Power Steering Fluid Contamination

A routine check of the power steering fluid in my 1999, 66k mile-Camaro was surprising. The reservoir was full, but the fluid was medium brown and a little
frothy with a warm engine. There were no obvious clues. After five cycles of suctioning out the reservoir, refilling, running the engine and loading the system by turning the steering, the fluid appeared clear and proper colored.
Obviously some sort of contamination, but what? Finally, I remember cases of jet fuel with bacteria. A friend reported that he had experienced bacteria in aircraft hydraulic fluid. Hmmm Maybe!
For the next few weeks, I checked the fluid and all was well. But, after 3,000 mile, the fluid is brown once again. I dont have access to a good microscope or spectrographic analysis so the bacteria explanation is still only a guess.
My question is, has anybody else seen this? Any ideas on how to verify that it is bacteria? And, the real big question, how to fix it? Totaling dismantling the system would be painful. Pet store antibiotic might cause more trouble!!
Jan Howell snipped-for-privacy@aol.com
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If its working ok i would just leave it. If you put antibiotics in the power steering pump we will have sent off to sunny vale.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

My 2001 Trans Am has a power steering cooler that mounts in the upper rad hose. Does your Camaro have the same thing? If so, maybe you're leaking coolant into the PS and vise versa.
Coolant into motor oil turns it into a chocolate milkshake, so that could be it.
Worst case, pull the pump and reservoir and lines all off the car and clean them all out and reinstall them. Yes, that's work, but other than a couple bucks worth of power steering fluid and time, it shouldn't cost much.
Ray
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That's a kind of toadstool.

In this case, remove to demount every part for cleaning, replace hoses and gaskets.
Regards,
Ralf
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Somebody put ATF into the power steering reservoir, along with the nice clear power steering fluid. A mix of the two is medium brown, but will work just fine.

This happens although most lubricating oils have stuff in them to kill bacteria. Molds also can be a problem.

I'm not sure it's really a problem.... but send it in for an oil analysis and let the lab guys tell you. Look in the yellow pages for oil analysts. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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On Dec 27, 6:52 pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Is it leaking?
Is there evidence of rust on the inside of the power steering reservoir?
Was the car in some kind of flood?
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On 27 Dec 2007 18:52:10 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Every vehicle I've ever owned has fluid that looks like that after it's got some miles on it. I don't think it's anything to worry about esp since you did the RR on what's in the reservoir.
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