C3 Tech/Performance V8 Technical Info, Internal Engine, External Engine, Basic Tech and Maintenance for the C3 Corvette

PS Question Which fluid do you use?

Old 08-02-2001, 08:52 PM
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Default PS Question Which fluid do you use?

I replaced my entire system this year,and filled it with ATF [dextron]as the owners manual recomends.After seeing some posts about using regular PS fluid instead of the recomended ATF,has dextron been superceded?Or can you use both? I would think with the system built for ATF that it would the correct choice or has something changed that line of thinking? :confused:
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Old 08-02-2001, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: PS Question Which fluid do you use? (rdrman)

I have used both; however, when I rebuilt my entire ps system recently I went with powersteering fluid. As I have been told my my part guy, you can use either one. Not sure of the chemical makeup of each and how they differ.


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Old 08-03-2001, 03:19 AM
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Default Re: PS Question Which fluid do you use? (rdrman)


My preference is GM Cold Climate Power Steering Fluid (even though I don't live in a cold climate). This is a premium, high performance power steering fluid. The part numbers are GM #12345866 (16 oz) and GM #12345867 (32 oz)

This is a relatively expensive fluid as it GM lists for $8.50 and $13.60, respectively. But, good things usually are expensive. Plus, if your power steering system is in good repair, you shouldn't need much after the initial fill.
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Old 08-03-2001, 08:16 AM
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Default Re: PS Question Which fluid do you use? (rdrman)

In the early days of power steering, (sixties) ATF was the common fluid for both transmissions and power steering. In the late sixties, Saginaw Steering developed a unique fluid with characteristics formulated specifically for the Saginaw 10 vane power steering pump. I have always quoted the party line on this, "for maximum durability and performance you should always used the GM specified power steering fluid." This is the fluid available from GM dealers. I have no idea what fluid is in the cans at Pep Boys, K-Mart, etc. Some of them say that they meet the GM spec but I am somewhat sceptical.

The GM cold weather fluid was developed to reduce or eliminate cold start "whine." You really don't need it unless you plan on starting your Corvette during the winter and you notice a distinct "whine" for a few seconds after your engine fires.

Saginaw sells (or has sold) their power steering pump to the majority of the world's manufacturers. Some of them use ATF (Ford), others have used mineral oil (Chrysler 70's and 80's), Pentosin (VW), still others use the GM PS fluid. So the pump is pretty durable and will operate with a lot of different oils.

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Old 08-03-2001, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: PS Question Which fluid do you use? (rdrman)


Will the gm stuff leak like the synthetic that I've got? IT leaked it all in two days and that stuff is a mess to clean up

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