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Wrong power steering fluid (did I really do this)!...🙈

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Old Jun 12th, 2019, 21:36   #1
ckracer76
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Default Wrong power steering fluid (did I really do this)!...🙈

Hi all

Last night I was parking my S80 into a space and as I was manoeuvring and turning the wheels there was a horrible loud screeching sound and vibration coming through the steering wheel.

The sound got louder as I turned the steering nearer full lock (not a lot on the S80 granted...3 point turn more like 6 point turn) anyway I thought I'd better check the power steering fluid reservoir.

I popped the bonnet open and unscrewed the power steering fluid reservoir (completely ignoring the red letters printed in bold) WARNING USE CORRECT FLUID.

The reservoir screw cap has a built in dipstick with MIN and MAX markings and it was dry! I was horrified. How could I overlook this on my weekly checks.

It was 10pm so my first panic thought was all the car spares and dealers are closed. My next thought was drive to a my nearest Texaco fuel station and hope they stock power steering fluid. At the fuel station they had only one option Carlube by Tetrosyl Power Steering Fluid Red 1ltr 8.99 silver bottle. Suitable for most applications. I bought it and ran out to the forecourt to fill up my reservoir.

After a short drive back the steering noise disappeared and the steering felt lighter. All done disaster averted I relaxed and went back to work.

That is until I was telling my boss what happened and he said Volvo's don't take red power steering fluid they use green same as Volkswagen.

I choked on my tea!

What the hell have I done?
Turns out he was right. On closer bottle inspection I've put standard red power steering fluid in my car called Dexron III maybe also known as ATF? The green fluid I should have used is known as CHF11S. Carlube by Tetrosyl also make this and it comes in a black 1ltr bottle and it's double the price of regular red fluid.

Will it be ok? It all seems ok but this was only last night. Any advice greatly appreciated.

Christian
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Old Jun 12th, 2019, 21:53   #2
myfirstv70
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Default Noooooo!

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but nope, it won't be alright! Change it to the green CHF11S spec ASAP! There are lots of posts detailing various ways from using a turkey baster to empty the reservoir to disconnecting the return line and purging the old liquid. The red stuff causes seals to swell and could end up ruining your rack so don't delay!
Cheers,
Nobby
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Old Jun 12th, 2019, 22:07   #3
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The CHF11S spec came in the owners manual in 2005.
Previos P2 years had ATF spec.

So I'd flush it back to the green stuff and probably no harm done in such a small period.
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Old Jun 13th, 2019, 00:27   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarvinMitt View Post
The CHF11S spec came in the owners manual in 2005.
Previos P2 years had ATF spec.

So I'd flush it back to the green stuff and probably no harm done in such a small period.
na, I have a manual printed in 03 that has the green stuff listed. the only place I've ever seen ATF listed was haynes - which was obv an error
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Old Jun 13th, 2019, 01:31   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckracer76 View Post
Carlube by Tetrosyl also make this and it comes in a black 1ltr bottle and it's double the price of regular red fluid.
CHF11S is readily available for 10 a litre so not expensive at all.
My safe, quick and simple method is here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarvinMitt View Post
The CHF11S spec came in the owners manual in 2005.
Previos P2 years had ATF spec.
My 2002 manual says to use Volvo fluid which is CHF.
I'll stick my neck out and say that all P2s use CHF regardless of model year.
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Old Jun 13th, 2019, 04:15   #6
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Default Thanks

Thanks for the responses much appreciated.

I still can't believe I did this. I should have known like engine oil there are different viscosity and specs.

My (poor) excuse for not checking the power steering reservoir level is because of all the cars I've owned not one has ever needed to be topped up. Ever. Somehow this has resulted in me not checking the power steering fluid on my Volvo during my weekly oil/coolant check, tyre pressure and washer fluid top-up.

This mishap has taught me a lesson. I can just see my father shaking his head in disgust.

Thought I'd share my power steering fluid ****-up on the forum in the hope it doesn't happen to somebody else.

As it happens my car is booked into my preferred independent garage for new front brake pads, brake fluid renewal, brake hoses and handbrake adjustment next week so I will ask them to flush and replace power steering fluid at the same time.

Cross fingers I won't have damaged the steering rack, hoses or reservoir. I'll report back next week.

Christian
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Old Jun 13th, 2019, 06:08   #7
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Hi

Quote:
Cross fingers I won't have damaged the steering rack, hoses or reservoir. I'll report back next week.
If the level was that low there could be a leak anyway. Worth the garage having a good check to see if there was already a leak prior to changing the fluid


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Old Jun 13th, 2019, 06:44   #8
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So the EU has different spec since I was referring the US owners manuals (available online).
They still have the same power steering system?
http://new.volvocars.com/ownersdocs/..._08c.htm#pg124

My car had dark ATF in it when I bought it 50k miles ago.
Replaced it with green and works fine so I'm just trying to say that the OP shouldn't worry too much about it, just replace it asap.
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Last edited by MarvinMitt; Jun 13th, 2019 at 06:57.
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Old Jun 14th, 2019, 11:47   #9
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yep looking at several usa ones it says ATF. who knows!!
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Old Jun 14th, 2019, 12:57   #10
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The green Volvo fluid has a specific property in that it works at really cold temperatures (and I mean tens of degrees below freezing point), whereas what you put in will not.

It is highly unlikely that you are currently driving in such temperatures at the moment

So flush out the old, and in with the new, and the problem is solved.
Without any damage anywhere.

If you want to be really obsessive about it, flush and fill now, and then repeat in a few weeks. Just in case the first flush did not get 100% of the (old dirty wrong) fluid out.
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