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Thread: lots of brake fluid in power steering reservior...HELP

  1. #1
    Registered Member

    08 cx9 grand touring

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    Jan 2012
    Location
    new york
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    5

    lots of brake fluid in power steering reservior...HELP

    Like a dumb ass I added brake fluid to the power steering reservoir. And not a little. I bought a Harbor Freight vacuum kit and I stuck a full bottle of brake fluid sticking out of the top of the reservoir while I was bleeding the brakes so I didn't run out. (like your supposed to) I got held up and left it for a couple hours. I came back and through the magic of science there were a steady stream of black fluid coming up through the clear brake fluid. I " thought" it was doing a magical brake fluid swap so I let the entire bottle swap out till it was all black. A couple days later a neighbor came over and pointed out my mistake....I sucked out all the fluid in the reservoir (black liquid not new clear fluid) and it was the amount that was in the bottle of brake fluid I had sticking out of the reservoir but again not clear like the new brake fluid I put in.

    I DID NOT START THE CAR SINCE ADDING THE BRAKE FLUID.

    The fluid swap in the bottle tells me brake fluid is heavier. Does that mean it sunk to the lowest level in the power steering line?

    Will fluid in the reservoir get past the reservoir without starting the vehicle? Like it needs the pump to form suction or will it flow straight out of the reservoir into the lines as soon as I you add it?

    Is draining the reservoir enough in this situation and adding PS fluid?
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  2. #2
    Registered Member

    2010 CX-9 GT

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    Jan 2011
    Location
    Melbourne, FL
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    173
    Quote Originally Posted by jonny rotten View Post
    Like a dumb ass I added brake fluid to the power steering reservoir. And not a little. I bought a Harbor Freight vacuum kit and I stuck a full bottle of brake fluid sticking out of the top of the reservoir while I was bleeding the brakes so I didn't run out. (like your supposed to) I got held up and left it for a couple hours. I came back and through the magic of science there were a steady stream of black fluid coming up through the clear brake fluid. I " thought" it was doing a magical brake fluid swap so I let the entire bottle swap out till it was all black. A couple days later a neighbor came over and pointed out my mistake....I sucked out all the fluid in the reservoir (black liquid not new clear fluid) and it was the amount that was in the bottle of brake fluid I had sticking out of the reservoir but again not clear like the new brake fluid I put in.

    I DID NOT START THE CAR SINCE ADDING THE BRAKE FLUID.

    The fluid swap in the bottle tells me brake fluid is heavier. Does that mean it sunk to the lowest level in the power steering line?

    Will fluid in the reservoir get past the reservoir without starting the vehicle? Like it needs the pump to form suction or will it flow straight out of the reservoir into the lines as soon as I you add it?

    Is draining the reservoir enough in this situation and adding PS fluid?
    I would pull the low pressure line off the rack under the car and let everything drain out. Jack the car up, turn the wheels back and forth a few times to make sure everything is out.

  3. #3
    Registered Member

    2007 Mazda CX-9 Touring

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    Jan 2011
    Location
    new york city
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    685
    Disconnect the return line and put in a large clear jug. Cap off where the return line goes, suck out as much fluid as you can from the reservoir and pour new power steering fluid. I believe it is dexron III. Have someone help you with starting the car and turning the wheel lock to lock while your are pouring new fluid into the reservoir and when you see that the return line is pouring red into the jar you should be set.

  4. #4
    Registered Member

    Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring 2016

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    Sep 2016
    Location
    Washington, the state
    Posts
    324
    Korn describes a good procedure. Even better to combine with jal's...get the front tires off the surface so it's easy to turn the wheels from side to side. Confirm that the correct power steering fluid is Dexron III automatic transmission fluid. That's common, but a few makes & models require something special. I don't think the modern Dexron VI ATF should be used in power steering units not designed for it.

    I'd do the Korn fluid exchange, drive it a short time (few minutes), then exchange the fluid again. Power steering fluid is a petroleum hydraulic oil. Brake fluid is polyglycol ether, a completely different chemical composition. The elastomer (rubber-like) parts suitable for petroleum may not be compatible with brake fluid at all.

    I like Lubegard products. I've had good results with their Power Steering Fluid Protectant, and in your case I'd use their Power Steering Flush after the first flush, then the protectant after the second flush.
    http://lubegard.com/~/C-131/Power+Steering

  5. #5
    Registered Member

    08 cx9 grand touring

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    Jan 2012
    Location
    new york
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    5
    I did it this morning before the new responses. What I did was disconnect both hoses from the reservoir and stick the hose from the vacuum bleeder ( around 2 feet) down both hoses to suck out as much fluid as possible. I refilled with Lucus PS fluid. I took around 26 oz give or take. How much does an entire system take? THat will give me an idea of how much old fluid was left in the system

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