Power steering fluid vs ATF+4



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Thread: Power steering fluid vs ATF+4

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    Power steering fluid vs ATF+4

    Hi all,

    I need to add some fluid to the power steering on my van, but an not sure whether it should be standard power steering fluid or ATF+4. The fluid in there at present is red. I do know that the previous owner had warranty service work done that involved replacement of the two hoses and fluid to solve a "honk" problem from the power steering system, but I am on the road and don't have the paperwork to see what fluid they filled it with. I know that the normal fluid for this van is not ATF+4, but I would have thought standard power steering fluid would be amber, not red.

    - G
    1998 Grand Voyager @273,000mi, 3.3L FFV V6

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenlight View Post
    Hi all,

    I need to add some fluid to the power steering on my van, but an not sure whether it should be standard power steering fluid or ATF+4. The fluid in there at present is red. I do know that the previous owner had warranty service work done that involved replacement of the two hoses and fluid to solve a "honk" problem from the power steering system, but I am on the road and don't have the paperwork to see what fluid they filled it with. I know that the normal fluid for this van is not ATF+4, but I would have thought standard power steering fluid would be amber, not red.

    - G
    I still have the steering 'honk'. I called the Chrysler dealer about it and spoke to the tech. He said to flush the system and use ATF+4. If it's red and work was done at Chrysler, then I'm 99% sure it's ATF+4. Power steering fluid is clear/amber. ATF+4 is what I'd put in. Some say the 3rd gen's use power steering fluid and not ATF+4 but if the tech at Chrysler told me that ATF+4 is recommended then that's what I'm using.
    2001 Infiniti i30 3.0 DOHC V6: VQ30DE 177,000 miles; 1999 Nissan Altima GLE KA24 168,000 Miles
    1997 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT Laramie 5.9 46RE, 182,000 Miles
    Prev. 97 T&C LXi 184k 3.8, 94 T&C 3.8 156k Miles, 93 GV LE 3.3 123k

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    greenlight (07-17-2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sideburns2009 View Post
    I still have the steering 'honk'. I called the Chrysler dealer about it and spoke to the tech. He said to flush the system and use ATF+4. If it's red and work was done at Chrysler, then I'm 99% sure it's ATF+4. Power steering fluid is clear/amber. ATF+4 is what I'd put in. Some say the 3rd gen's use power steering fluid and not ATF+4 but if the tech at Chrysler told me that ATF+4 is recommended then that's what I'm using.
    I've noticed the "honk" two or three times in the last year or so, but apparently the Chrysler service done on the van early in its life pretty well solved the problem. I found two TSBs for the issue, both of which seem to specify standard Mopar power steering fluid, not ATF+4. Perplexing....
    1998 Grand Voyager @273,000mi, 3.3L FFV V6

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenlight View Post
    I've noticed the "honk" two or three times in the last year or so, but apparently the Chrysler service done on the van early in its life pretty well solved the problem. I found two TSBs for the issue, both of which seem to specify standard Mopar power steering fluid, not ATF+4. Perplexing....
    Check the date on the TSB's. It was probably before ATF+4 was being used in Chrysler's power steerings systems. Power steering is essentially just a hydraulic pump and transmission fluid is a hydraulic fluid and works fine. Mine is probably a 50/50 mix between the 2 (power steering fluid and ATF+4) and has been fine for 2 years or so.
    2001 Infiniti i30 3.0 DOHC V6: VQ30DE 177,000 miles; 1999 Nissan Altima GLE KA24 168,000 Miles
    1997 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT Laramie 5.9 46RE, 182,000 Miles
    Prev. 97 T&C LXi 184k 3.8, 94 T&C 3.8 156k Miles, 93 GV LE 3.3 123k

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenlight View Post
    Hi all,

    I need to add some fluid to the power steering on my van, but an not sure whether it should be standard power steering fluid or ATF+4. The fluid in there at present is red. I do know that the previous owner had warranty service work done that involved replacement of the two hoses and fluid to solve a "honk" problem from the power steering system, but I am on the road and don't have the paperwork to see what fluid they filled it with. I know that the normal fluid for this van is not ATF+4, but I would have thought standard power steering fluid would be amber, not red.

    - G
    Back in 2006 the power steering on our 1998 DGC was getting a little noisy so I too was faced with the ATF+4/Power steering fluid conundrum due to noise. I ended up evacuating as much of the old fluid out of the reservoir and refilling the system with ATF+4. The process quieted the steering down considerably but not completely; I'd say it knocked off 90% of the noise and that was good enough for me. I did this when the van had just over 100,000 miles on it. When I sold it with 180,000 the system was still operating perfectly and (mostly) quietly with no leaks or other ill effects from the ATF+4.
    Sold: 1998 DGC Sport 3.8 (Final odo: 178,000 miles)
    Sold: 1998 Chrysler T&C LXi 3.8 (Final odo: 190,000 miles)
    Sold: 2003 DGC ES 3.8 (Final odo: 172,000 miles)
    1998 Audi A4 Quattro (5-Speed manual)
    2001 Honda Accord EX V6 (4-Speed automatic)
    2009 Mazda3 i Touring (5-Speed manual)
    2012 VW GTI (6-Speed manual)

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    Red = ATF+4, other power steering fluid is amber. ATF+4 is good, only problem is finding ATF+4 at the smaller gas stations. WalMart carries it and most service shops will as well. So, color match and top up with ATF+4.
    2007 GC SXT - Magnesium - S&G - 3.8L - 112,920 kms
    2002 GC Sport - Stone White - 3.3L - 311,200 kms
    2003 Jeep TJ Sport - 4.0L - 251,430 kms

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    I've done my homework on this subject and this is what I have found. If you have a repair (such as a rack replacement) that causes you to lose most/all of the fluid, Chrysler recommends to refill the system with ATF+4 no matter the year of van. So if you had major steering work done at a Chrysler dealer, that is what happened. Also if you want to flush the system and refill it with ATF+4, that is not a problem either.
    Jeff
    http://www.facebook.com/eddie.munster
    Current:
    2007 Grand Caravan/3.8L V6/103K mi/original 41TE
    2006 300C/5.7L HEMI V8/128/K mi/original W5A580
    2002 PT Cruiser/2.4L I4/139K mi/original 40TE
    1992 S-10/4.3L V6/249K mi/original 4L60E
    Previous minivans:
    1997 Grand Voyager SE/traded@192K mi/3.3L V6/original 41TE
    2003 Grand Caravan Sport/3.8L V6/traded@124K mi/original 41TE
    2007 T&C/3.8L V6/traded@44K mi/ original 41TE
    2010 T&C Touring/3.8L V6/the ex's@72K mi/original 62TE

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