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 ATF or PSF?

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Justwatching
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PostSubject: ATF or PSF?   Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:27 pm

I don't really understand the difference between automatic transmission fluid and power steering fluid. Can someone enlighten me?
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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Re: ATF or PSF?   Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:32 am

An oil company probably could. I doubt they will though.

I know they have different labels on the bottle.

At a guess I'd say ATF will have some EP anti-wear additives, since there's a fair bit of metal-to-metal contact in there. Not so necessary in a PSF which is basically a hydraulic pump, so would just need a basic hydraulic oil. I've heard / read somewhere that there are exceptions to that with specific (flawed?) steering pump designs that needed lots of EP additive. I think some Honda's were an example.

Given the push for lower fuel consumption, I'd guess recent ATF might be lower viscosity, to reduce transmission losses. Not much of an issue with PSF.

I've heard of people using ATF as PSF, and IIRC some manufacturers specify this.(Toyota?)  Probably be OK even when they don't, but since there's an outside chance of, say, bearing metal incompatibility, probably not worth the small risk.

If you want to be patronised by pompous prats, try posting a query about doing that when the manufacturers say not to, on the Honest John forum.

Never fails. Smile
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Justwatching
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PostSubject: Re: ATF or PSF?   Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:03 pm

If anything AFT seems over-engineered for power steering and yet PSF is made out to be superior on some forums. The bit I find annoying is the lack of explanation or evidence - they just state it as though it were one of the ten commandments. Volvo recommends AFT but my local autofactors insisted on PSF. If anything, my power steering has become more vocal. I'm not necessarily blaming that on the PSF as this is over an 18 month period in which it might have happened anyway, but I'm certainly not convinced it's doing anything 'better' than ATF.
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