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ATF or PS fluid?

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  • ATF or PS fluid?

    I recall being told many years ago, that it was considered "ok" to use Automatic Transmission Fluid in a Power Steering Pump?

    Or should I use the stuff that specifically states that it's for PS pumps on the label?

    Karl '62 GT Hawk 4sp

  • #2
    Karl; it's not only OK, it's the preferred fluid called out in your owners or Shop Manual, in "the day" all; cars used ATF in the P/S, untill the '70's or 80's when someone got the bright idea to charge $3.00 for 8 OZ. and call it: "Power Steering Fluid"!

    Some people here have said they had bad results from using the new P/S fluid, but years ago when there were only 2 types on the market, I had good success with the AMC/Chrysler type in my '64 Daytona!

    Nowdays I think it's like Anti-Freeze, they have one for Mazda, one for Nissan, one for Toyota, one for Honda and more for GM,Ford, Chrysler/Mercedes! [xx(] ...I think it's called merchandising! [:0]

    Studebakers Northwest
    Ferndale, WA
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner


    • #3
      ATF is fine. I've even been known to add some brake fluid to swell the seals if they're leaking.
      "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

      Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
      Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
      '33 Rockne 10,
      '51 Commander Starlight,
      '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
      '56 Sky Hawk


      • #4
        yes, I believe regular old Dexron is fine. I have also heard that parts store "power steering fluid" may foam more easily in an Eaton-type P/S setup than Dexron. In any case ATF is what "the book" recommends. I am currently using Redline synthetic P/S fluid in my early Saginaw with no issues; simply because it was cheaper than synthetic ATF! (yes I am a big believer in synthetics)


        55 Commander Starlight
        55 Commander Starlight


        • #5
          I have used STP ps fluid in Studes for around 10 years, in both the Saginaw and Bendix units w/o a problem. It seems to operate smoother.

          Joe H