Does unused power steering fluid go bad/expire?

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Jun 5, 2003
McGregor TX
I have a mostly full bottle of power steering fluid in my garage that is probably 5-7 years old. I had bought it to top up an older car then sealed it back up. My question is this: is it still good? Will power steering fluid go bad just sitting in its container if it has been opened? When I look in the bottle it looks OK. Thanks in advance! DT
I would think it's okay if the bottle was closed securely. Heck, how long does the stuff last in your car? I've got a 2002 Trailblazer with the orig. power steering fluid in it.
If it were a fairly high ester content 'boutique' PS fluid I would maybe question it as group 5s tend to absorb moisture especially over that long a time frame. But not an 'off the shelf', mineral based, ps fluid.
[opinion] I don't think it will go bad if the cap is tight. It is hydraulic fluid, and I have seen hydraulic fluid in machines that have been in service for 50 years, and the stuff still works. If it did get a little moisture inside, it would probably evaporate in use in the steering system. Some people don't change their power steering fluid for 10 years or longer, or only when replacing their pump when it goes bad. I would only be concerned with old brake fluid: You don't want water boiling in the brakes. [/opinion]
My Saturn Relay uses regular p/s fluid, but I use redline p/s in it. All of my random bottles of p/s fluid are slowly getting moved into as few bottles as possible. all the clear, red, green, etc.. all getting moved into other bottles. It's all the same stuff from my take on it.. Eventualy it'll go into my used oil container. I just really am not a fan of regular p/s fluid.. kinda keeping it for my neighbors! I till have a half bottle of Valvoline Durablend Dexron 3. Eventually it'll be used up, so far it's going into my sister in law's avalon p/s resovoir. I found also an unopened bottle of pennzoil Dexron II. Not sure who's gonna get that someday..
If you're looking to dispose of it, could always add small amounts to the gas tank :P Wasn't it gary allen that did the ATF/MMO "testing" a while back...? :P Sure, it's not MEANT to burn, but it will but yea, we're talking maybe 1-2 oz. per 10 that's a good amount of fill ups to use, say a quart of old P/S fluid :P I personally would not use it...easier just to buy a new bottle...afaik, they put the "foil seal" (vacuum seal) on the brake fluid, and power steering bottles for a reason... BTW, I found P/S fluid at my local dollar tree, for $1 - it's made my "SMB Superior Motoring Benefits" out of West Long Beach, NJ 07764 Kinda curious how it compares to the other $3 Prestone and SuperTech P/S fluid at walmart...all the bottle says is the regular "formulated to reduce power steering pump noise, helps prevents squeals, rust, corrosion, mixes with all power steering fluids, protects against wear, oxidation, and foaming. Keeps seals, hoses, and O-rings Pliable. Pours in sub-zero temperatures. And contains Paraffinic Petroleum Distillates CAS 64742-65-0...which from what I've heard/read, is the "base" to almost all power steering fluid(s)..
Do all power steering fluids have "stop leak" in these days? I would prefer pure power steering fluid without any stop leak stuff.
Originally Posted By: Vikas
Do all power steering fluids have "stop leak" in these days? I would prefer pure power steering fluid without any stop leak stuff.
Not all power steering fluid says it has stop-leak on the bottle, but that doesn't mean that it does or doesn't have stop leak. If synthetic oils (PAO?) cause seals to swell then a synthetic PS fluid like Redline would have stop-leak, but it wouldn't be on the label. There are quite a few PS fluids available that don't have stop-leak listed on the label. I got some Havoline PS fluid at the Chevron gas station, and it doesn't say anything about stop-leak on the bottle. The Havoline has a slight red tint. Valvoline also sells a white bottle PS fluid that doesn't say stop-leak on the bottle.
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