why would my power steering fluid turn into a milky color, what would cause this?


Asked by Jul 17, 2013 at 03:26 AM about the 1999 Ford Crown Victoria 4 Dr LX Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I recently drained and replaced my steering pump recently, when bleeding the system I noticed that the new fluid I was adding was turning milky colored, should I be worried?

5 Answers

Tracy Hooks

My question is if it's still a milky color. Many PS systems use good ol' ATF and are red in color. Many PS fluids available on the shelf are clear - often the same stuff with no color added. Generally speaking, milky in a high-pressure hydraulic system is an indication of air trapped in the fluid. Was the pump making a "whirring" sound as well? The very best way I know to fill a PS system that has just been worked on is to fill the reservoir, crank the engine till it starts and immediately shut it off. Add more fluid and repeat. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes and the fluid should return to it's natural state. I don't think that your PS cooler is integral to the radiator to cause a cross- contamination failure.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

Good morning Tracy. On some of the Police Interceptors they did have a power steering cooler, but all it was is a section of steel line added on the return, the steel line has fins on it to dissipate heat and is maybe 8 inches long, entirely independent. The milky color could be an emulsion of water and fluid if water got in there somehow, and it does need to be changed with new fluid

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer
Tracy Hooks

I've handled dozens of them on but, how the heck does water get into a system that doesn't go anywhere near water? The vehicle listed is not a PI. I've never felt the need to change out a cooler because it is so easily flushed. So why would there be any water?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Geary Aldrich

I am having problem with my 95 Ford Areostar. I had the pump and hoses replaced about six months ago. I am changing the fluid today; however, I would like to know how water could have gotten in there.

Skylar Thomas

The cap is not air tight... on my '89 Aerostar after a recent storm I noticed a little more fluid in the power steering reservoir and fluid was cloudy... water was on the cap so I figured that's it...

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

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