how important is it to put the exact kind of power steering fluid in, that car manual recommends?

not sure how things have changed since 1993, but my 1993 Toyota 4WD truck manual says to put in Dextron II transmission oil, if need to ever add, but what if just put in some Prestone that says it can go in any Asian vehicle, Nissan, Toyota, etc?

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  • 7 months ago
    Best Answer

    Dexron II hasn't been available for quite some time, but ALL Dexron transmission fluids are backwards compatible. You can still find Dexron III at most auto stores, and it's nice & cheap. Since about 2006, GM has been using Dexron VI (6) in all their automatic transmissions, and that will work for your Toyota's power steering too.

    To add; that Prestone fluid you have might be OK for a newer Asian vehicles, but yours is 25+ years old,

    I'd use Dexron III.

    • Pat F85
      Lv 6
      7 months agoReport

      Lucas P.S. fluid additive is very thick and has additives in it to swell rubber hoses & seals so it should help you. Used that very stuff last week for the first time on my sons '01 Blazer for a leaky P.S. hose. It worked.

  • james
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    The fluid is basicly the same. It is the additives in it. Those are what effects the seals. There are numbers on top of the cans to tell you what one. Or use to be. Check with a good automotive shop. Of check on line for those numbers so you get right one.

  • 7 months ago

    Why take a chance?

  • Anonymous
    7 months ago

    For the longest time it has been the same "sheet" you put in your automatic transmission. GM cars take Dextron,VW&Toyota take Dextron, Ford takes Type F, Nissan takes Type F, then other companies got into production of fluids so Asian cars take Asian fluid, and VW takes special VW fluid and Dodge is Type F- I believe(I would have to see what the manufacturer recommends and go with that.)to be on the safe side.

    I still believe there is only 2 different transmission fluids.

    It is CHEAPER AND SAFER TO STICK TO WHAT THE MANUFACTURER RECOMMENDS just because.of $$$ in repairs will happen. Why? Because I took a chance and guessed? Costly mistake. And usually have the transmission fluid for my car on the shelf. As I only favor one brand of car. So no reason to carry the other stuff.

    To me, Prestone is antifreeze. Not steering fluid. But I do not keep up on the latest products those companies put out.

    • 7 months agoReport

      ??? sorry that was a question above

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  • 7 months ago

    Prestone fluid for Japanese cars? A lot of Japanese cars went to a synthetic power steering fluid about time of automatic transmission long life synthetics- