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Power steering fluid question

32353 Views 35 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  avenger09123
Hi, guys: is Mobil 1 synthetic ATF ok for Gen4 Outback power steering?
I am thinking to replace the power steering fluid in my Outback(35k). Is it too early?
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2011 Outback 3.6 Premium
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I don't know whether using M1 ATF would be a good idea or not. Myself, I'd use OEM p/s fluid to assure comparability with the old fluid and proper performance. However, I don't think it's necessary to change the p/s fluid at 35K. Maybe at 100K, if you like.
 

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2012 limited, white, no moonroof or nav
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Hi, guys: is Mobil 1 synthetic ATF ok for Gen4 Outback power steering?
I am thinking to replace the power steering fluid in my Outback(35k). Is it too early?
That is what I used when I changed out my PS fluid, '12 OB, about 17k miles ago, at 50k. Actually gave a noticeable improvement......I wish I had done it sooner!

Mobil 1 fit the specifications, so you should be good to go.
 

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2022 Subaru Outback Limited in Crimson Red Pearl
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you two for the advice! I will do it this afternoon. I always prefer synthetic fluid because less concern of quality deteriorate.
 

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I use synthetic in mine. Not sure what brand. It resists heat better.

Not only that.........When I changed mine, 2 years old and 50k miles, the stuff that came out was loaded with black crap. I actually did 2 changes with the Mobil 1......first batch of that cleaned out a bunch more ugly. I do not believe the OEM stuff has a very robust additive package.

I plan to do it again at 75k, and every 25k thereafter. It actually took a lot of the center overstiffness out of the steering.
 

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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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I just looked up the "Mobil 1 synthetic ATF" you used. It Does specify that it meets the DEXRON III requirements that Subaru calls-for in your Power-steering system.

If you want even better fluid - DEXRON VI is indeed synthetic. It is VERY shear-stable. (Viscosity does not change over long periods of use)

Mobil sells their own version of DEXRON VI ==>Mobil Super? Dexron-VI ATF | Automatic Transmission Fluid | Mobil?
 

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A related PS fluid comment: I replaced the PS fluid in my 2006 Subaru Baja with over 100,000 miles on it.

After replacement, the steering feel was smoother and the "self centering" after a sharp turn was much better.

To replace the fluid, did the following:

1) Remove belt from PS pump
2) Pull RETURN hose from the Reservoir and lift end of hose so it does not drain the Reservoir
3) Put end of pipe (coming from the rack) in clear container
4) by hand - turn the PS pump
5) As you turn the pump, fluid will be pumped from the Reservoir into your container. (DO NOT allow the
Reservoir to get sucked dry.... add new fluid to it as it empties.)

When you start to see the new fluid flowing into your container, turn steering-wheel all the way one direction. (It will turn VERY hard with engine OFF but that is expected) Repeat #5 above then turn
steering-wheel all the way the OTHER way and repeat #5 again.

When you are done virtually ALL the old fluid will be in your container and the PS system will be full of new fluid.
 

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2013 Outback, 2.5i Limited w/ Moonroof
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Please share with us your impression after flushing with the Mobil 1 ATF. Any notable difference?

I also selected Mobil 1 ATF for when I drain and flush the PS system on my Outback. I had considered changing PS fluid at 30K, but will probably wait until 60k miles. Any opinions from those that have done it? Is 60k miles too long?
 

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2022 Subaru Outback Limited in Crimson Red Pearl
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did not do the flush like Brucep described above (which is recommend if you fluid is dirty). What I did is the simple method as follows:

1. remove the fluid from the power steering reservoir using a handpump, then fill it to the max line with new fluid.
2. start the engine and turn the wheel to the right (max) and left (max) 5-6 times. Shutdown the engine.
3. Repeat step 1 and 2 three times.

I will do this every 30k or so in the future. I think it can serve me well even though it is not complete flush. Flush it if yours is dirty!

BTW, I did not feel much difference before and after the fluid change in my case, but I won't have any concern for power steering fluid for another 30k miles:)
 

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At 64K miles on my 2011, the PS fluid looked like cough syrup mixed with dark coffee.
I chose to do the flushing method just like hongthan mentioned and it took a whole quart to get it to start looking clean. I chose to go through a second quart just to be thorough. I used Valvoline synthetic ATF compatible with Dexron III.
By changing the fluid, it took care of some vibration and growling I was hearing when the wheels were turned fully one way or the other. Steering is smoother altogether as well.

Here is another tip that you may or may not choose to follow: overfill the reservoir. Don't go crazy, just fill it up right up to level that it sits under the return hose. This way you'll get out a lot more in one siphon. When you're done, refill to correct level.
 

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Seriously? How could clean fresh fluid improve the steering?
There was a "Notchiness" that went away with the fresh fluid. I think the new fluid may have been a bit thinner, than the old stuff. Steering wheel moves more smoothly, which improves steering feel. Almost to the point of doing it again........(Just past 70k, last done at 50k, plan is to do it every 25k.)
 

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The hose for the siphon I was using was too big to go down any further than the very bottom of the reservoir. If the tool you are using can actually make it's way down to the hose, I would only siphon out what is in the reservoir and not go any further than that.
 

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How far down the reservoir do you remove/empty the fluid, could you introduce air in it?
All the way to the bottom as long as the PS pump does not turn and suck in air.

BEWARE: There is a VERY fine screen at the bottom of the PS reservoir. All the fluid flows UP thru that screen as it enters the reservoir. Some folks have accidentally poked a hole in it while sucking fluid out. You have been warned :)

If you do end up poking a hole in it, the easiest 'fix' is to install an inline PS filter in the return-hose.
 

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To replace the fluid, did the following:

1) Remove belt from PS pump
2) Pull RETURN hose from the Reservoir and lift end of hose so it does not drain the Reservoir
3) Put end of pipe (coming from the rack) in clear container
4) by hand - turn the PS pump
5) As you turn the pump, fluid will be pumped from the Reservoir into your container. (DO NOT allow the
Reservoir to get sucked dry.... add new fluid to it as it empties.)

When you start to see the new fluid flowing into your container, turn steering-wheel all the way one direction. (It will turn VERY hard with engine OFF but that is expected) Repeat #5 above then turn
steering-wheel all the way the OTHER way and repeat #5 again.

When you are done virtually ALL the old fluid will be in your container and the PS system will be full of new fluid.
Do you have any photos on this procedure? I've performed the suck/fill/wheel turn method before but not this one. Your method seems much more comprehensive - just a bit unsure on the process.
 
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