Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Outback of the Month Challenge!
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
Joined
·
3,657 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I Changed Power Steering fluid in my 2012 today. (Dexron ATF is proper fluid!!)
I used a similar technique which I used on my 2006 Baja as detailed below.
This took me about 20 minutes with wife helping by holding the jug to prevent spillage.

1) Remove drivebelt from PS pump. (remove plastic cover 1st)
2) Use turkey-baster with hose on end to suck some fluid out of reservoir (bring level below nozzle for return hose)
3) Pull RETURN hose from PS reservoir. (I used clamp-pliers)
4) Stick end of hose in an empty jug
5) Turn PS pump *CLOCKWISE* by hand while watching the reservoir
6) The level in the reservoir will go down as old fluid is pumped into the jug
===DO NOT ALLOW RESERVOIR TO GET COMPLETELY EMPTY===
7) Keep adding fresh fluid to reservoir (not above nozzle where the hose plugs in)
8) When clean fluid is seen coming out of hose, replace hose back on reservoir.
9) Refill reservoir to proper level.
10) Put drivebelt back onto PS pump. (reinstall plastic cover)

NOTES:
--This process will not replace ALL the fluid. For more complete fluid-flush, It is best to drive for a week or so and repeat the process.
--Two quarts should be plenty to do the above procedure two or three times.
-- When sticking hose inside the reservoir, be VERY careful to no damage the fine-screen filter about 1/2 way down inside.
-- If you allow reservoir to suck completely dry, the PS pump may lose its prime and cease to pump fluid. You -may- be able to turn it backwords to push fluid back into the reservoir from the bottom. It is best to NEVER suck the reservoir empty.
 

·
Registered
2013 Outback 3.6R Limited
Joined
·
500 Posts
That is a nice write-up. Thanks for sharing.

I am rather lazy and generally just use a 'turkey baster' to purge and replace the PS reservoir fluid. I know that doesn't get the entire system clean. But I feel if I do it on a regular basis the fluid tends to stay relatively clean. I may consider using your method in the future once my OB gets up there in mileage.

I do completely drain the PS system on my old Chevy truck using a similar method as you use, as it is a easy job on that truck.
 

·
Registered
2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
Joined
·
1,696 Posts
I am lazier, but more thorough. I pull the return line, put it in a bottle, and bump the starter to push the fluid through. You have to be quick. I fill the reservoir completely, then hold the throttle on the floor (Which activates the "Flooded start" protocol, shutting off the fuel injectors) and bump the starter. Repeat as necessary, until the return fluid is clean. Then, fire it up, drive it, turning lock to lock numerous time, and repeat the flush process. This effectively gets the vast majority of the old fluid out.......And does not require removal/replacement of the serpentine belt.
 

·
Registered
2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
Joined
·
3,657 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
.......And does not require removal/replacement of the serpentine belt.
I understand you wish to exert the least effort to achieve the same goal.

It takes all of 20 seconds with a 15mm box-end wrench to move the tensionor and work the serp belt off ONLY the PS pump. Leave wrench on the tensionor to save time when re-installing the belt.

I once turned the PS pump too much and it sucked the resivour dry.... it took me 15 minutes of goofing with it to get the 'prime' back into the PS pump. I imagine that using the starter to spin the PS pump would make 'losing the prime' more of a possibility.

Additionally, ALL hydraulic pumps can be physically damaged by spinning it when dry. For example, riding lawnmowers with 'hydro' drive have been known to damage the pump by simply pushing the mower 10-20 feet with the engine not running.
 

·
Registered
'13 OB, Black, SAP
Joined
·
271 Posts
When I changed the fluid I sucked fluid from the reservoir up to the where the hose joined, then removed the belt, put the return line into a container and hung one of my fluid funnels from the hood serving as the supply with a hose leading to the PS pump reservoir where the return hose joins (used a rubber stopper instead of the cap on the PS reservoir) lifted the front of the car slightly and turned the wheel left to right a few times, then I put the belt on the PS pump and the other end around the chuck of my drill, kept slight tension on the belt and used the drill to work the PS pump till the fluid came out clean.

Saw a youtube vid of someone performing the drill/belt method on an older subi and wanted to give it a try. Taking the belt off is ridiculously simple, cannot believe I paid to have my belt replaced years ago when I owned my '07 Altima.
 

·
Registered
2019 Ascent Touring / 2019 Tesla M3
Joined
·
626 Posts
I assume the 2013 model year uses Subaru ATF HP?
 

·
Registered
2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
Joined
·
1,696 Posts
I understand you wish to exert the least effort to achieve the same goal.

