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Car Question For Any Mechanics On Here  
User currently offlineAC_A340 From Canada, joined Sep 1999, 2251 posts, RR: 1
Posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2023 times:

I have a '98 Cavalier with about 70,000 miles on it I've noticed that the power steering fluid is brown (it used to be red), but at the proper level. The owner's manual makes no mention of ever having to change this, and I have noticed no steering problems.

Is this something that should be flushed and refilled, or is it ok as is? I can't find much information about this online.

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2020 times:

If it ain't broke..... need I say more?

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29832 posts, RR: 58
Reply 2, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2016 times:

Sounds like your fluid is getting old. The brown color occurs as it picks up dirt and ages. As it ages it's properties change.

I would say that replacing the current 7 year old fluid is not a bad idea.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineEclipseFlight7 From Somalia, joined Apr 2004, 518 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2008 times:

Consider it preventitive maintenence. Frankly, your power steering fluid shouldn't really be brown because it does pick up as much dirt as say transmission fluid, so a change definatly wouldn't do any harm.


Holy sh*ts and burritos.
User currently offlineFlyingTexan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1998 times:

Put food coloring in it.

Or, call Click & Clack - Tom & Ray from Car Talk...they're mechanics...from MIT


User currently offlineCanadianNorth From Canada, joined Aug 2002, 3395 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1968 times:

Not a big deal, but if you have the time it wouldn't hurt to change it. I'm sure it's not doing much harm, but it's always good to fix any problems before they become problems.



CanadianNorth



What could possibly go wrong?
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29832 posts, RR: 58
Reply 6, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1965 times:

Quoting CanadianNorth (Reply 5):
I'm sure it's not doing much harm, but it's always good to fix any problems before they become problems.

Exactly my thought, for the amount of effort it takes to change that fluid, you may be preventing a much more expensive problem down the road.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineTPASXM787 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1730 posts, RR: 19
Reply 7, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1963 times:

It's a Cavalier? Push it into a lake and claim the insurance.  Wink


This is the Last Stop.
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29832 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1960 times:

Hey, I totally skipped that part.

I know where there is a 96 with a bum motor, in case you want a parts car.

All I have to do is hook you up with my brother, he can cut you a deal.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7653 posts, RR: 35
Reply 9, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1958 times:

Quoting TPASXM787 (Reply 7):
It's a Cavalier? Push it into a lake and claim the insurance

Great idea! With the 50 bucks you'd get you can go out for dinner!  Wink

Seriously though, I'd change it. Better safe then sorry.



A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
User currently offlineCORULEZ05 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1952 times:

Quoting AC_A340 (Thread starter):
I have a '98 Cavalier with about 70,000 miles on it I've noticed that the power steering fluid is brown (it used to be red), but at the proper level. The owner's manual makes no mention of ever having to change this, and I have noticed no steering problems.

Is this something that should be flushed and refilled, or is it ok as is? I can't find much information about this online.

...I'm not a mechanic or anything but based on the year and mileage...I think its time for a new car. That is my diagnostic.


User currently offlineCaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1950 times:

I have honestly never heard of anyone changing power steering fluid. If it ain't broke ya know.

It is a Chevy, just wait for it to start leaking and add as necessary, that should change it eventually.


User currently offlineTPASXM787 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1730 posts, RR: 19
Reply 12, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1949 times:

On a more topic related note, get it changed. Check you oil/fluids regularly. I had two Lebarons. Trust me on this.


This is the Last Stop.
User currently offlineCrjonbeez From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 317 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1937 times:

Quoting CORULEZ05 (Reply 10):
...I'm not a mechanic or anything but based on the year and mileage...I think its time for a new car. That is my diagnostic.

i'm guilty of siding with imports in the argument versus domestic cars, but the fact is, 70,000 miles is about right for a car from 1998. not everybody gets a new car when their current vehicle rolls past 50,000 on the odometer. i'm guessing that if somebody is driving a cavalier, they're not looking to spend much on a car, they're looking to get their money's worth out of it. i'm the same way. 1995 camry that just rolled 80,000 yesterday. damn good car that has NEVER given me a problem. i will keep that car, save ridiculous amounts of money versus buying a new car even though i have the money available, and enjoy every moment of that sweet drug we call "reliability." at worst, i expect 200,000 miles out of it.


User currently onlineMrChips From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 938 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1925 times:

Changing the PS fluid may make the fluid all red and happy, but I have a feeling that there might be a bigger problem here.

Seeing as PS fluid should not get discoloured that quickly, you might have a problem with seals/gaskets in the PS system. If you can get under your car SAFELY, have a look at the components in the system...if any are caked with dirt and/or look wet with oil, you might have found a borken seal.



Time...to un-pimp...ze auto!
User currently offlineAC_A340 From Canada, joined Sep 1999, 2251 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1900 times:

Thanks for all of the input everyone. I have no intention on getting rid of my car any time soon since I've had no major mechanical problems with it, other than general wear and tear. I've also just graduated from college and would have no way of financing a new car in addition to all of my other loans. Based on the very little other information that is available online, it seems as though having some fluid in there is more important than the color of it.

Crjonbeez - I agree with the imports. My first car was an '87 Civic. There was almost 180,000 miles on it. It was a great car for bombing around town.


User currently offlineJutes85 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1879 times:

Since you guys seemed to help out AC with this problem, I hope you can give me input on mine.

My rear brakes knock when I press the brake pedal. The pads were replaced before I bought the car 3 weeks ago so its not low pads. I took it into the stealership and they told me that its was my rotors. BTW, my rear brakes are not the standard drum brakes, they are disk all the way around.

Any input would be appreciated.


User currently offlineAWspicious From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1867 times:

Quoting Jutes85 (Reply 16):
Since you guys seemed to help out AC with this problem, I hope you can give me input on mine.

My rear brakes knock when I press the brake pedal. The pads were replaced before I bought the car 3 weeks ago so its not low pads. I took it into the stealership and they told me that its was my rotors. BTW, my rear brakes are not the standard drum brakes, they are disk all the way around.

Any input would be appreciated.

Sounds to me like they may have used a cheap after-market brake kit which didn't include anti-rattle clips. Wouldn't hurt to have Midas give you a free brake inspection, tho.


User currently offlineCRJonBeez From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 317 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1852 times:

Quoting Jutes85 (Reply 16):
I took it into the stealership and they told me that its was my rotors.

warped rotors perhaps...you can get solid, dependable, remanufactured ones for a good price at large stores


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