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Pink PS Fluid


New member
May 23, 2021
'69 Stingray T-top
69 C3

I could probably post this question in any year subforum--or any automotive forum, for that matter. Here goes...

Is there any harm in using ATF as power steering fluid?

I'm working thru the list of issues with a '69 I just bought. Among the new drips on my garage floor, the crimson-hued stands out. To my relief they don't issue from the tranny; and I believe I traced the drips to the rear of the PS cylinder proper. Sure enough, there's red nummies in the PS reservoir. I get that hydraulic fluid is mostly similar, but still. I'll likely purge the PS fluid simply for prudence sake in the near future.

Opinions on ATF as PS fluid?
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Should not be a problem. I think that power steering systems are much more forgiving than transmissions. I once used Shell Rotella T Deisel truck motor oil in an Olds Ciera power rack and pinion that was leaking severely. After using all of the magic in a bottle stuff to no avail I needed to add something one night and the Shell oil was all that I had available. It stopped leaking for nearly a year afterwards and was only hard to steer for maybe a minute after starting up in the cold.

Check the rear of your left side valve cover for leaking. I was ready to order power steering hoses and cylinder for our 81 once, sure that the oil was coming from the cylinder, but it also looked to be seeping from the valve cover gasket too. I put on new gaskets and cleaned the oily area with the pressure washer. No leak since for several years now.


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