Question about 1998 Volkswagen Golf

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I was told that the Golf power steering requires special power steering fluid, not the universal hydraulic power steering fluid. Is that right. After I added regular hydraulic fluid, the steering is very hard. What should I do?

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I hope you don't have permanent damage from using the wrong fluid. There are several different types of power steering fluid and they are not necessarily compatible. I would have a shop flush the system and refill with the specified fluid.

Posted on Apr 03, 2011

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The hydraulic fan runs off of pressure from the power steering unit. I would recommend that you check the fluid level on your power steering pump. It is more common for the power steering pump to give issues than for the fan to go out. That being said, if you can notice any whining noise, lag, or lack of assist when turning the steering wheel, it is either the fluid level, or the power steering pump. The factory fill power steering fluid for all 1999-2004 Grand Cherokees is a unique fluid, MS5931. ATF+4 (MS9602) should not be mixed or used as a "topping off" fluid on the Grand Cherokee WJ. All WJ models should be serviced using ONLY the special MS5931 fluid. ATF+4 is NOT an approved Power Steering Fluid and should never be used under any circumstances. Note that all fluids will darken in color with usage and fluid color is no longer an indication of fluid condition.

I hope that you have found this information to be useful, and if I can be of any further assistance, please let me know. Thank you for using fixya!

Oct 01, 2013 | 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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What is the difference between red ATF and white ATF..what is best for golf 1996 automatic ...


Essentially, ATF is a hydraulic fluid. Most automatic transmissions use red fluid, while hydraulic pumps, such as power steering use clear. I recommend using what your vehicle specifies for fluids, as they differ from manufacturer.

Aug 18, 2013 | Cars & Trucks

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My owner's manual specified an automatic transmission fluid type for my power steering. Is this an error?


No, it's usual for power steering fluid to be the same as transmission fluid. they both are hydraulic type fluid with similar system requirements.

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Feb 13, 2010 | 2005 Dodge Caravan

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Can low steering fluid cause mechanical problems


Problems associated with low power steering fluid…

Hard Vehicle Steering
A low power steering fluid level can often times cause a vehicle's steering to become hard and labored. Adequate amounts of power steering fluid are necessary to enable a vehicle's power steering system to function and operate at optimum levels. A lack of power steering fluid in a vehicle's power steering system reduces the amount of hydraulic fluid pressure necessary to efficiently operating the various parts of the entire power steering system. Power steering fluid supplies the fluid force needed to operate the power steering gears and to enable power steering gearbox operation. Low power steering fluid levels reduce this hydraulic pressure, which commonly results in hard vehicle steering.

Pump Noise
It is very common for a low power steering fluid level to cause significant power steering pump noise. An adequate amount of power steering fluid is required to ensure the proper function and longevity of a power steering pump unit, which is a belt-driven pump responsible for housing and circulating power steering pump fluid. A low level of power steering fluid results in increased power steering pump friction, heat, and wear, all of which can significantly reduce the operational life of the power steering pump while at the same time cause excessive power steering pump noise.

Fluid Boiling
Many times a low power steering fluid level can result in excessive heating of power steering fluid, a condition that can seriously degrade the fluid and cause it to boil. A low power steering fluid level results in less available fluid to both lubricate and cool a power steering pump unit. A lack of power steering pump lubrication and cooling leads to excessive heat being generated within the power steering pump unit itself, a condition that translates into the available level of power steering fluid becoming super-heated and degraded. When this happens it is common for the power steering fluid to boil and lose all of its lubricating and heat-reducing capabilities.

Gearbox Wear
The power steering gearbox is a set of gears within a vehicle's power steering system designed to facilitate movement of a vehicle's front wheels. The power steering gearbox is connected to the power steering pump by hydraulic fluid lines that deliver a constant supply of power steering fluid to the power steering gearbox. A low power steering fluid level, especially a chronic and severe low power steering fluid level, can lead to increased friction and wear within the power steering gearbox assembly, a condition that can significantly shorten the operational life of the power steering gearbox and negatively affect its operation

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Power steering fluid or ATF


Yes There Is ONLY ONE PLACE for Power Steering Fluid.

ZF Gemmer Steering

The ZF Gemmer steering is permanently filled with oil. There is no drain plug.

ZF Rack and Pinion Steering Without Power Assist

The ZF rack and pinion steering is lubricated for its service life and therefore does not require servicing.
In case of repair, steering components on E21 vehicles are to be lubricated with a sodium-based grease, with a temperature range of -30°C to +75°C .
Calypsol D 4024 BMW Part No.32 11 1 116 929

Ball and Nut or Rack and Pinion Power Steering

Only reputable brand Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) of Dexron® III formulation may be used for the power steering and power steering pump.
In case of brief hydraulic noise after starting at low outside temperatures, we recommend replacing the red ATF with green CHF or LHM oil (see below).

ZF Ball and Nut Power Steering with H31 System

The approved oils for BMW models with power steering and the H31 brake booster system are identical with those oils approved for power steering without the H31 system except for the following:

E32 models with self-leveling rear suspension and mutual oil supply tank in the engine compartment.
Countries with very low outside temperatures (e.g. Canada) had their power steering systems filled at the factory with Pentosin CHF 7.1 since 9/87 through 9/91. This is also to be used on vehicles built before 9/87.

Since 9/91, vehicles now use Pentosin CHF 11S instead of CHF 7.1.

Pentosin CHF 7.1 BMW Part No.81 22 1 468 879
Pentosin CHF 11S BMW Part No.82 11 1 468 041

These cars are marked with a pertinent label located close to the oil tank.

LHM oils (green color) of the following manufacturers may also be used instead of Pentosin (CHF 7.1):
Shell LHM
Castrol LHM
Exxon LHM

The mixing of CHF, LHM oils and ATF is not permitted.

Pentosin CHF 4548 was used on vehicles built before 9/87 but is no longer available. However, mixing of Pentosin CHF 7.1 with residual quantities of Pentosin CHF 4548 are permiffed in these earlier vehicles. Mixing of these two oils is not permitted for E32/E38 vehicles.

The hydraulic system for power steering and power-assisted brakes must be drained as completely as possible when changing from one type of oil to the other.
All oil supply reservoirs are marked with the type of oil being used - ATF or CHF.

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Now i somehow lost my power steering


you changed all the oils and fluids. uumm theres really not much you can do when it comes to that check the belt and if thats not it get a new pump

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The malibu has electronic power steering, it has a electric motor that provides assistance when turning-it uses no power steering fluid.

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Fluid check


The 2002 thru 2007 do not have the traditional hydraulic power stering unit that requires fluid. In these models, power assist is provided by an electrical power steering unit. Nothing to check there but the battery.

Jul 13, 2008 | 2004 Saturn VUE

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