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2nd Gen Ram Tech 1994-2001 Rams: This section is for TECHNICAL discussions only, that involve the 1994 through 2001 Rams. For any non-tech discussions, please direct your attention to the "General discussion/NON-tech" sub sections.

Power steering fluid - TSB says don't use ATF+4?

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Old 11-02-2009, 02:15 PM
Karl2009 Karl2009 is offline
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Default Power steering fluid - TSB says don't use ATF+4?

I've only had my 1997 Ram 1500 4X4 a couple of days, so I figured first thing was change all the fluids and filters.

There's no fluid spec on the PS reservoir, the service manual doesn't have the spec and I didn't get an owners manual. SO, searching through the forum, looks like many use ATF+4 fluid for the power steering, so I used that to top it up.

Then I ran across this TSB. It says to use MS5931 on 1994 - 2002 Rams. It specifically says not to add ATF+4 to these systems.

So, questions:

1) Did I screw it up topping off with ATF+4?
2) Should I flush the system? If so, replace it with MS5931 or ATF+4?
The section in the TSB is not that clear on this:
MS9602 (ATF+4) should not be mixed or used as a “topping off” fluid on systems requiring MS5931. On some past models, MS9602 should be used as the replacement fluid.

Any wisdom is appreciated...
-------------------

EDITED: Post #17 in this thread answers these questions. In short, never use ATF+4 in a 2nd gen Ram unless your manual says so.

===============
TSB 19-005-03
Date: Aug. 29, 2003
Models: 1994 - 2002 (BR/BE) Ram Pickup, 2002 - 2004 (DR) Ram Pickup
1993 - 2003 (AB) Ram Van
1994 - 2004 (AN) Dakota
1994 - 2002 (BR/BE) Ram Pickup
2004 (CS) Pacifica
1998 - 2004 (DN) Durango
2002 - 2004 (DR) Ram Pickup
1996 - 2000 (GS) Chrysler Voyager (nternational Markets)
1995 - 2000 (JA) Cirrus/Stratus/Breeze
2001 - 2004 (JR) Sebring Sedan, Stratus Sedan, Sebring Convertible
1996 - 2000 (JX) Sebring Convertible
2002 - 2004 (KJ) Liberty
2002 - 2004 (KJ) Cherokee (International Markets)
1993 - 2004 (LH) Concorde/Intrepid/Vision/LHS/New Yorker/300M
1996 - 2000 (NS) Town & Country/Voyager/Caravan
2002 (PG) Chrysler PT Cruiser (International Markets)
1995 - 2004 (PL) Neon
1997 - 2003 (PR) Prowler
2002 - 2004 (PT) Chrysler PT Cruiser
2001 - 2004 (RG) Chrysler Voyager (International Markets)
2001 - 2004 (RS) Town & Country/Caravan/Voyager
1993 - 2002 (SR) Viper/Viper Coupe
2001 - 2004 (ST) Sebring Coupe/Stratus Coupe
1997 - 2004 (TJ) Wrangler
2003 - 2004 (VA) Sprinter
1999 - 2004 (WG) Grand Cherokee (International Markets)
1999 - 2004 (WJ) Grand Cherokee
2003 - 2004 (ZB) Viper
2004 (ZH) Crossfire

Discussion:
The factory fill power steering fluid for most 2004 model year Chrysler Group vehicles is ATF+4 (MS9602) and it provides superior performance at both low and high temperatures. WJ/WG and ZH vehicles use unique power steering fluids. Refer to the table to identify factory fill and the approved service power steering fluid by year and model. Note that MS9602 is Red in color and MS5931 and MS9933 are Amber/Yellow in color. All three fluids will darken in color with usage and fluid color is no longer an indication of fluid condition.
The part numbers for MS9602 are 05013457AA (quart) and 05013458AA (gallon). The part number for MS5931 is 04883077 (quart). The part number for MB345 is 05127381AA.
MS9602 should not be mixed or used as a “topping off” fluid on systems requiring MS5931. On some past models, MS9602 should be used as the replacement fluid. On these models, if a power steering system is being serviced that results in a large fluid loss, such as a pump, hose or gear/rack replacement, the complete system should be drained and filled with MS9602.
NOTE: This bulletin supersedes owner’s and service manuals for the vehicles listed above that may state to use MS9933 in the power steering system, and that may state not to use automatic transmission fluid in the power steering system.

_BODY_|_____YEAR____|_FACTORY FILL_|_APPROVED SERVICE FLUID_|
BR/BE | 1994 - 2002 |___ MS5931 ___|______ MS5931 __________|

Full TSB is here with specific fluid specs by model: http://dodgeram.info/tsb/2003/19-005-03.htm
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Last edited by Karl2009; 11-04-2009 at 04:44 PM..
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Old 11-02-2009, 02:31 PM
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if it says don't use it, then don't use it.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:09 PM
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It doesn't say don't use it! It says don't top off with it like you did. According to that TSB, I guess you should flush it, then you can use ATF+4.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:26 PM
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When I flushed mine I used regular Valvoline Maxlife PS fluid.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:31 PM
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Purpl, do you own stock in Valvoline?
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:36 PM
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Nope, why? I just use it because its cheap, and I can get it almost anywhere.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:47 PM
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power steering fluid and tranny fluid are pretty much the same thing. but as Zman said, dont top it off. id flush it, and do the whole thing with ATF4
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:05 PM
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+1... always flush and then fill never know what they used in it before you..... trans fluid and oil are the only 2 things i would top off with out a flush
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:09 PM
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i just use...power steering fluid...lol. hell, i dont know what kind or who makes it or what the part # is.

maybe im crazy...but never had any problems.
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PurplDodge View Post
Nope, why? I just use it because its cheap, and I can get it almost anywhere.

