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Old 02-16-2009, 11:09 AM   #1
Octomonkey
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Dexron III for Power Steering

I noticed the cap says our power steering system takes ATF rather than power steering fluid. I did some searching on here as to why this is required, but I didn't seem to find any answers. Can anyone give me some insight as to why?
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:28 AM   #2
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ATF is just a higher standard of hydraulic fluid. Power steering fluid is the same thing.

Notice it calls for dexron III? thats pretty much the lowest standard of transmission fluid available. My pump has Dexron VI in it now.

Power steering fluid < Dexron III < ATF + 4 < Dexron V < Dexron VI

They are all just one better standard than the previous.

Sniper.

BTW I have put "Power steering fluid" in my reservoir, it didn't a big difference. But on cold mornings she would wine a little bit first thing. Hasn't done it since I put Dexron VI in.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:34 AM   #3
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Ok, that's great news. It looks like I'll be putting Dexron VI in my P/S system after I do my headers. Thanks for the info.
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:00 PM   #4
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99% of newish cars (say 95+) use ATF.

99% of which is the same stuff. You can go up, but you cant go down how ever. Dexron3 (mercon 3, Nissan Matic D) or better is ok for the GTO. a car that still runs the clearish old P/S fluid will likely have issues with ATF. ATF swells seals and hoses that arent designed for it.

Basically its one less fluid to stock.

What I havent figured out is why they dont just bleed off a low pressure line from the Trans pump to feed P/S.

My personal plan is to move the p/S reservoir, and redo all the lines with braided hose and AN fittings for easier service. Im gonna mount it by the brake and clutch Reservoirs. It will hide my N2O noids.
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:05 PM   #5
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What happens if you put P/S fluid in the GTO's system? Besides cold-start whining...
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:10 PM   #6
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I used valvoline dex/merc when I installed the L/Ts
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:44 AM   #7
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When I swapped out my pump, I used Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF. No issues since.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konnie the Goat...View Post

What I havent figured out is why they dont just bleed off a low pressure line from the Trans pump to feed P/S.

interesting point. I would assume heat and contamination?
And then you have M6 transmissions.. They could have even hydroboosted our brake and clutch systems. But at somepoint you've gotta realize its a 30k car not a 60k..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Octomonkey...View Post
What happens if you put P/S fluid in the GTO's system? Besides cold-start whining...

Short term? Not a whole lot.

Sniper.
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octomonkey...View Post
What happens if you put P/S fluid in the GTO's system? Besides cold-start whining...

it will feel like you have no power steering occasianlly.
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:38 PM   #10
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Send a message via AIM to hitdank
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/steering2.htm

if you need it
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:53 PM   #11
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I really don't think you are supposed to be putting Dexron 6 into the power steering.

P.S. I may be wrong, I got all my knowledge from this forum. I know jack about how cars work otherwise.

If I remember correctly, when GM discontinued Dexron III in favor of Dexron VI for the auto transmissions, they had to provide something for power steering so that people wouldn't be putting Dexron VI in the PS. I am pretty sure you can now buy the specific PS fluid for the GTO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sniper.x611...View Post
ATF is just a higher standard of hydraulic fluid. Power steering fluid is the same thing.

Notice it calls for dexron III? thats pretty much the lowest standard of transmission fluid available. My pump has Dexron VI in it now.

Power steering fluid < Dexron III < ATF + 4 < Dexron V < Dexron VI

They are all just one better standard than the previous.

Sniper.

BTW I have put "Power steering fluid" in my reservoir, it didn't a big difference. But on cold mornings she would wine a little bit first thing. Hasn't done it since I put Dexron VI in.


Last edited by ruski; 02-19-2009 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:53 AM   #12
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Can anyone confirm if I can place Dexron VI in the Power steering reservoir?
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dictatorsaurus...View Post
Can anyone confirm if I can place Dexron VI in the Power steering reservoir?

I have used Dexron VI since September 08' and have had no ill side effects (no whining).
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:24 PM   #14
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I would avoid putting Dex VI on top of Dex III. The additive may be incompatible.
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:35 AM   #15
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My ps lines were loose and leaked so I need to top off the reservoir but since I can't find Dexron III and I'm not sure what's compatible, I'm reluctant to add anything. The GM dealer's service guys don't know the answer either. Another reason I'm glad I don't own GM stock.
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Old 03-08-2009, 02:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericgl...View Post
I would avoid putting Dex VI on top of Dex III. The additive may be incompatible.


Dexron VI is 100% backwards compatible with DEXRON III spec. parts. The license on DEXRON III has expired. Here is a link to read for more information:

http://www.hollonoil.com/DEXRON-VI-S...ll_Release.pdf


I believe ATF is used instead of PS fluid because of its better heat tolerance capabilities. Notice how the SS and GTOs have factory PS coolers? Our racks get hot on these heavy cars, especially with "spirited" use. ATF handles the heat better.
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Old 03-08-2009, 02:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolAid...View Post
Dexron VI is 100% backwards compatible with DEXRON III spec. parts. The license on DEXRON III has expired. Here is a link to read for more information:

http://www.hollonoil.com/DEXRON-VI-S...ll_Release.pdf


I believe ATF is used instead of PS fluid because of its better heat tolerance capabilities. Notice how the SS and GTOs have factory PS coolers? Our racks get hot on these heavy cars, especially with "spirited" use. ATF handles the heat better.


