2002-2006 Toyota Camry: Power Steering Fluid Exchange (Flush)
Time - approx 30min
Difficulty - easy
Cost - $10-25 (fluid preference)
Interval - 3 yrs or 30k
The power steering fluid is subject to extremely high steering loads. When stationary, the power steering pump has the weight of the vehicle acting against it. Heat, sheering forces, constant circulation, and part wear breakdown and contaminate the fluid causing leaks and failures within the system.
If the power steering fluid has a significant color change or burnt smell, it's overdue. The typical range is 30,000-60,000 miles. With the system venting to atomsphere, oxygen and mositure exposure negatively impact metal parts and the fluid itself. So even if the vehicle isn't accumulating miles, the power steering fluid should be replaced every 3 years.
For starters, extract the old fluid from the resevoir and add new fluid to the full mark. Next, it's a good idea to get both front wheels off the ground so the steering can be cycled side-to-side without the static vehicle load. You then start the vehilce and turn the wheel fully to the right and left several times. This will circulate the fluid through the system, pushing old fluid out and new fluid in. Because the old and new fluid mix, you may need to repeat this process a few times until the fluid in the system is the color of new.
Watch the video below to see how the power steering fluid was exchanged on a 2002-2006 era Toyota Camry.
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