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2004 TJ i6. I was checking my power steering fluid level today and noticed it was a little low. I wiped the fluid off the dipstick with a rag and it was a light tan color. I was expecting to see red color for ATF 4 it needs to use. Would it cause any problems if the previous owner added power steering fluid instead of atf4? To top of the fluid level what should I use? Is it worth flushing? Thank you.
 

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We can't know what is in your system and neither can you....

As a purist you would most certainly flush w at least 3 fluid changes...

In all honesty, the chances if any real problems are likely pretty low so you are probably fairly safe if you choose to roll the dice and let it ride.

If it were me I would probably flush it if I were doing any major work and prolly just top it off w whatever was handy otherwise....
 

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Thank you. Are ATF and power steering fluid compatible ?


No, I wouldn’t use PSF in a transmission. But, the steering box is alot less judgmental, I’m pretty sure you could put in motor oil of you were stuck in a remote location.

FWIW, the this is a page from my 2000 tj factory service manual:
 

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But your 2000 has a Jeep steering box and 2003-2006 use a German Mercedes box so may need to look in an 03-06 manual not a 2000




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Discussion Starter #6
2004 Manual recommends ATF 4 only. I just looked it up. So how should I flush the system? Take it somewhere for a flush with a machine? Or is there an easy way to do it at home?
 

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Fwiw I have been running psf in my 04 for a few years as that's what was in it when I bought it....

To flush you remove the return hose from the reservoir and put it in a large container. Then you start the vehicle and turn the steering back and forth while pouring fluid in until everything coming out the return hose is uncontaminated.

This is how somebody at the shop would do it too.
 

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No, I wouldn’t use PSF in a transmission. But, the steering box is alot less judgmental, I’m pretty sure you could put in motor oil of you were stuck in a remote location.

FWIW, the this is a page from my 2000 tj factory service manual:
FWIW, here is what the FSM for the correct year model says:

CAUTION: MOPAR" ATF+4 is to be used in the
power steering system. No other power steering or
automatic transmission fluid is to be used in the
system. Damage may result to the power steering
pump and system if any other fluid is used, and do
not overfill.
 

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I was expecting to see red color for ATF 4 it needs to use.
Here is what the FSM has to say:

ATF+4, when new is red in color. The
ATF+4 is dyed red so it can be identified from other
fluids used in the vehicle such as engine oil or antifreeze.
The red color is not permanent and is not an
indicator of fluid condition, As the vehicle is driven,
the ATF+4 will begin to look darker in color and may
eventually become brown. THIS IS NORMAL.
ATF+4 also has a unique odor that may change with
age. Consequently, odor and color cannot be used to
indicate the fluid condition or the need for a fluid
change.
 

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Unless you know it has been changed, that may be 15 year old ATF in the system. It certainly would not hurt to flush and refill with new ATF. That and the clutch are the only systems in my '03 that have not been flushed and refilled in the last 4 years.
 

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In re the post about power steering systems being "pretty non-judgmental," I agree. And while I am not recommending this, something I have done proves that point.

I once owned a '93 F150, nicknamed "the blue lemon" for reasons I'll leave up to your imagination. Shortly after the warranty expired the pump started getting noisy. Within a month it was howling like one of those old-fashioned mechanical sirens. Multiple changes of the recommended ATF had zero effect, as did a couple of different kinds of "liquid fix." Resigned to replacing the pump, one day my eye fell on the barrel of hydraulic transmission fluid in the corner of the shop. This stuff is used in agricultural and construction equipment. Reasoning that I had nothing to lose, and that after all power steering is just a hydraulic pump and servo, I again flushed out the pump and box and refilled it with this "Unico 75 HTF." Started the engine and the pump was silent. And while there was a 75% chance at any given time that something on that POS, which I somehow nursed to 140K miles before making it somebody else's headache, was broken, I never had another minute's trouble with the power steering pump or box.

I've done this to other vehicles since then with similar results. But don't do it to your Jeep. Just flush it out and replace it with new, clean ATF-4 like the manufacturer recommends. End of disclaimer.
 
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