Oh, just like your girlfriend!

just joshing you a bit.
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlabamaRam95 View Post
i just use...power steering fluid...lol. hell, i dont know what kind or who makes it or what the part # is.

maybe im crazy...but never had any problems.

i always have spare tranny fluid, coolant, gear oil, and oil in my toolbox. its just cheaper already having the tranny fluid on hand. cuz to get all that spare stuff it was like 50 bucks...
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:27 PM
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EDITED: This is wrong -- read post #17 in this thread!
==============
OK - sounds like I should flush it out and go with ATF+4. It's the line in the TSB that says:

"On some past models, MS9602 (ATF+4) should be used as the replacement fluid..."

Great -- what the heck does "some past models" mean? It seems to suggest that you should replace with ONLY the original MS5931, HOWEVER, there are SOME models that you can switch to ATF+4. They don't seem to want to tell us what those models are...

I just don't want to damage the seals and make more work for myself later...

I've got to run by the dealer tomorrow for some parts -- I'll see what they have to say and post a follow-up.

Thanks for all the advice-






Last edited by Karl2009; 11-04-2009 at 04:41 PM..
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:41 PM
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I see your point with that statement they make. Be sure to let us know what the dealer says.
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlabamaRam95 View Post
i just use...power steering fluid...lol. hell, i dont know what kind or who makes it or what the part # is.

maybe im crazy...but never had any problems.
ditto
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augiedoggy View Post
ditto
double ditto.
I forgot I even had power steering fluid, don't think I've checked it in 6 years.
Alls I know is it steers just fine.
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:11 AM
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when they say earlier, maybe they mean the OBD1's
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:07 PM
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CONCLUSION

Here is what I found out about PS fluid for 94-2001 Rams.

NEVER use ATF+4, or any other transmission fluid, in the power steering system of a 2nd generation Ram, unless your manual specifically says so. Do not use it to "top off" or to replace the entire fluid after a flush. You must use MS5931 fluid only.

BACKGROUND
1) TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) 19-005-03 specifically states this (http://dodgeram.info/tsb/2003/19-005-03.htm):
MS9602 (ATF+4) should not be mixed or used as a “topping off” fluid on systems requiring MS5931.
The TSB indicates that all Rams from 1994 - 2002 require MS5391.

2) To confirm, I went to the dealer and talked to the parts guy and service manager. They confirmed that you must use 5931 fluid only. Note that some newer generation Rams CAN use ATF+4 (check your manual.)

3) I bought the Mopar MS5931 fluid from the dealer ($9.95 / qt). There is a specific warning on the back of the bottle:
Formulated for use in all pre-1998 Chrysler vehicles and recommended for 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee to ensure long life of power steering hoses and seals. Use only in power steering systems. Lubricants designed for use in engines or transmissions may deteriorate rubber power steering system components.
This indicates that the hoses and rubber seals in the PS system can be damaged by ATF+4 transmission fluid.

4) Be careful using PS fluid bought at a parts store. You have to check the back of the bottle to make sure it says it is compatible with Chrysler 5931. I looked at a couple of bottles at Kragen, most don't state any specs, but some do.

5) Some of the posts in this 2nd Gen forum are WRONG. Like this one:
http://dodgeforum.com/forum/2nd-gen-...-ps-fluid.html


I don't claim to be an expert on any of this -- I've owned this truck for less than a week -- so please post if you think I've got this wrong-

Last edited by Karl2009; 11-04-2009 at 04:44 PM..
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:11 PM
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I'll claim that you are right because it says right in my service manual to never use transmission fluid in the steering system. I almost used ATF+4 too when I flushed my system, but took the FSM's warning!

The Valvoline Maxlife PS fluid I used says its "Compatible with GM, Ford, Chrysler and certain import vehicles." Now, is it compatible with MS5931? Nobody knows! But what I do know is that now my sterring box is leaking. The Maxlife may be the culprit!

Now, the regular Valvoline PS fluid says it meets Chrysler spec. 5931, so I guess it means MS5931. Should have used that! Silly me!
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PurplDodge View Post
I'll claim that you are right because it says right in my service manual to never use transmission fluid in the steering system. I almost used ATF+4 too when I flushed my system, but took the FSM's warning!

The Valvoline Maxlife PS fluid I used says its "Compatible with GM, Ford, Chrysler and certain import vehicles." Now, is it compatible with MS5931? Nobody knows! But what I do know is that now my sterring box is leaking. The Maxlife may be the culprit!

Now, the regular Valvoline PS fluid says it meets Chrysler spec. 5931, so I guess it means MS5931. Should have used that! Silly me!
Yep -- I just got this truck and it didn't come with a manual. So I came here for advice on what to use. I read that bogus post about using ATF+4, so now I have more work to do flushing the system. Most of those parts store PS fluids just say something vague like "compatible with most domestic vehicles..." Buyer beware, I guess...
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:37 PM
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Yep, thats what my bottle of Maxlife says. Damn!!! Wish I would have got the regular Valvoline now! I am almost sure now that is why my steering box is leaking.
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