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Old 04-23-2006, 08:56 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 31098
Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Default Power Steering Fluid / Steering Shimmy + Noise

I came across 2 quarts of Valvoline SynPower power steering fluid, and I was in the process of swapping my steering rack (a colossal pain in the ass, BTW), so I decided to give it a try. Now Subarus are supposed to use Dexron 3 automatic transmission fluid, so I'm wondering if I made a bad mistake by choosing to use this synthetic stuff.

I primed the steering pump and followed the service manual's instructions for working the bubbles out of the system. There seems to be no bubbles in the fluid reservoir after running my car and turning lock to lock a few times. Nevertheless, the pump whines when I'm turning while the engine's revved a bit. The steering also shakes somewhat.

So... will the problems go away on their own (given that they're caused by bubbles), or is the fluid bad, or am I looking at a different problem?
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Altaic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2006, 09:35 PM   #2
Scooby Guru
Member#: 21808
Join Date: Jul 2002
Chapter/Region: E. Canada
Location: National Capital Region
02 GroceryGettAr
Nonemore Black


I swapped to Mobil 1 synth when I did my rack back in the fall - no problems so far

I'd get it up to temp so the fluid thins a bit, then leave it overnight to give the air a chance to rise and maybe try doing the lock-to-lock procedure again (at first without running the motor, as the manual indicates). The manual pretty much suggests it may take a few tries iirc - definitely took me more than just "turning lock to lock a few times".

Glad you got the rack on btw
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Old 04-23-2006, 10:59 PM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 31098
Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: Tri-State

Cool, thanks. I actually turned it more like twenty or thirty times, but after maybe six times there were no visible bubbles in the reservoir. It's been getting better the more I drive it, though. I'm wondering if some of the shimmying is due to the lower ratio rack (12.5:1) with the same power steering pump, though. I hope not.
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Old 04-23-2006, 11:28 PM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 104836
Join Date: Jan 2006
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Bend Oregon
2003 Impreza WRX
Sodoma Red


It's probly just bubbles in the fluid. I found that putting it up on the stands when the fluid is cold and the car isn't running and working it back and forth, starting with very little turning and slowly working up to lock to lock (without hitting) then getting more and more aggresive. After doing this for a while start the car and do the same thing. A mechanic told me to do this and it worked. It was amazing to see all the bubbles. It's easier if you have one person working the wheel while one person watches for bubbles. It did however take a long time. Good Luck
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Old 04-24-2006, 12:59 AM   #5
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 31098
Join Date: Dec 2002
Chapter/Region: Tri-State

^^^ that's what I did, as per the service manual.
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