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If you have a whining steering pump then it could either be a fault with the pump itself or the fluid will have boiled. You can check the fluid by dipping your finger in to the reservoir and checking its colour. Normally it's a kind of cherry red, when it's brown / black then it's probably worth replacing.

Steering fluid is also known as ATF (automatic transmission fluid) or Dexron III. Make sure you buy red stuff rated for DIII, I used Castrol ATF 1ltr that was bought at Halfords for around £9~ .You should only need a 1 litre bottle.

I've seen it suggested that you crank over the engine to pump old fluid through, however the rate of flow with the engine running is very quick so I decided to force the fluid through manually by turning the steering wheel back and forth - it takes longer but you have more control this way.

Thanks to Overlag who advised me on what I feel is the best / easiest way to change the fluid

Guide: How to change Power Steering fluid - Ford Fiesta ST - by st07

Tools and Equipment:

• Trolley jack, two axle stands
• Pliers
• An empty 1ltr bottle (for the waste fluid)
• Tissue paper
• 1ltr Power Steering Fluid / ATF

How to:

1.) Chock the rear wheels and jack up the front of the car, enough so that the front wheels clear the road surface.

2.) Open your bonnet and remove the power steering cap.

Using your pliers, move the return hose spring clip along the pipe so that it clears the reservoir nipple, then remove the return hose and quickly put it in to your empty waste bottle. I found the best place to rest the bottle was on the manifold or in that area (make sure they're not hot).

3.) Some people will have differing opinions on this, but I don't see much issue with letting some air in to the steering system as it's an 'open' system and will self bleed through the reservoir as the fluid circulates through.

With this in mind, turn your steering wheel full lock from left to right and back again, 10 or so times until your waste bottle is filling with old PAS fluid. Top up your empty reservoir with fresh ATF and repeat the steering wheel process until you start to see fresh ATF fluid coming through. I emptied the waste bottle in to another container after each go so it was easier to see when it was filling with fresh stuff.

I found that my ST started showing red fluid after about 750ml, so IMO a 1ltr bottle is more than sufficient.

4.) Reconnect the PAS return hose and its clip, start the engine and turn the steering wheel left to right a few times (try not to go full lock when the pump is running), then leave the engine idling for 5 minutes. Replace the PAS cap and take the car for a drive, checking for noise and leaks etc.

Easy as that

· Registered
1,152 Posts
i did it not so long ago, i used a syphon method where i didnt need to take the pipe off (using this exact tool SYPHON)
which i had lying around in my garage, which works just as well, and the pump doesnt have to run dry either, becasue as i pump it out i just top it up at the same time. i didnt bother jacking it up either i just got the misses to turn the wheel to let it flow (im just lazy tho). Your way is a lot nicer and less messy!

· Registered
443 Posts
just did this today on mine, was going to take it to ford to do but thought id have a bash, absolutely simple to do following this guide thanks
the colour was terrible very black and not red at all
but replaced with the same castrol ATF fluid from halfords and has made a huge difference, steering is nice and lighter (but not too light) and very quiet. Very cheap and easy thing to do would recommend it to anyone.

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