Best ATF- P/S fluid for "Lighter feel" in P/S

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I recently did a P/S fluid change on my 2000 Avensis using the turkey baster method. Thank you BITOG for that idea. I looked in my manual and it said to use ATF dexron II or III. So I replaced the old P/S fluid with M1 Multi vehicle ATF. (Only thing I could get from Auto shop on base.) It took two quarts to "change the color" from black to red. Does anyone have any idea to any other type of ATF/power steering fluid I could use to get a lighter feel in my steering? Some magical fluid with unicorn tears and glacial water? And please don't say something philosophical like, "Look in your owners manual, it will tell you what you should use." (Said in a really nasaly sarcastic voice.) I'm looking for serious ideas that I can try. I have no problem bolting up a new power steering pump if i have to...but hopefully not.
 
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Mobil 1 is a very popular choice. I have had it in my 99 Avy for many years and it performs great. Eapecially popular choice on the Lexus forums. BTW, it is so easy to completely replace your PS fluid I do not mess with the turkey blaster approach. Many tutorials available.
 
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You don't deviate away from the original (manufacturer spec'ed) ATF fluid for the sake of "lighter feeling", or whatever you desire. A/T gearbox and their specified ATF is a whole different, if not complicated subject matter that for the sake of your gearbox's longevity and such, it's best to adhere rigidly to factory specified fluid. If you want to know more about this subject, drop Molakule a line or search BITOG postings in the past. Q.
 
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It is less likely that the fluid is going to change the feel; unless this was an fluid issue that caused the "heavy" feel, and it is different then when the car was new. What is more likely to be able to change the tension is there maybe a bolt or screw in the mechanicals of the power steering that changes the pressures/tension for "feel". It's best to just not mess with it. You may have more luck in the user community specific for your car. I'm familiar with this on my lexus GS; people on the clublexus forums have adjusted to get a "heavier" feel; some going too far, and the steering wheel fails to spin back to center when released. http://www.clublexus.com/forums/gs-secon...searched-5.html
 
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Toyoguy

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Originally Posted By: artbuc
Mobil 1 is a very popular choice. I have had it in my 99 Avy for many years and it performs great. Eapecially popular choice on the Lexus forums. BTW, it is so easy to completely replace your PS fluid I do not mess with the turkey blaster approach. Many tutorials available.
I watched and read a lot of tutorials and I'm kind of a clean freak under the hood. (If its dirty then you most likely can't tell if there is a leak or crack somewhere.) The turkey baster method was the best/ most doable option for me at the time. I think once I get a little time to "become more brave" with the power steering system, I'm going to try out a few more methods. And thanks for bolstering my confidence in my M1 choice. I think I'm going to stick with it for the next fluid change as well.
 

Toyoguy

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Originally Posted By: raytseng
It is less likely that the fluid is going to change the feel; unless this was an fluid issue that caused the "heavy" feel, and it is different then when the car was new. What is more likely to be able to change the tension is there maybe a bolt or screw in the mechanicals of the power steering that changes the pressures/tension for "feel". It's best to just not mess with it. You may have more luck in the user community specific for your car. I'm familiar with this on my lexus GS; people on the clublexus forums have adjusted to get a "heavier" feel; some going too far, and the steering wheel fails to spin back to center when released. http://www.clublexus.com/forums/gs-secon...searched-5.html
That website was great! I'm going to look for the valve nut tomorrow while I change the engine oil. We'll see how it goes.
 
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I used Redline D4 in two (2) 2005 Camry's since new....no problems Also using in 2010 Avalon with no problems I would stay with Dexron II or III as spec.
 
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Tire pressure, alignment, and tire type... can affect steering feel. I've noticed a difference in steering feel with different fluids. Mobil1 ATF is excellent. You can go thicker or thinner to see how it feels. Dexron6 is a little thinner. Or you can add an ounce of oil VM/VII-honey to make it thicker. Another option is to visit the salvage yards and see if you can find a smaller PS pulley to give more power assist at low rpms.
 
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I find that if PS fluid is filled to max, the steering feels heavy. I moved it down to the mid level and it became lighter.
 
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I have used M1 full syn ATF in my power steering, after doing a number of changes, it has improved alot over time. I just bought a bottle of maxlife ATF since its half the price and I doubt the M1 is twice as good.. I think any syn ATF will work very nicely after many empty/fills of PS fluid.
 
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Weight is set by the valving in the rack's pinion housing. Excess backpressure from thick cold fluid can make it feel heavier (you might notice this on a cold morning) but there's not really anything you can do to make it lighter. The M1 is a good choice.
 
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On my CVPI, I had Supertech Mercon V in it. Last week, I got in it after work, Coolant temp was 19F, and tried driving it. It was halfway to manual steering for like the first mile. I would have to manually bring it back to center, because I could literally set the wheel in a position and it would stay there; only really close to lock would it roll back a little. I swapped two quarts through it of Schaeffers #204SAT Full Synthetic ATF and its much improved over Supertech. M1 is full syn too. I don't know that would could get much better than that.
 
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Toyoguy

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Boss302fan-Goodness. An XJS V12! How well does it run? What kind of power are you getting from that beast? How much oil does it take!? I would love to see pictures of that engine. Oh, and power steering talk and junk...sorry I went off topic, but come on its a V12 people.
 
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I'm a bit surprised by comments that oil viscosity or level changes the steering feel in conventional power steering. As far as I can see the torsion bar link in the steering shaft determines the ease of obtaining an angular error to the pinion. It's the job of the hydraulics to correct that error by applying a proportional pressure differential across the rack. In a simple system at least the steering feel is locked up in those parameters and should not be affected by viscosity under normal driving conditions. I would be interested to hear theories as to why viscosity does this and how this would not be equally affected by oil temperature. I would think that tire pressure would make a more noticeable change.
 
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