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Old 07-28-2015, 05:25 PM   #1
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Change Interval for Power Steering Fluid?

Hi Everyone,

I was wondering if I should ever consider flushing my power steering fluid? I have not been able to find anything about how long it is supposed to last, or a service change interval. The maintenance schedules just say to check to make sure it isn't low.

I can't imagine it lasts forever. My 986 is 16 years young, and closing in on 95k.

Thanks,
-Rick

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Last edited by rick3000; 07-28-2015 at 06:59 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 07-28-2015, 09:13 PM   #2
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Hi Everyone,

I was wondering if I should ever consider flushing my power steering fluid? I have not been able to find anything about how long it is supposed to last, or a service change interval. The maintenance schedules just say to check to make sure it isn't low.

I can't imagine it lasts forever. My 986 is 16 years young, and closing in on 95k.

Thanks,
-Rick
Definately change it. The most common cause of pump failure is dirty oil, and this is a very common Boxster problem. I wish I had changed mine as soon as I got the car, might have avoided the leak that I eventually got. But as soon as I changed the fluid, it looks like the leak has slowed considerably. There was no noticable loss of fluid in the last couple weeks. The new fluid may have rejuvenated some of the seals to slow the leak. I used the Pentosin CHF 202 which is the replacement for the CHF 11S

Changing the fluid is real easy. There is a small plastic panel on the driver's (left) side of the car with 10mm bolts. Just remove the panel and you will see the high and low pressure PS lines. I just removed the return line shown here:


Just unscrew with a couple wrenches. There will be a lot of fluid so make sure to have a catch can ready. Then just turn the steering wheel side to side until all of the remaining fluid escapes. If you have the belt off, you can spin the PS pump, but I didn't bother as it looks like gravity took care of most of it. I got almost a litre out and I only had a 1 litre can so I didn't want to lose any more.

To put the line back together, pull the connector from the coupling and screw it back in (with the little wire cage), then just push the line back into the coupling.
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Old 07-28-2015, 09:26 PM   #3
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Thank you for the great info, any idea on a regular replacement interval?
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Old 07-29-2015, 05:17 AM   #4
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Thank you for the great info, any idea on a regular replacement interval?
I would change it every 40-50K, or when it looks dirty. It should be a very light green colour. It's such a simple and cheap service there is no reason not to do it.
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:36 AM   #5
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Thank you for posting. I have a small leak around my reservoir that I've been ignoring. Then I saw this thread and decided that I will change the fluid and the reservoir O rings as well.
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Old 07-29-2015, 02:53 PM   #6
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Does power steering fluid brand matter (like how it does for the tranny) or will any do?
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Old 07-29-2015, 02:57 PM   #7
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From what I have read the original recommended fluid was Pentosin CHF 11S (it is also printed on the PS cap in the engine bay), which was superseded by CHF 202. The two are interchangeable and can be mixed. It seems there was a period when 11S was unavailable, although you can now buy it for slightly more than the 202.

Maybe someone can chime in if one is better than the other?
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Old 02-25-2019, 05:59 PM   #8
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I will preface this with saying that I'm not a great mechanic, but I try to do the best I can and keep the Boxster in great condition myself.

Reposting an old thread because I was a bit frustrated with the info on the internet / youtube on the subject of flushing / changing the Boxster power steering fluid. First, I do not understand why this is not covered properly in the service manual. Surely after many years one should change this fluid, but the procedure is lacking. Second, the reservoir tank on the top of the engine is not conducive to doing a multiple flush where you remove most of the ps fluid, replace new, then remove again, replace new a few times, etc... Probably because this is mid-engine design? There is virtually no fluid in the reservoir to remove or check. Perfection is the enemy of the good when it comes to the Porsche.

Anyways, every post like this one says it is so simple. I had no problem removing the undercover as described here -- it sits under the car just below the driver's seat. BTW, thank you for the picture & description below. Breaking the return pressure line was a bit confusing. Eventually I was able to do it with 2 19mm wrenches, but I never fully separated the line -- I was nervous about damaging the innards or perhaps not getting it back together. Loosened, let it drain, turned the wheel back & forth, & when fluid went to drips after many back & forths, I retightened, opened the top to service condition, removed engine cover, and filled slowly through the reservoir until the reservoir was really full - almost overflowing. Turned the wheel multiple times to remove air, refilled, started up, turned wheel back & forth, filled very slowly checking tiny dipstick multiple times. When I felt it was right, took it for a test drive - all good. Retested dipstick, didn't need to add a drop, no leaks, I think it is good.

First time through, but I'm thinking this should have been easier. Normal car = turkey baster, remove fluid from reservoir & add -- cycle repeat a few times done. Sorry for the rant, but I'm thinking Porsche missed something here.... Hope this helps someone else do this maintenance.
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Old 02-25-2019, 09:24 PM   #9
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I will preface this with saying that I'm not a great mechanic, but I try to do the best I can and keep the Boxster in great condition myself.

Reposting an old thread because I was a bit frustrated with the info on the internet / youtube on the subject of flushing / changing the Boxster power steering fluid. First, I do not understand why this is not covered properly in the service manual. Surely after many years one should change this fluid, but the procedure is lacking. Second, the reservoir tank on the top of the engine is not conducive to doing a multiple flush where you remove most of the ps fluid, replace new, then remove again, replace new a few times, etc... Probably because this is mid-engine design? There is virtually no fluid in the reservoir to remove or check. Perfection is the enemy of the good when it comes to the Porsche.

