red (it was a clear, light tan color) and there was some black sludge on the bottom of the dipstick. Since this is a relatively new car and still under warranty I don't want to do any mods (yet!) like adding a cooler or filter. Besides this shouldn't be necessary since Subaru designed this system without either one.
My question now is: Why is this happening? Is a component in the pump or system (hose lining, a seal, or etc?) that is deteriorating causing this to happen? If so I need to have this addressed as a warranty issue. Hopefully with some more info I can make a case, if necessary.
As before, any comments appreciated.
#18763 of 19336 08 Legacy battery
Jul 19, 2010 (7:00 am)
I'm getting ready to replace my current battery which is 490 CCA. I want to install a battery w/ 625-650 CCA I'm wondering if it would be ok?
#18764 of 19336 08 Legacy wheel balance
Jul 19, 2010 (7:02 am)
Hi again, I was wondering if I have to rebalance my tires every time I switch to my winter set of tires?
#18765 of 19336 transmission fluid exchange
Jul 19, 2010 (7:16 am)
My service advisor is recommending a transmission fluid exchange (a machine which actually pumps new fluid through the transmission, cleaning out old crud, etc.).
Have folks here had any experience with that type of transmission service for their Subarus (mine is an '09 Forester XT) ?
#18766 of 19336 Re: Power steering fluid exchange [rsilverman1]
Jul 19, 2010 (7:20 am)
You are most correct about why the fluid is changing color. It is debris from the system breaking in. Metal to metal wearing, hose breaking down slowly and so on. Cutting down on it in circulation is key at some point in life. As for filters, I understand your warranty concerns. I would add the filter system after that. When you check A1 cardone websites about reman rack and pinion units or pumps, you will find it is a warranty requirement on reman units to install the filter system. The filter goes in the return line.
As for Subies in general the ones here are all Legacy, 94,97 and one 03 Impeza. If I recall correctly they all use the same rack unit. The 97 last time it was here from St. Louis, MO was 262K miles. They all have original racks. The 94 got the first filter system. The others will when they come south again. Primary reason for the install is to clean up the system and cut down on wearing it out even if these units entered the fleet late in life.
#18767 of 19336 Re: transmission fluid exchange [kurtamaxxxguy]
Jul 19, 2010 (7:47 am)
an 09? I might consider that at 60K to 100k. Besides you need to look at him and ask how that is going to clean out all of the crude in the torque convertor? I promise he will either squirm or lie like a dog. It will not! There is always going to be some trash in the system. Always drain and change the inside filter in the pan and then I would add an inline filter from http://www.magnefinefilters.com/subpage1Magnefine.htm . This is what a lot of fleets do. From then on it will be drain fluid and change inline filter every 30K for the filter. This is the best way to keep them clean in the first place. If possible add a cooler as well. Keeping the heat down extends life as well. Subie grilles are very tight on room.