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Questions and Answers

Ford Focus Fuel & Power Steering Flush

Q. Vincent, My wife has a 2002 Ford Focus SE with 66,000 miles on it. The dealer shop told her that the car needed a power steering flush and a fuel system flush. I have been looking in the web to try to figure out if this was really needed. So far I have found that if the power steering fluid is brown or brownish is recommendable to change it but between the price for that service in Ford, $89.00, and the price in Econo Lube 'N Tune, $28.00, I do not know which one to chose.

Ford Focus Fuel & Power Steering Flush

I do not want to pay little now and pay a lot later, so should I trust Ford and pay them or I can find the same good service at cheaper price? Do I really need to do a power steering flush? The price difference here makes me think that the lower value may result in a low quality service so I do not know if my only option is the Ford dealer.

With respect to the fuel system flush I haven't had luck at all, according to what I have researched so far it has to do with cleaning the injectors but I suspect that is more than that. What is this for? What it does to the car? Do I really need to do it? Ford dealer price is $90.00 but I have found $100.00 and up in the market, so I do not know if is worth it or needed.

Thank you for all the help!
Santiago
Houston, Texas

A. I have never, nor will I ever recommend a power steering flush on any vehicle. Especially ones with high milage. If you want to service the power steering then this is what you do.

Get an old turkey baster and two quarts of Mercon ATF, and it has to be pure Mercon. Suck all the power steering fluid out of the P/S tank, as much as you can get. Then fill it with the new ATF. Start the engine and turn the wheel from stop to stop but don't hold it at the stops.

Shut the engine off and do this until you have used the last of the new ATF. That is all you need to do with the power steering system.

If you want to me a little more ambitious, here is the power steering flush procedure from the Ford Taurus service manual.

Power Steering System Flushing

WARNING: Do not mix off types. Any mixture or any unapproved oil could lead to seal. deterioration and leaks. A leak could ultimately cause loss of fluid, which could result in a loss of power steering assist.

  1. Remove the fuse pump relay located in the battery junction box to disable the vehicle from starting.
  2. Disconnect the power steering return hose.
Ford Focus Fuel & Power Steering Flush
  1. Compress and move the hose clamp.
  2. Disconnect the power steering return hose and plug the fitting into the reservoir.
  3. Attach an extension hose between the power steering hose and an empty container.
  4. Raise the front wheels off the floor.
Ford Focus Fuel & Power Steering Flush
  1. Fill the power steering reservoir.
  2. CAUTION: Do not operate the starter motor for more than 10 seconds at a time. Damage to the starter motor could result.
Ford Focus Fuel & Power Steering Flush
  1. Turn the steering wheel from stop-to-stop while cranking the engine. Refill the power steering pump as necessary until the fluid exiting the extension hose is clear.
  2. Lower the vehicle.
Ford Focus Fuel & Power Steering Flush
  1. Remove the extension hose and connect the power steering return hose to the power steering pump reservoir.
  2. Remove the plug and connect the power steering return hose.
  3. Compress and move the clamp into place.
  4. CAUTION: Do not overfill the power steering fluid reservoir.
Ford Focus Fuel & Power Steering Flush
  1. Fill the power steering fluid reservoir to the appropriate level.
  2. Install the fuel pump relay.
  3. CAUTION: Do not hold at the stop for more than five seconds; damage to the pump can occur.
Ford Focus Fuel & Power Steering Flush
  1. Start the engine and turn the steering wheel from stop-to-stop.
  2. NOTE: If power steering is noisy and accompanied by evidence of aerated fluid, it win be necessary to purge the power steering system. Check the power steering fluid level.
  3. Clear the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs).
    • Run the vehicle and check the system for leaks.

As for the fuel system flush, if the engine is running well then I would say you don't need it. If you add a can of BG Fuel System Treatment with every other tankful as maintenance you will never need one.

Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA

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© 2005 Vincent T. Ciulla

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