How to Change the Power Steering Fluid for a 2004 Ford Explorer

by Allen Moore
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While there is no factory recommended service interval for power-steering fluid, the fact is the lubricant breaks down over time just like engine oil, gear lube and transmission fluid. Many automotive service professionals believe you should change the power-steering fluid at the 45,000-mile mark. Neglecting your 2004 Ford Explorer’s power-steering fluid can lead to pump, gear and hose loss due to an inability for the old fluid to lubricate and reduce friction. If you have an hour of free time, and some basic automotive repair skills, you can tackle this job on your own.

Step 1

Open the hood and remove the cap from the power steering reservoir. It’s located on the front, top of the engine, directly behind the power steering pulley.

Step 2

Insert the hose of the suction gun down into the reservoir and use the gun to draw out as much fluid as the gun will hold. Eject the fluid into the drain pan and repeat until you have sucked out as much fluid as possible. You can purchase a fluid suction gun at most auto-parts stores.

Step 3

Fill the power-steering reservoir with fresh fluid until it reaches the full mark on the dipstick, which is located on the underside of the reservoir cap. Close the cap.

Step 4

Start the engine and turn the steering wheel completely to the right and then completely to the left. Repeat this twice more, then center the steering wheel and shut the Explorer off.

Step 5

Remove the power-steering reservoir cap and repeat steps two through four twice more.

Step 6

Check to make sure the power-steering fluid is at the full mark and that the fluid is nice and clean. If not, repeat steps two through four again until the fluid remains clean after turning the wheel back and forth.

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