Saturday, January 31, 2015

SC430 Power Steering flush

Been driving the SC for a couple of days now and I've noticed the power steering is a little sticky when turning right. The oil in it of course was a dirty brown so a flush was in order.

This is the process I used and I'm in no way shape or form liable for anything that happens by following this process.

1 - Put the car on jack stands/jacks in the front so the tires are not touching the ground. Had access to a manual vacuum pump so used that to drain the power steering fluid out of the reservoir.

Once the reservoir was empty I dumped about 8oz of the Seafoam Trans tune in the reservoir. This gets the liquid level up to the cool min mark. The reservoir as you can see is filthy on the inside so much so that you cannot see the fluid level in it.

2 - With the trans tune in the reservoir switch the key to the ACC position (don't start the car). Turn the wheel lock to lock (left to right) about 10 to 15 times just to make sure if any air got into the system bleeds out. Air in the system will definitely mess up your power steering pump.

3 - Once that is done go ahead and crank the car up. Every 5 minutes or so turn the wheel from lock to lock at a medium pace (just don't do it fast) about 10 times (left 10 and right 10). I left the car running for about 30 minutes and did this every 5 minutes.What you are doing here at this point is letting the trans tune break down any build up etc in the steering rack as it circulates through the power steering.

4 - Switch the ignition off and you are going to proceed with flushing the system. I wanted to take the reservoir out and clean it because it was dirty. If you don't want to do this you can proceed to step 5 .

Vacuum the oil out of the reservoir again and pull the two lines that are connected to the reservoir off. Oil is definitely going to still come out because you won't be able to get all the oil out of the reservoir. The smaller of the two lines is the return line and sits towards the front of the car and the bigger line sits behind it in relation with the reservoir.

I tried, thinner break cleaner etc and it wouldn't just wash out so I made a make shift pad to get in the reservoir and clean the sides. I used an air nozzle, wrapped a shop rag and taped it. don't wrap it too much otherwise it's not going to fit through the hole in the reservoir.

You can see the sides here getting cleaner. Keep rinsing it out with kerosene or brake cleaner.

I couldn't get to the edged properly so I bent up a small brush to the angles I wanted to get to the edges. Rinse rinse and rinse in between just to make sure you get all the debris out. Once it's clean enough, or in my case where I didn't see anymore difference, go ahead and connect the bigger line back and on the 3/8" line connect the 3/8" barb fitting and clear line.

5 - Of the two lines on the reservoir the 3/8" smaller line is toward the front of the car and a bigger 1/2" I believe behind it. This 3/8" line is the return line (for those that are not cleaning reservoir, those who are, already know this). 

Pull the 3/8" line off and put in the 3/8" barb fitting and the clear 3/8" line (again for those that are not cleaning reservoir, those who are should have already done this).

Let this line rest in a oil drain pan or any container that will hold about 3 to 4 qts of oil.

6- The port where the return line goes I blocked off with some ear plugs. The orange you see in the port pictured below is the ear plug.

7 - Fill the reservoir up with ATF or power steering fluid (I put in Amsoil ATF). The reservoir can be filled above the max line at this point. With the key turned to ACC (do not switch the car on) go ahead and turn the steering wheel lock to lock 3 or 4 times keeping an eye on the reservoir. Keep checking fluid level in the reservoir and don't let it go below minimum. When you are turning the steering wheel the fluid is getting dumped out from the return line through the clear hose you connected into the oil drain pan or container you chose. Keep topping the fluid in the reservoir till you see fresh red ATF coming out of the clear line. At this point try to drain out enough fluid till it gets to the min cold line.

8- Remove the ear plug, disconnect the barb fitting from the return line and connect the return line back to the reservoir. It's going to get messy so have a rag under the reservoir to get some of the oil. I vacuumed the oil out of the reservoir and it still made a mess.

9 - Make sure all your lines are secure etc and fill the reservoir to between the min and max cold line.

10 - Time to bleed the power steering line again. With the key in the ACC position turn the wheel lock to lock (left to right) about 15 to 20 times just to make sure air, if any bleeds out. Also turn the wheel at a medium pace. Again air in the system will definitely mess up your power steering pump. 

11 - At this point you should be done, you shouldn't see any air bubbles gurgling in the reservoir and should be good to go. Get the car off of jack stands/jacks and if the car is at operating temperature you can fill fluid up to the max hot line. 

My steering is noticeably smoother and doesn't have that stickiness anymore. 

-AJ Abraham

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