Can't get off the power steering cap

I have a 1990 F150 pickup. I know the power steering fluid is low from the noise. The cap is a plastic thing with 2 fins to turn. I have tried and tried and it will not come off. If I push on those
fins any harder they will break off. WTF is with this thing? Who designs shit like this anyhow? I have never had this problem on any other vehicle I have owned, both Ford and other. Of course they used to be made of metal where a wrench could be used if needed, but I never needed a wrench off get off a damn power steering cap.
My guess is they are designed this way so they break and I have to spend $50 for a new piece of shit plastic cap..... Seems everything these days is plastic and made to break and piss off the owner. It used to be a 5 minute job to add P.S. fluid, but not no more....
By the way, is there any advantage to power steering fluid, over using plain tranny fluid (aside from the seller making more money)?
Thank U
Rob
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If you are absolutely sure that the cap turns to come off (does it have arrows on the top?) and that the cap doesen't simply snap off, and the cap isn't already turned off and isn't just waiting to lift off, an old trick is to take a teakettle of water and get it to a good rolling boil, put a cloth on the cap, then slowly pour the water on the cloth. After a few minutes the heat will soften the plastic enough to loosen the cap.
Ted
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typically the noise is due to burnt fluid and not low fluid. replacing the fluid may not fix the problem at this stage of the game with an 18 year old vehicle. Ford liked to use type F tranny fluid in many of their power steering setups.
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Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:

Don't all f150's have that common steering noise??? I think rangers have it too ;P
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On Wed, 14 May 2008 00:59:51 -0500, rob& snipped-for-privacy@none.com wrote:

It is probably just stuck because of infrequent checking and maintenance. If you break it, most parts stores have them on the MotoMite Help rack for a couple of bucks. Dexron should be OK for the unit. Ford stopped using Type "F" in anything after 1975.
Lugnut
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Not accurate information if you are talking about power steering units. The following quotes are from the Motorcraft Chemicals Catalog:
"Motorcraft ATF Type F is designed, engineered and recommended by Ford Motor Company. It is a high-static friction fl uid developed for Ford automatic transmissions manufactured during the 1970's and earlier. The special frictional properties of Motorcraft ATF Type F ensure proper shifting in Ford transmissions that require a fl uid meeting ESW-M2C33-F. It is also recommended for power steering systems in a wide variety of Ford Vehicles calling for a Type F fluid, built prior to Model Years 1996-1998. Check Owner Guide for proper application."
....
"Note: Type F should only be used for power steering systems built before 1996-1998 time frame. Check Owner Guide for correct application."
....
"Note: All power steering systems built after 1998 require the use of MERCON fluid."
So I think the correct answer is - before 1996, Ford power steering systems used Type F fluid. After 1998 Ford power steering systems require Mercon fluid. For 1996 through 1998 vehicles you need to check your owners guide.
Ed
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not really. most owners manuals state to use mercon type ATF for the power steering after 1978.

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On Fri, 16 May 2008 14:39:26, "Tom" wrote:

If you get right down to it, you could use tractor hydraulic fluid or other generic oil that has the right viscosity and chemical makeup. There is no need for any of the friction modifiers commonly found in ATF in a power steering system - no bands or clutches, it's all straight hydraulic. You turn the steering wheel, spool valve senses torque applied and sends pressure to one end of the assist cylinder, cylinder pushes and helps you turn the sector gear or push tie rod, wheels turn easier.
And Dexron/Mercon variants of ATF are the most popular today, so that's what most people are going to have handy.
--<< Bruce >>--
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