Which power steering fluid should you use?
Decades ago, car makers used automatic transmission fluid as the power steering fluid. Back then there were only a few types of power steering fluid, GM’s Dexron, Chrysler’s ATF+4 and Ford’s Mercon and Type F. Those days are gone and you should never add either of those fluids to a late model car and truck unless it’s specifically recommended by the car maker.
European and Japanese vehicles often have their own unique requirements for power steering fluid. For example, some European cars and trucks require a high performance synthetic-based PS fluid meeting DIN 51 524T3 and ISO 7308 standards.
Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Volkswagen and Volvo have different power steering fluid requirements that vary by year, make and model. They may even specify one of the many different types of Pentosin brand power steering fluid.
Japanese auto makers like Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota have their own PS fluid specifications. None of them can be created with a universal chemistry.
What about all makes all models power steering fluid?
When it comes to universal fluids or universal parts, you’re playing with fire. The fluid manufacturers can claim their fluids work in all makes and all models, but in reality that’s impossible. Some car makers specify a certain viscosity and many times those viscosities are mutually exclusive. Others car makers specify a different chemistry with different lubrication qualities. There is just no way one fluid can meet all the viscosity and chemistry specs.
Universal fluids often don’t contain:
• Viscosity improvers (VI) which prevent fluid thinning at higher temperatures.
• Anti-foaming agents that resist air bubble formation (Cavitation)
• The correct friction modifiers
• The exact lubrication properties the car makers want.
Cardone is major rebuilder of power steering pumps. When they noticed their rebuilt power steering pumps were experiencing high failure rates, they looked into the problem. Cardone engineers discovered the shops weren’t using the recommended power steering fluid. The incorrect fluid was causing power steering overheating which caused pump bushings and seals to fail.
When the engineers duplicated the same conditions in the lab (new power steering pump with the wrong fluid), the pump failed in just 20 to 30 minutes.
See this post for more information from Cardone
Power steering fluid types by make and model
Acura power steering fluid recommendations
Acura All models use Honda P/S Fluid 08206‐9002
Audi power steering fluid recommendations
Audi All models (1984 – 1989) Pentosin CHF 7.1 G002 000
Audi All models (1990 – 2005) Pentosin CHF 11S
Audi All models (2006 on) Pentosin CHF 202
BMW power steering fluid recommendations
BMW All models (1987 to 9/1991 production) Pentosin CHF 7.1 81 22 1 468 879
BMW All models (1990 on; check owners manual) Pentosin CHF 11S 82 11 1 468 041
Chrysler power steering fluid recommendations
Chrysler, Dodge All post‐1998 models (unless specified) ATF+4 05166226AA
Chrysler, Dodge All pre‐1998 models P/S Fluid 04883077
Chrysler Crossfire Pentosin CHF 11S
Dodge Trucks Sprinter Pentosin 11S
Daewoo power steering fluid recommendations
Daewoo All models Dexron II or III
Ford power steering fluid recommendations
Ford/Lincoln/Mercury All models Mercon ATF
GM power steering fluid recommendations
General Motors All models P/S Fluid 89021184 or 89020661
Honda power steering fluid recommendations
Honda All models Honda P/S Fluid 08206‐9002
Hyundai power steering fluid recommendations
Hyundai Check application P/S Fluid 3 or Dexron II
Jaguar power steering fluid recommendations
Jaguar Check application Pentosin CHF 11S or Dexron III
Jeep power steering fluid recommendations
Jeep 09‐05 Grand Cherokee, all engines WK Hydraulic 05142893AA
Jeep 09‐06 Commander, 5.7L WK Hydraulic 05142893AA
Jeep 07‐06 Commander, 3.7L & 4.7L WK Hydraulic 05142893AA
Jeep All post‐1998 models (unless specified) ATF+4 05166226AA
Jeep All pre‐1998 models and pre‐2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee P/S Fluid 04883077
Infiniti power steering fluid recommendations
Infiniti All models Dexron III or equivalent ATF
Isuzu power steering fluid recommendations
Isuzu All models Dexron II or III
Kia power steering fluid recommendations
Kia Check application P/S Fluid or Dexron III
Land Rover power steering fluid recommendations
Land Rover Check application Dexron II or III
Lexus power steering fluid recommendations
Lexus All models Dexron II or III
Mazda power steering fluid recommendations
Mazda All models Dexron III or equivalent ATF
Mercedes power steering fluid recommendations
Mercedes‐Benz Check application Pentosin CHF 11S MB 001 989 24 03 10
Mercedes‐Benz Check application P/S Fluid MB 000 989 88 33
Mini All models Pentosin CHF 11S 82 11 1 468 041
Mitsubishipower steering fluid recommendations
Mitsubishi Check application P/S Fluid or Dexron II
Nissan power steering fluid recommendations
Nissan/Datsun All models (pre 1994) Dexron III or equivalent ATF
Nissan All models (1994 on) Pentosin CHF 11S
Porsche power steering fluid recommendations
Porsche Check application Pentosin CHF 11S or Pentosin CHF 202
Saab power steering fluid recommendations
Saab Check application Varies by application
Saturn power steering fluid recommendations
Saturn All models P/S Fluid 89021184 or 89020661
Scion power steering fluid recommendations
Scion All models Dexron II or III
Subaru All models Dexron II or III
Suzuki power steering fluid recommendations
Suzuki All models Dexron II or III
Toyota power steering fluid recommendations
Toyota All models Dexron II or III
VW power steering fluid recommendations
Volkswagen All models up to 3/89 production P/S Fluid ZVW 239902
Volkswagen All models from 4/89 production ‐ 2005 Pentosin CHF 11S G002 000
Volkswagen All models (2006 on) Pentosin CHF 202
Volvo power steering fluid recommendations
Volvo All models (1995 – 1998) Penstosin CHF 7.1
Volvo All models (3/1998 production – 2002) Pentosin 11S
Volvo All models (2002 on) Pentosin 202
Pentosin applications: Some vehicle specifications state CHF 7.1, CHF 11S and CHF 202 can be substituted, but not mixed with, CHF 7.1. CHF 11S and
CHF 202 are fully compatible and mixable. Pentosin fluids should not be mixed with ATF fluids.
This listing may not be up to date. ALWAYS refer to your owner’s manual for the correct power steering fluid recommendation.
©, 2019 Rick Muscoplat