It takes all of 20 seconds with a 15mm box-end wrench to move the tensionor and work the serp belt off ONLY the PS pump. Leave wrench on the tensionor to save time when re-installing the belt.

I once turned the PS pump too much and it sucked the resivour dry.... it took me 15 minutes of goofing with it to get the 'prime' back into the PS pump. I imagine that using the starter to spin the PS pump would make 'losing the prime' more of a possibility.

Additionally, ALL hydraulic pumps can be physically damaged by spinning it when dry. For example, riding lawnmowers with 'hydro' drive have been known to damage the pump by simply pushing the mower 10-20 feet with the engine not running.
I may just try your method next time. I did replace the serpentine belt (As the maintenance schedule suggested, at 60k miles.......It looked brand new.) So, I have no qualms about removing/replacing it. And I did not have any problems either of the times I changed the fluid, with running it dry. I can see the reservoir from the driver's seat. Bump, bump, bump......Refill.
 

·
Registered
2011 Subie 3.6R Limited 2013 Cmax e=nergi PHEV
Joined
·
822 Posts
I Changed Power Steering fluid in my 2012 today. (Dexron ATF is proper fluid!!)
I used a similar technique which I used on my 2006 Baja as detailed below.
This took me about 20 minutes with wife helping by holding the jug to prevent spillage.

1) Remove drivebelt from PS pump. (remove plastic cover 1st)
2) Use turkey-baster with hose on end to suck some fluid out of reservoir (bring level below nozzle for return hose)
3) Pull RETURN hose from PS reservoir. (I used clamp-pliers)
4) Stick end of hose in an empty jug
5) Turn PS pump CLOCKWISE by hand while watching the reservoir
6) The level in the reservoir will go down as old fluid is pumped into the jug
===DO NOT ALLOW RESERVOIR TO GET COMPLETELY EMPTY===
7) Keep adding fresh fluid to reservoir (not above nozzle where the hose plugs in)
8) When clean fluid is seen coming out of hose, replace hose back on reservoir.
9) Refill reservoir to proper level.
10) Put drivebelt back onto PS pump. (reinstall plastic cover)

NOTES:
--This process will not replace ALL the fluid. For more complete fluid-flush, It is best to drive for a week or so and repeat the process.
--Two quarts should be plenty to do the above procedure two or three times.
-- When sticking hose inside the reservoir, be VERY careful to no damage the fine-screen filter about 1/2 way down inside.
-- If you allow reservoir to suck completely dry, the PS pump may lose its prime and cease to pump fluid. You -may- be able to turn it backwords to push fluid back into the reservoir from the bottom. It is best to NEVER suck the reservoir empty.

Thanks for this post brucep!

I used your method and did a quart of ATF HP on Friday had a small spillage issue out of the return nipple into the PS reservoir, because I was .... filling it too high with the fresh stuff and forgetting about the return being open. Doh. I did not bother to turker baster out the small amount originally in the reservoir. I just started cranking it clockwise and pumped it out while adding the fresh ATF HP.

Drove 400 mainly mountain miles with many a rack to rack hairpin on Saturday to shakedown the struts and get that new fluid mixed into the nooks and crannies of the rack and pinion.

On Sunday I did another quart to flush out the system of what has been moved around of the old stuff I had missed the first flush. Second time I used a rubber end cap as a stopper for the fluid return to the reservoir. This allowed me to pump out more at a time as I could fill up the reservoir and pump more through the system with each fill up without worrying about a dry pump - it also kept me from making a fun ATF mess. Should be good for many more miles.

(y):D

Much better than a turkey baster. 14mm wrench and the tensioner to remove the belt. Why is this method not on You TUBE? Most people are using the turkey baster, maybe the risk of running the pump dry?
 

·
Registered
2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i
Joined
·
2,842 Posts
the proper fluid is Subaru ATF

to get a complete fluid exchange you will need to remove the belt and turn the pump by hand after disconnecting the high pressure side. you will have to stick a hose on the discharge port and let it go into the bucket.

I just changed the PS pump on my wife's 14 legacy and why Subaru did not design it so you can take the pump off without removing the bracket is beyond me. Removing the bracket requires removal of the alternator...lol sweet
 

·
Registered
2011 Subie 3.6R Limited 2013 Cmax e=nergi PHEV
Joined
·
822 Posts
Yeah that's what I did with the idemitsu ATF HP (Subaru OEM).

Using the hand pump method it was a piece of cake.

Hoping to avoid the bracket/alternator removal with preventative maint.

Did you wife's PS pump burn out? Any idea as to what caused it?
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top