Anyways, every post like this one says it is so simple. I had no problem removing the undercover as described here -- it sits under the car just below the driver's seat. BTW, thank you for the picture & description below. Breaking the return pressure line was a bit confusing. Eventually I was able to do it with 2 19mm wrenches, but I never fully separated the line -- I was nervous about damaging the innards or perhaps not getting it back together. Loosened, let it drain, turned the wheel back & forth, & when fluid went to drips after many back & forths, I retightened, opened the top to service condition, removed engine cover, and filled slowly through the reservoir until the reservoir was really full - almost overflowing. Turned the wheel multiple times to remove air, refilled, started up, turned wheel back & forth, filled very slowly checking tiny dipstick multiple times. When I felt it was right, took it for a test drive - all good. Retested dipstick, didn't need to add a drop, no leaks, I think it is good.

First time through, but I'm thinking this should have been easier. Normal car = turkey baster, remove fluid from reservoir & add -- cycle repeat a few times done. Sorry for the rant, but I'm thinking Porsche missed something here.... Hope this helps someone else do this maintenance.
It is the reality of a mid/rear engined car. Everything fluid has to run to the front front of the car, mostly for cooling, but in the PS case simple reality of design. Because the sheer volume is so high in the overall system, a large tank isnít required. The tank is almost more of an over flow tank than an actual reservoir. But, I get your point. Somethings are just a little more complicated with rearward engines.
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:59 AM   #10
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The best, easiest method I I've found, is to take it to the racetrack. It'll overflow all of that fluid onto the top of the motor, and then you can replace it all!

Last time I had the intake off, I added a hose to the overflow, running it down under the car, instead of the little stubby hose that the factory puts, dropping the fluid onto the top of the motor.

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Old 02-26-2019, 07:56 AM   #11
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The best, easiest method I I've found, is to take it to the racetrack. It'll overflow all of that fluid onto the top of the motor, and then you can replace it all!

Last time I had the intake off, I added a hose to the overflow, running it down under the car, instead of the little stubby hose that the factory puts, dropping the fluid onto the top of the motor.

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Did you add a catch can for the track or are the overflow amounts so minuscule it isn't necessary?
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Old 02-26-2019, 09:28 AM   #12
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Did you add a catch can for the track or are the overflow amounts so minuscule it isn't necessary?
I considered it, but didn't. Here's my thinking: I put a UDP on, which should help the situation. I added about 4' of hose, 1' is a "loop", and 2' is horizontal.... so it would take a serious overflow to drain anything to the ground.
Once I see any sort of "weeping" at the end of the hose, I may reconsider the need for a catch-can, but for the moment, it's dry, and I think I'm ok.
But good thought.
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Old 02-26-2019, 10:59 AM   #13
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I changed mine.

My 2004 had 40,000 miles on her when I changed my power steering fluid. I followed the procedure listed above by breaking that connection in the under car line. I refilled with factory fluid. I immediately noticed a better steering feel. It’s hard to describe, but she definitely steered better.

I did it in 2016. So she had 12 years on the factory fluid.

I’d just do it.
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:46 AM   #14
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Thanks for the responses and insights. Mine had 50K miles and 16 years old, dirty but not looking terrible once drained. Might be placebo effect, but I think the steering seems sharper and agree is definitely well-worth the effort.
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Old 02-26-2019, 12:26 PM   #15
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I considered it, but didn't. Here's my thinking: I put a UDP on, which should help the situation. I added about 4' of hose, 1' is a "loop", and 2' is horizontal.... so it would take a serious overflow to drain anything to the ground.
Once I see any sort of "weeping" at the end of the hose, I may reconsider the need for a catch-can, but for the moment, it's dry, and I think I'm ok.
But good thought.
I've got a UDP on my 2000 S and I track it a lot, and have never lost any PS fluid. I think you are probably good.
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Old 03-02-2019, 06:12 AM   #16
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I plan to flush mine today. Does it take an entire 1 liter bottle?
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Old 03-02-2019, 07:13 AM   #17
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FWIW, I never changed mine that I had for 17 yrs up until the day I sold it last week. Never noticed any issues with my steering.
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:04 AM   #18
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Boxtaboy....

....I totally get that.

I did NOT have any issues at all. As far as I was concerned, the car felt fantastic and nothing was wrong at all with the steering.

I changed it as a preventative measure because I had read so much copy about power steering pump failures. I drive my car cross-country on vacation at least once a year and I didnít want to be in the middle of the Vermilion Cliffs and have my power steering pump fail.

I was shocked that I actually felt an improvement in the steering feel. I was not expecting that at all. I still cannot understand why it would make a difference big enough for me to actually feel. But it did.

If somebody had told me that changing out old power steering fluid would make my car steering feel improve, I would have told them they were nuts and it was all the placebo effect.

But damn, it actually did.

Cheers.
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Old 03-02-2019, 02:36 PM   #19
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Iím not disputing what youíre sayin. Prob does make the car steer better, but I was just too lazy.

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....I totally get that.

I did NOT have any issues at all. As far as I was concerned, the car felt fantastic and nothing was wrong at all with the steering.

I changed it as a preventative measure because I had read so much copy about power steering pump failures. I drive my car cross-country on vacation at least once a year and I didnít want to be in the middle of the Vermilion Cliffs and have my power steering pump fail.

I was shocked that I actually felt an improvement in the steering feel. I was not expecting that at all. I still cannot understand why it would make a difference big enough for me to actually feel. But it did.

If somebody had told me that changing out old power steering fluid would make my car steering feel improve, I would have told them they were nuts and it was all the placebo effect.

But damn, it actually did.

Cheers.
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Old 03-02-2019, 04:10 PM   #20
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I don't feel a need to change power steering fluid, but if a PS line brakes I'll change it. PS is working fine in my 01 S

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