.... Antifreeze in Power Steering System - Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum
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Old 08-16-2008, 03:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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So I woke up and found a note on the kitchen table saying my dad accidently put antifreeze in the power steering fluid system. I assume this isn't good-- is the car drivable? At least drivable to get to a dealer? If we attempt to flush the power steering fluid ourselves, will there be negative effects from the antifreeze that we won't be able to take care of that would require taking it to a dealer?

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Old 08-16-2008, 04:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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wow... your dad obviousely isnt even capable of doing an oil change if he did that!

assuming your resevoir was just low, and it didnt find its way into your steering rack or pump, id just pull the line off the bottom of the tank, drain it, and refill. but if you were extremely low enough for it to reach the other parts, its a bit more work.

and dont even let your dad touch your car again! he obviousely has no clue.
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Old 08-16-2008, 04:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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QUOTE (xxxmonoxidechild @ Aug 16 2008, 03:04 PM)
Quote:
wow... your dad obviousely isnt even capable of doing an oil change if he did that!

assuming your resevoir was just low, and it didnt find its way into your steering rack or pump, id just pull the line off the bottom of the tank, drain it, and refill. but if you were extremely low enough for it to reach the other parts, its a bit more work.[/b]
I'd be a little concerned, water is heavier than oil, and most likely the anti-freeze has settled to the bottom of the reservoir.
Most likely you'll be OK just draining the tank by pulling the hose off the bottom of it and refilling with fresh P/S fluid, but I'd keep a close check on the contition of the fluid for a few days. If you see any foaming or strange discoloration in the fluid then you'd be best off flushing the whole system.

You might educate dad a bit about looking carefully before adding any fluids to anything. The Mazda6 is a bit unorthodox with the P/S cap being right where the radiator cap would be in a more conventional car.......but still, ya gotta look.!!
Just remember, he meant well, and you should appreciate the fact that he cares enough to try and keep your car in good shape for you.
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Old 08-16-2008, 04:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies. Yeah this is the 3.0L with the power steering fluid right in the front. Anyways, so I'm not sure which one is the hose that I need to pull to flush the the PS tank... there's a large one coming out to the left of the tank, and a smaller metal one coming out on the right side (looking down in the hood). But I took a look at this thread (http://forum.mazda6club.com/index.php?showtopic=52414) about changing the power steering fluid and it seems like I shouldn't just flush it out without having the new PS fluid. Right now I can't seem to find where my dad put the PS fluid...
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I got ahold of the manual... so if I pull the hose out from the bottom of the tank, won't it get real messy as whatever is in the reservoir will just start pouring out?
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Old 08-17-2008, 08:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes it will, so get something large enough to hold the contents.
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Old 08-17-2008, 09:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Do you happen to know which is the return hose to the reservoir? Is it the one with the larger in diameter rubber hose directly connected to it, or the one with the smaller in diameter metal pipe coming out first followed by the rubber?
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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QUOTE (Dopke @ Aug 17 2008, 07:04 PM)
Quote:
I got ahold of the manual... so if I pull the hose out from the bottom of the tank, won't it get real messy as whatever is in the reservoir will just start pouring out?[/b]
yep....get shop towels, perhaps some sort of container that might fit under it to catch the overflow.

You might also consider buying a turkey baster and sucking as much of the fluid as you can out of the top first. That will minimize the mess when you undo the hose.
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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So I did the whole flush and put in new Mobil1 Mercon V fluid. The hardest part was getting the return hose loose so that I could dump the old fluid into a container. I ended up unhooking the hose from beneath the car as the hose at the top going into the reservoir would not budge. It was a lot messier as a result, but got the job done... Pretty much did it like you said, used a baster to get out most of whatever was in the reservoir first, then proceeded with the return hose into a container and just put in new fluid as a turned the wheel lock to lock. Went through 1 quart of flushing the system before hooking the return pump back to the reservoir and then turning the wheel some more to get the air bubbles out and filled up the reservoir to the appropriate amount. Good learning lesson for me.
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