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dexron-III vs. regular power steering fluid

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Old 09-12-2011, 06:27 PM
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Default dexron-III vs. regular power steering fluid

I was about to change my power steering fluid (using the suck-out and refill method) when I noticed that the fluid in the reservoir was not red -- as in DEXRON-III RED. I know that the fluid could be any color regardless of spec, but i have a weired suspicion that someone has poured the "regular" (goldish) power steering fluid in there.

I have a couple of questions.

1) What are the repercussions of mixing (at least to some degree) Dexron-iii and regular power steering fluid.

2) What are the chances that that the fluid in there -- even though the color is not red is actually Dexron-III (the car was most likely serviced by the dealer until i bought it)

I'm the second owner of this 2007 XJ8 VDP and it has 83000 miles on it.
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:44 AM
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For what it's worth, when I flushed and replaced my PS fluid at 45,000 miles it was not red either. Perhaps it loses it's color after prolonged service? BTW I used Mobile 1 Synthetic ATF with good results.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:39 AM
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I've often meant to research the properties of official "power steering fluid" and compare the results to Dex III (or any other ATF). One day I will....unless an authority chimes in here and saves me the trouble :-).

On other (non-Jaguar) cars I've mixed p/s fluid and ATF and noticed no ill results. That is, nothing horrible happened, at least in the short term. I'm not sure about possible long term problems but I have doubts that any would crop up.

Dex III is specified for power steering in my '95 and same for my older (80s vintage) Jags. I've always used whatever ATF I had on hand at the time. Right now I have an excess inventory of Type "F" and it seems to work perfectly well <shrug>.

Interestingly the older Jags used GM/Saginaw power steering pumps. GM recommends only power steering fluid while Jaguar used ATF. Go figure, eh? Of course, besides the pump there's always the question of what the rack and pinion needs or likes by way of lubricant.

My non-authoritative conclusion is that power steering systems, at least on older models, simply are not very sensitive with respect to what type of fluid is used. Newer cars may well have more sophisticated and critical requirements.

Sorry for the rambling non-answer :-)

Cheers
DD
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:42 AM
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ATF does not lose it's color, by the way


Cheers
DD
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:47 AM
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Jaguar Power Steering fluid is gold.. dunno if its actually ATF DEXRON III or not..
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:19 AM
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I've sucked out around 350 ml. of whatever was in the power steering reservoir --- and filled it with standard GM ATF (dexron-iii).... We shall see what happens --- I'll drive back and forth to work tomorrow and will repeat the procedure. So far, after a 10 km. test-drive I did not notice any issues.

Best regards,
-Chris

Last edited by penguin; 09-14-2011 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penguin View Post
I've sucked out around 350 ml. of whatever was in the power steering reservoir --- and filled it with standard GM ATF (dexron-iii).... We shall see what happens --- I'll drive back and forth to work tomorrow and will repeat the procedure. So far, after a 10 km. test-drive I did not notice any issues.

Best regards,
-Chrsi

Is Dexron the factory recommendation for your car? Just wondering.

Cheers
DD
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:25 AM
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Doug, I don't know what the dealer says and it's not stated in the car owners manual (that book is not for technical people) but all the parts supply places (physical and virtual) state that Dexron-III is the fluid.

Cheers,
-Chris
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug View Post
Is Dexron the factory recommendation for your car? Just wondering.
The 2009 Vehicle Specification Guide from Jaguar says:

Mobil ATF meeting Dexron 3 Specification
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:47 AM
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All I could find here is Castrol DEX/MERC for older GM & Ford vehicles, meets DEX III specs.

Will this be okay?
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jahummer View Post
All I could find here is Castrol DEX/MERC for older GM & Ford vehicles, meets DEX III specs.

Will this be okay?
I see no problems in using any good quality ATF Dexron111 rated fluid in these systems, ....after all, it's just a hydraulic pump and ram system.
Castrol is an excellent product and has been favoured by Jaguar for years.
What i would reccomend is the addition of a bottle of LUCAS Power Steering Conditioner...this stuff is brilliant ;o))
As for fluid loosing it's colour, yes, it will over time as a normal practice with working fluid....leave it long enough and it will go very dark.
A PS system in good condition should only need it's fluid changing every three years or so.
It's always good practice when replacing fluid to jack front wheels just far enough off the deck to be able run engine and turn the steering from lock to lock several times to bleed the system of any air that may get trapped in the system.

Cheers,
Maximus
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:51 AM
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Changing the fluid has cured a vibration in the steering when turning the wheel from 12 to 1 or 11 o'clock, FWIW. It needed to be done, the old fluid smelled and was a reddish brown.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:43 PM
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Default Steering nibble.

Mine does exactly that. No noise. Just a slight nibble in the steering wheel a few degrees off center either side, like jayhummer's.
I just went to napa and bought the suction gun andsome royal purple pwr strg
Fluid to make the change.
Noticed it more in warmer weather, just like somebody else posted. 2005 45,000 mile XJ8 vdp.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:55 PM
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My '97 Owners Manual states: DextronIII
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jahummer View Post
Changing the fluid has cured a vibration in the steering when turning the wheel from 12 to 1 or 11 o'clock, FWIW. It needed to be done, the old fluid smelled and was a reddish brown.
Years ago, my steering had a shudder in it when turning the wheel, changing the fluid out to Mobil 1 ATF solved it.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:19 AM
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For the matrix, I disconnected the return line from the rack and did a flush of fluid using the action of turning the steering wheel. For the S-Type, there is a hose coming off the rack that seemed like a pretty good place to drain the fluid, also flushing by working the steering wheel. After doing this, the squeeking became more prevalent, so I guess I should add the magic liquid now.
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