SaabCentral Forums banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,597 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This afternoon I had a load of fun changing the power steering fluid on my '97 900. Even though the VIN was well past the one where they switched over to CHF-11S fluid, what was in my car was completely brown. That's bothered me for a while, so I finally changed it all to CHF-11S. I initially pulled off the supply hose to the pump, thinking it was the return hose, and blew oil all over the place when the pump sucked in air and compressed air was blown into the reservoir for a second. ;oops: For future reference, the return line is the small one on the bottom of the reservoir with the kink at the end. I attached a short foot long hose to the return line nipple on the reservoir with a plug at the end, then stuck the return hose in an empty 2-liter pop bottle. The pump sucks up the fluid so fast that I went through an entire bottle of fluid before I knew it. It took another before it was all coming out green, and half of a third to fill the reservoir up again. Word of advice: order the Febi-Bilstein fluid from eEuroparts if you're going to flush your old stuff all out. It's half the cost of Pentosin at NAPA. Once the air worked its way out of the system (keep the reservoir cap open and turn the wheel lock to lock a couple of times), the pump stopped making funny noises, so I don't think I did any damage running it dry, but only time will tell... The steering does seem a little lighter than it did, which is a plus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,583 Posts
Thanx, another good one for the Favorites.

I do not think any harm will result from running empty, if the time was but a second or two; if there was little or no load, and little heat was generated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
619 Posts
Hey Jeremy! When you said you went through an entire bottle of fluid, did you mean you filled up the 2-liter with old fluid so fast, you needed a second? Or will all of the fluid fit in a 2-liter? I don't know how many quarts I need to change my fluid. I'm asking because I will be doing this soon to my car. Thank you for the right up! ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,597 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The old fluid all fit in a 2-liter soda bottle. It just went through a whole bottle of Pentosin fluid so fast that I needed a second can of that. It you're going to change yours, I'd recommend the Febi fluid at half the cost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,876 Posts
Jeremy, I need to put some power steering fluid. My system is leaking somewhere. I'll check for the cause of the leak then fix it. The next step is a flush and refill but how do I know that my car uses the CHF-11S? At what VIN did the change occur? I have a 1997 N/A. Some say the change was in 1997 and some say in 1996. Which is it? :confused:

The dealer is of 0 help :roll:. They had no clue. They sais they use the AC Delco stuff! The same as for the Saturns. I didn't go to my usual dealership as I was way too far.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,597 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
3- and 5-doors were changed with VIN 2022750 and convertibles were changed with VIN T7003151.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
619 Posts
Are these just year vin #s from 1997 and on? Or do I just pay attention to the vin cause the 1996 is number 38244?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,597 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yep. These are VIN numbers from probably mid model year '97. If you have a '96, then it uses regular old GM power steering fluid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,293 Posts
Just for the record, out system holds about a quart of fluid. To actually replace all of it and flush the old fluid from the system, 2Q is about minimum, because the old and new fluid will mix in the rack as the steering wheel is turned back and forth.

GM does not make any power steering fluid. The Saab WIS (Workshop Information System) CD recommended Texaco 1890 power steering fluid, for example. "GM" power steering fluid is nothing special. it is basically any hydraulic fluid which meets GM p/n 1050057, 1052884, spec. #9986010 etc. Texaco, Valvoline, Redline etc. all meet that spec.

The rest is just marketing, :cheesy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,583 Posts
PMI, you do speak the truth:cheesy:

If the old PSF were completely removed, could one use the newer fluid in a '95 or '96 with no ill-effects ?? (retro compatability) Not that I would bother..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,597 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
PMI said:
GM does not make any power steering fluid. The Saab WIS (Workshop Information System) CD recommended Texaco 1890 power steering fluid
Saab's had more power steering fluids! They actually put out a TSB back in 1995 saying that 1890 was hard to come by and was being discontinued, so in the meantime they recommended that ATF be used in emergencies. I guess sometime between then and mid-'97 they switched back to GM-spec fluid, and then over to CHF-11S.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,293 Posts
earthworm said:
If the old PSF were completely removed, could one use the newer fluid in a '95 or '96 with no ill-effects ?? (retro compatability) Not that I would bother..
Yes. If you drain and flush/fill with new fluid.

Rant alert:

There is nothing magic about power steering fluid, or brake fluid. The more expensive fluids usually have a higher boiling point, that is the main difference on our cars. If you mix the new fluid with the old, you will not get the benefit of the higher temperature spec.

Oddly enough, Saab's own WIS recommends Texaco 1890 fluid, 1994-1998, and does not mention Pentosin at all. The dealer hkayssi went to may not be as clueless as he thinks, :D

CHF = Central Hydraulic Fluid. CHF11S is a synthetic hydraulic fluid which boils at a higher temperature, and became popular thanks to race cars (it is rated to 130C). CHF7.1 is a non-synthetic hydraulic fluid, rated to 100C.

The temperature of our steering fluid does not get all that high in normal driving. As posted above, Pentosin is not the only name you can find on a bottle of CHF11S. Audi and VW allow CHF7.1 and CHF11S to be mixed. Porsche allows the two fluids to be mixed, with some exceptions on some special applications. Naturally, Pentosin would prefer you do not mix "their" fluid with any less expensive fluids from other companies... :lol:

(rant alert lifted)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,597 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That's what the TSB says. You can see it here. Their older one about discontinuing the Texaco fluid is here, and the entire list of TSBs, courtesy of Townsend Imports, is here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
619 Posts
Thank you for the info! :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
FWIW in the past with my other cars I have done the "lazy man's PS fluid change" which is: remove all fluid from reservior with turkey baster and then fill with new fluid, examine old fluid to see if brown and junky, repeat once a week for a few more weeks until the fluid is all looking good. This way there's no mess. Yes, it's not as good as getting fluid all over draining the system and getting all the air in the system, but it is quick and easy and effective. :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
619 Posts
Yea! that way sounds like a great idea! It uses the same theory as the transmission fluid change. When you drain it, there's always some old left in it, and if you want it really clean, then you'll have to change it again later down the road, so about 80 plus % will be "new" fluid! Awesome!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,293 Posts
Leon said:
Yea! that way sounds like a great idea! It uses the same theory as the transmission fluid change.
I don't want to comment on the transmission in this thread, and no disrespect, but no, this is not a good idea. The power steering system is not like a transmission, regardless of what kind of hydraulic fluid you put in it.

If at all possible, follow the instructions posted above, flush the old fluid using new fluid, in one direction, without recirculating old or mixed fluid along with wear particles from the pump, and without letting the reservoir or the pump go dry.

If you need to open the system (because you are replacing the cooling line etc.) and drain the fluid under gravity, you should still flush and refill the system the same way.

If the reservoir goes dry for any reason and air gets in the system, or bubbles appear in the fluid, bleed the power steering according to instructions, and with front wheels off the ground if possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,876 Posts
Ok, I couldn't find any Pentosin / CHF-11S anywhere in Montreal including the delaer :roll:

I was running low on fluid and hadf to use the regular power steering fluid yesterday. Well, today the pump is making a bearing nioise :cry: (I'm 90% sure it's that but I need to confirm it's the power steering pump not the water pump or ideler pulley)

I don't think it's related to the fluid though, the pump probably was low on fluid and was affected :cry:

Now I need a pump before the car breaks on me. I'll do the Wazee, and short belt at the same time.

What average life / mileage does the water pump last? Should I change it while I'm at it? I have just under 77K miles
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top