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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Someone mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago they had never seen a power steering flush DIY - actually there are a few of them in various places on the net that pertain to VW's and/or Audis, including some in this forum.

Anyway, I said I'd write it up when I was done, and being limited in mechanical skills would try to find the easiest, effective way, so anyone could do it. Also, please note that my vehicle is a 2001 B5 1.8T AUG, so your procedure may be slightly different, but should be very close. I was working from the front of the vehicle, directly in front of the left, driver's side, headlight.

Tools and supplies needed: 2 litres Pentosin CHF11s or OEM PS fluid (use nothing else), pliers, screwdriver, couple of rags, receptacle for old fluid (plastic soda bottle would be perfect), golf tee, and a siphon device (turkey baster works fine).

Steps for the flush:

1) Remove plastic, snapon protective cover over the PS reservoir. Clean top of reservoir thoroughly.

2) There are 4 or 5 electrical connectors now exposed next to PS reservoir. These can be snapped out individually from the plastic holder and pulled forward out of your way. The entire plastic holder can be "unclipped" from its mount as well. This gives you easy access to the PS return hose, which is at the rear of the reservoir. It is the smaller of the 2 PS hoses, and has the metal restrictors on it for easy identification. It is not necessary to remove the PS reservoir itself from the sidewall, but some may find this gives a little more working room.

3) Siphon all the old fluid out of the reservoir (should only be a few ounces).

4) Remove the hose clip from the PS return hose with the pliers. My clip was not the usual VW "one use" clip, but rather a standard "pinch" clip, for lack of a better word. Just squeeze it together with the pliers and slip it down the hose and inch or so, and we'll reuse it when done. Place a rag underneath the area to catch any fluid dribble from the reservoir or hose, and slip the return hose off the reservoir connector (just a few twists and mine slipped right off). Place the golf tee in the return connector on the reservoir, so the new fluid you add later won't run out.

5) Get the old fluid receptacle (soda bottle or equivalent) and stick the return hose in it. My return hose had little slack, so I bent it around and down toward the oil filter, and wedged my receptacle in there to catch the old fluid. I removed the IC hose to the throttle body with the screwdriver to give me a little more working room with the PS return hose and old fluid receptacle.

6) Fill PS reservoir to the top with new fluid (not the MAX line), but all the way to the cap. Have spouse or friend crank engine for max of 3 seconds, while you watch fluid levels (both the reservoir which will suck down new fluid quickly), and the old fluid receptacle, which will fill quickly with the old yucky fluid. Be sure the old fluid receptacle is secure, so you don't spill that junk in your engine bay or garage floor. I repeated this step 4 times, dumping the old fluid receptacle after the 2nd and 4th/final flush. I also slipped the IC hose back on the throttle body (without tightening) before each crank, but am not sure if that is required (told you I was no mechanic). I noticed that the old fluid in the receptacle started turning from "brown" to "green" during the 3rd flush.

7) After the 4th and final flush, the PS reservoir should be pretty low. Siphon out any remaining fluid, remove the golf tee from the reservoir, and reconnect the PS return hose to the connector on the reservoir. Be sure the return hose is all the way on, right up to the "stop". Pinch the return hose connector with the pliers and slide it back up into position, so the thing is tight and won't leak. Wipe up any fluid spillage from hoses, engine bay, etc. Be sure IC hose to throttle body is reconnected securely if you removed it.

8) Fill PS reservoir to MAX line, crank engine for a few seconds, and recheck. Add/top off PS fluid to keep it between MIN and MAX lines. Replace electrical connectors and plastic protective cover over the PS reservoir.

9) Drive around, check PS fluid level, and check for leaks. Done!

WARNING: The PS reservoir is very small and will completely empty in a matter of a few seconds when flushing, even when filled to the brim. Do not let it run dry, as PS pump or other component damage could occur.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is a great writeup -- I should probably do this. Thanks!
Thanks. When I started looking into it a few weeks ago, wasn't sure if it was really needed or not. My car only had 68K miles. But I siphoned out some PS fluid from the reservoir into a glass, and it was an ugly, brownish color (looked kinda like coca cola). I knew the fluid was supposed to be green. So I ordered a couple of litres of CHF 11S, and a couple of clamps (which I subsequently didn't need), and flushed it today. Glad I did it.

I had a rack and pinion start leaking on an Acura a few years back, and don't want to go thru that again. Hopefully, this will help.
 

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The main reason to change PS fluid is to preserve the seals in the rack. I've had a couple instances in the past when new fluid also helped the pump run quieter.
 

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I inadvertently flushed mine this weekend while changing my timing belt. Turns out I had a bad clamp on one of the lines. It leakked like crazy when I pulled the lock carrier out to service position. Good thing I did the complete flush too, as the old fluid was nearly black and the bottom of the PS fluid reservoir was covered in gooey black gunk. It's nice and clear now and the PS pump is whisper quiet.

Thanks for the write-up :thumbup:
 

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What did it sound like before you flushed the PS fluid? Was it a typical whiny groan noise like previous cars I've owned?

I should have been a little more clear.

I only noticed the leak after I went to start the car when I was done with the timing belt. The PS pump made a terrible noise and I immediately thought I had royally screwed up my engine. I looked everything over very carefully and noticed the leaking connection on the ps fluid line. As stated above, the reservoir was gross, so I flushed and refilled. No more whine/noise once the fluid was back to where it should be. And yes, the sound was very similar to that whiny groan noise you hear in old Buicks whose owners refuse to top off the ps fluid (only very LOUD, since the entire front end of the car was "naked" to allow for TB replacement).
 

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I don't mean to re-open an ancient thread, but I just found this while preparing to flush my PS fluid, and wanted to add a few comments...

1) Generally it is recommended to move the steering wheel from lock-to-lock while cranking the engine in order to get as much old fluid out of the rack as possible (but don't keep it at either end for more than a second or so - this is bad for the pump). And the fuel pump fuse can be removed to prevent starting the engine - this makes the process a little more controllable.

2) As mentioned above, there is a cooling loop for the PS line in front of the radiator (at the bottom) with hose clamp connections. I might use the connection to this loop as my dirty fluid exit point if I confirm that this is the return path to the reservoir, and if it is easier to access than the return into the reservoir. I'll have to climb under the car and see which way looks easier.

Thought this might help others who stumble across this thread.
 

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... there is a cooling loop for the PS line in front of the radiator (at the bottom) with hose clamp connections. I might use the connection to this loop as my dirty fluid exit point if I confirm that this is the return path to the reservoir....
Let me know what you find out.
 

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I looked under the car last night and confirmed that the lower hose connection to the cooling loop should be a good place to break the line for a flush... It's the lowest point on the system, so if I want to do a "lazy" flush I could just open the hose clamp and let everything drain. But I intend to do a proper flush to clean out the rack and pump.

I'll try to post pics afterward.
 

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