Correct. The PS pump on these cars is a furnace. Australian racers have blown the original Monaro pumps halfway through a race. Ours have been improved to be slightly better than crap.

The subtler qualities of different versions of Dexron matter not a whit when it is used as plain old hydaulic fluid. I use Mobil synthetic ATF because of its superior heat tolerance and add a little bit of Tufoil to make it as slippery as possible. Do not add Tufoil to an automatic transmission.
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Old 03-08-2009, 02:43 PM   #18
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So basically is it safe to use a turkey baster to remove some of the stock PS fluid and fill up with Dexron VI?
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Old 03-08-2009, 02:44 PM   #19
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Holy cow...was wanting to flush and replace mine, but the book says it may take up to 4.2 quarts??? Damn. Need to place another Amsoil order.

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Old 03-08-2009, 02:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolAid...View Post
Dexron VI is 100% backwards compatible with DEXRON III spec. parts. The license on DEXRON III has expired. Here is a link to read for more information:

http://www.hollonoil.com/DEXRON-VI-S...ll_Release.pdf


I believe ATF is used instead of PS fluid because of its better heat tolerance capabilities. Notice how the SS and GTOs have factory PS coolers? Our racks get hot on these heavy cars, especially with "spirited" use. ATF handles the heat better.

Just that the hardware is compatable , doesn't mean the 2 fluids are compatable. Fluids meeting Dex III are redily available, they just can't use the Dexron name.

FWIW, didn't some members have issues using Dex VI in their manual transmissions?
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Old 03-08-2009, 05:35 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericgl...View Post
Just that the hardware is compatable , doesn't mean the 2 fluids are compatable. Fluids meeting Dex III are redily available, they just can't use the Dexron name.

FWIW, didn't some members have issues using Dex VI in their manual transmissions?

I dont know why your trying to fight the fact that DEXRON VI is 100% back compatible with DEXRON III. Do some research. Look up the info from GMs own press release.

http://www.gm.com/experience/technol...ase_30NO07.doc

All DEXRON®-III licenses expire at the end of 2006 and will not be renewed. Beyond that date GM will only support the use of DEXRON®-VI fluids for use in Hydra-Matic transmissions. Fluids sold in the market after that date bearing claims such as “suitable for use in DEXRON®-III applications” or similar wording should be avoided. DEXRON®-VI licensed fluids are fully backward compatible and can be used in all applications covered by earlier GM ATF specifications.
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Old 03-08-2009, 06:00 PM   #22
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^^^
All I see is that it is backwards compatible for the use in an automatic transmission.

I want them to say in writing that it is also compatible for use in PS.

"in all applications" sounds too vague to me
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Old 03-08-2009, 06:05 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolAid...View Post
I dont know why your trying to fight the fact that DEXRON VI is 100% back compatible with DEXRON III. Do some research. Look up the info from GMs own press release.

http://www.gm.com/experience/technol...ase_30NO07.doc

All DEXRON®-III licenses expire at the end of 2006 and will not be renewed. Beyond that date GM will only support the use of DEXRON®-VI fluids for use in Hydra-Matic transmissions. Fluids sold in the market after that date bearing claims such as “suitable for use in DEXRON®-III applications” or similar wording should be avoided. DEXRON®-VI licensed fluids are fully backward compatible and can be used in all applications covered by earlier GM ATF specifications.

I am only questioning adding Dex VI atop of Dex III. There may, or may not be, additive compatibility issues GM does not address this in the literature you provided. For example some antifoam chemistry mixed with other types antifoam chemistry results in increased potential for air entrainment of the fluid.

In top-off situations you'll not see the improved performance of the Dex VI as you'll have mainly Dex III in the system. So why pay the additional or take any risk when quality fluids meeting Dex III are widely available. If one was to drain and refill, Dex VI would make more sense.
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Old 03-08-2009, 06:49 PM   #24
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I have mixed Dex 3 and 6 in my grand prix transmission for over a year. Tranny is perfectly fine.
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Old 03-08-2009, 07:28 PM   #25
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The main point here is that Dex III is now defunct. I'm not saying that the DEX III today isnt made to DEX III standards, but it very well could be with no repercussions towards the company who makes it. They could be skating on some of the required parts of the formulation and you would never know it. Likely? I dunno. I've seen companies do worse in these types of times.

GM would not let the license go on DEX III if it still HAD to be used in some form or another. Put unlicensed DEX III in there if your worried. Otherwise, welcome to the future.
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:25 PM   #26
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Dont' fix it if it ain't broke. Why "upgrade" when the stuff the book says works fine?
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:16 PM   #27
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The newer spec Dexrons are backward compatible. One of the reasons they use ATF rather than hydraulic fluid is that ATF has a higher film strength than hydraulic fluid so the pumps should last longer.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:50 PM   #28
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It's a friggin POWER STEERING PUMP, not a nuclear reactor. It would still work with olive oil, and you'd lower your cholesterol, too.
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:35 PM   #29
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Does this say that it should not be used in Pontiac PS? Or that it should not be used in Pontiac Torrent, Vibe, and Wave (WTF is that) PS?

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Old 08-19-2009, 07:41 PM   #30
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Read the 1st paragraph....says it should not be used in power steering or manual transmissions (that used Dex III).

If this is for your PS, go buy some Dex III at an auto parts store.
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