If you put DOT 3 in there you'll probably destroy the system in about
two minutes. DOT 3 is BRAKE fluid. It strips paint. You need a little
bottle of HONDA power steering fluid.
Honda PS fluid is different from normal PS fluid. Of course no PS fluid
is "DOT3", DOT3 is Brake Fluid.
Many REAL auto parts stores carry Honda Specific PS fluid. I bought
some at the local NAPA Auto Parts. Certainly use the Honda specific
stuff by getting it at a dealer or an auto parts store.
Autozone, Kragen, etc. are not REAL auto parts stores in my book.
Using generic power steering fluid, essentially, anything other than
Honda's, will cause the seals in the power steering rack to leak. So,
unless you like giving your mechanic a lot of money, don't do this. Use
An interesting side note here is why should your system need topping off in
the first place? Is the rack or some other component already leaking? How
long have you owned your car? Maybe a prior owner or unknowledgeable
service tech has already put in the wrong fluid? It sounds like you may
need to go over your power steering sytem carefully and make sure it's ok.
Note that one potential source for leaks is the front seal on the pump.
These seals can usually be replaced depending on the year and model.
I haven't found the source of the leak but I haven't looked hard - I've
owned the car for 5 1/2 years. I'm actually just noticing the level of the
PS fluid - perhaps it's always been at the 'low' mark in the reservoir ever
since I bought the car (used). The PS pump seems easy to get to so I'll take
a better look at it.
Thanks much for the comments.
> My PS fluid needs topping off. Is this something special I
> *must* get from
> the dealer or can I just top-off with generic DOT3 from
> Autozone etc? The PS
> fluid reservoir cap says to use only genuine Honda PS fluid
> for top-off,
> though. What's the consensus? I've used generic in my Toyota
> for years - no
nothing wrong with autozone aslong as you are smarter than the HS kid
they got behind the counter. Really PS fluid is PS fluid. I would say
stick with honda, just to remain consistent. but going with something
else shouldnt hurt. Just go with a good brand not the wal-mart
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Is there a published specification to show why Honda would need a different
PS fluid from Toyota or Ford, or at least a comparative specification
between "suitable for Honda" grades and "others" (things like inherent
viscosity, temperature ratings, included detergents or other additives,
None that I've found, and I've looked.
More than a few anecdotal reports of bad things happening when it is NOT
used, however, is enough to get me to dealer for the real deal.
I sleep better that way.
Walmart sells a brand of Honda power steering fluid called Bardahl and it's
really good quality. It costs the same as the Autozone generic brand
Coastal. The Bardahl brand sold at Walmart is better.
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