Milky power steering fluid, I don't understand
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, Milky power steering fluid, I don't understand in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Today after hours of driving, I got to my house and as soon as I was getting into my driveway, ...
  1. #1
    maeng9981's Avatar
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    Today after hours of driving, I got to my house and as soon as I was getting into my driveway, I noticed jumpy power steering and whine. Thought something developed a pinhole leak and the fluid got low, I shut it off and checked to find this:



    The fluid turned milky and went "overfilled", but I don't understand how the foreign "water" got in it. It rained heavy two days ago and I did drive through some flooded streets, nothing bad, maybe 2-3 inches at max. I took the return line off and drained the system, circulated some fresh fluid and put the line back and correctly filled it. Now the whine is gone but the fluid still looks milky, I might have to flush it again.

    Do you think driving through some lightly flooded street could do this? Maybe I have a rather large leak? How would you get all the water out of the system? No power steering cooler, by the way.

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    9302Eldug is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Milky power steering fluid, I don't understand

    Keep flushing and changing fluid! how is the rubber gasket on the cap?

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    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Milky power steering fluid, I don't understand

    Your power steering return line runs from the driver's end of the rack, forward to the radiator cross member where there's a metal U in the line, then across and back to the pump - that U is the "cooler".

    www.gmpartsgiant.com, your year, car, system, text page, "more info", parts blowup keyed to the text page.

    BUT .......... No idea why or how running through puddles would get water - any water - into the P/S system.

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    98cadillac is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Milky power steering fluid, I don't understand

    Do you have a significant other who may have accidentally put washer fluid in the power steering reservoir?
    SliceOfLife and SliceOfLife like this.

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    9302Eldug is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Milky power steering fluid, I don't understand

    Very good point! But It must still be flushed several times. You know that women sometimes have other issues on their minds other than automobile maintenance. Like{HOW DOES MY HAIR LOOK}. Just Joking!

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    maeng9981's Avatar
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    Re: Milky power steering fluid, I don't understand

    Funny! But no, unfortunately that wasn't what happened to me

    The fluid was fine not too long ago, I remember checking it few weeks before. Basically no way for the water to get in the system...that much water also, other than the driving through the puddle incident.. but if I had a leak large enough for that to happen, I would've probably lost all my fluid way before that. The cap looks fine also, with healthy looking o-ring and seems to be sealing like any other power steering cap.

    I went through two bottles of power steering fluid and the color seems fine now. I hope it did not damage anything. But still, why??

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    Submariner409's Avatar
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    Re: Milky power steering fluid, I don't understand

    Do you use an Oil Doodle for your oil/filter changes - and did you just change oil/filter ???

    It would not be the first time someone has had a horror story about such a "service"........... back in the 60's it was common to see a Corvair with the crankcase full of water: The oil fill cap was identical to and located in exactly the same location as a radiator cap would be. The highly qualified "Techs" at lube franchises were quite good at pouring coolant into an air-cooled Corvair flat 6.

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    maeng9981's Avatar
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    Re: Milky power steering fluid, I don't understand

    No. I don't trust any of them. Every work on this car has been done by me since 3 years ago? and I bought it 4 years ago. Just no way for the foreign "water" to get in the steering system. I'll keep looking if it changes any color again.

  10. #9
    Ranger's Avatar
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    Re: Milky power steering fluid, I don't understand

    WOW! I'm at a loss for a reasonable explanation.

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    maeng9981's Avatar
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    Re: Milky power steering fluid, I don't understand

    The weirdest crap always happens to me, I'm used to it

    Just went under the car to hopefully find something but everything looks fine. No leaks or places that could potentially introduce water into the system. Went through another bottle of P/S fluid for flushing and now the color is back to normal again, and it's not changing after running for a while. Hopefully that'll stay that way now.

  12. #11
    mike5514 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Milky power steering fluid, I don't understand

    The only thing I can think of is you ran low and mixed air into the the system. Sometimes air bubbles will give the appearance of water when it sits over time the air bubbles will work themselves out. Mike

  13. #12
    maeng9981's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike5514
    The only thing I can think of is you ran low and mixed air into the the system. Sometimes air bubbles will give the appearance of water when it sits over time the air bubbles will work themselves out. Mike
    But would that make the fluid appear to be grossly overfilled? Mine was almost to the top of the dipstick.

  14. #13
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    Any air mixed with the fluid would add volume just as water would.

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    Re: Milky power steering fluid, I don't understand

    ............... think of a good chocolate mousse.

  16. #15
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    Re: Milky power steering fluid, I don't understand

    I've had this happen on several cars.

    sounds like classic small hole injecting tiny amounts of air into the fluid causing expansion as mentioned.

    I bet if you cracked the cap and let it sit overnight it would return to normal color/volume.
    pictchic likes this.

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