Power steering fluid?

Messages
186
Location
michigan
Would it be safe to run ATF in my power steering on my 1988 Chevy Suburban or do I need that special GM power steering fluid? I read somewhere that 1972 to 1987 needed this fluid because ATF would eat the seals and GM changed the design in 1992 or somewhere around that time...but what about the cars and truck made between 1987 and 1992? This is what I read... Power steering pumps from 73-87 use specific power steering fluid. Both ATF and brake fluid have been used as replacement power steering fluid, both destroy the seals in power steering pumps of that era. Brake fluid destroys seals almost immediately, ATF takes a few months (but never fails to destroy them eventually).
 
Messages
2,377
Location
Pennsylvania
Why try ATF? Just buy some standard PS fluid at AZ and use it. Why risk a failure? I have used Valvoline PS fluid in GM vehicles for years with no issues.
 
Messages
1,446
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
Power steering fluid that meets the GM spec. is pretty easy to find and not expensive. Obviously if you go to the dealer it will be expensive. If you want a better fluid I've used Redline power steering fluid with good results in a GM vehicle. I also use Valvoline. I haven't had a problem with either.
 
Messages
3,358
Location
Maryland
 Originally Posted By: mechtech2
If an 21-22 year old seal starts to leak, are you gong to blame the fluid?
If your car is speced for powersteering fluid use powersteering fluid. If your car is speced for ATF in the powersteering unit, use ATF. I have seen people use ATF when there car was speced for powersteering fluid, and they had LEAKS.
 
Messages
16
Location
NY USA
I am under the impression that Power Steering Fluid is "Type A" automatic transmission fluid, and is basically hydraulic fluid. Dexron/Mercon fluid is a different product. I found this out when I was going to change the fluid in my Falcon's Fordomatic transmission and was told that Dexron would eventually ruin the seals. I was told to use Type A, Type F, or Type FA fluid.
 
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