Mustang Parts
   Carrying Saleen wheels and Bullitt wheels.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The PS Fluid Flush Scam, AGAIN

I got my oil changed the other day.  I do it at my dealership because they give me points I can use to get free service, so it works out to be a reasonable deal.  This time, they did the "we recommend you flush your power steering fluid' pitch on me, going so far as offering to show me that it was "dirty".   Upon inspection my fluid (which is about 50,000mi old) was a medium cherry color, like cherry coke.  Not very dirty.

Here's the truth.  Power steering fluid is good for well over 100,000 miles in normal usage.  It changes color because it leaches carbon black and other chemicals from the rubber power steering hoses and fittings.  Just because it is dark does not mean it is damaged.  

When should you flush your power steering fluid?  If it gets overheated (not sure how, perhaps failing pump?), or contaminated.  And you don't need to power flush it, you can simply suck it out with a turkey baster and refill the reservoir.  According to an expert on this subject, who I happen to know, there has been no proven benefit from power steering pressure flushing.  

When the dealer pushes you to change your power steering fluid, he is really just trying to improve his profit margin on your sale.  


Anonymous said...

Name the expert please.

The Auto Prophet said...

Anonymous, I won't name the expert out of concern for privacy, however, he is a senior engineer involved in the design of hydraulic power steering systems at a major automotive manufacturing company.