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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My power steering fluid has been a dark grey color since I got my car. (It's also been slowly leaking, but since it took more than a year to go from Max to Min, I'm not really worried about that at the moment.) The other night, I decided to stick a magnet from an old computer hard drive into the PS fluid tank, and after sitting overnight the magnet came out perfectly clean. Whatever is making the fluid so dark, it's not iron. (Of course, for all I know, the steering rack internals are aluminum or something.) Is the PS fluid dark to start with? I kinda figured that mineral oil would be the color of baby oil (clear), since the two are effectively the same thing.
 
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Its grey color right off the bat, plus it desolves in the air over time so refilling it is norm. I talked with another B5 owner and he said why flush it if you need to refill it everyyear??
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Its grey color right off the bat, plus it desolves in the air over time so refilling it is norm. I talked with another B5 owner and he said why flush it if you need to refill it everyyear??
The PS fluid evaporates? Out of a sealed tank? That's a new one on me. Either way, I know I have a leak because there's nasty oily crap on the PS fluid hoses.

So my steering rack isn't grinding itself to bits. Thanks, that's what I needed to know. (though, depending on how you look at it, a simple worn steering rack might have been the easiest way to fix my slightly loose steering. sigh.)
 

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are you sure it is not tiny air bubbles?
it will look like you describe with them tiny bubbles.
check it after it sits overnight to see if it is the same color.
if it's not bubbles water will discolor it
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
are you sure it is not tiny air bubbles?
it will look like you describe with them tiny bubbles.
check it after it sits overnight to see if it is the same color.
if it's not bubbles water will discolor it
I looked at it at 5am on Monday morning after letting it sit all weekend. I'm really quite sure there's no air left in it.

Will water cause it to turn dark grey? If so, what color should it be?
 

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Grinding Gears...gone fishing!
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sounds like it is contaminated with something, either someone put the wrong fluid in it or water got in it.
dark red is the color is should be IIRC(some help here guys)
 

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Yes the fluid should be green. The fluid should not change color significantly. When I changed my OEM fluid at about 70k miles, the fluid still had a green tint to it but it had darkened somewhat.

If you have any doubt that the PS fluid in the car is not OEM fluid change it out asap. Non OEM PS fluid can damage the seals in the rack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Drip some on a piece of glass and hold it up to a light. If it sparkles like a Vegas stripper, you've got a problem with the pump or rack.
I checked that already. No metal.

I guess the color could be considered a dark olive color, but in general it just looks old. What does it take to flush the power steering system? Is it something I can do in my driveway with a couple of bottles of new fluid? I already ordered one so I could top it off, but if I can just flush the whole thing myself maybe I'll do that instead.
 
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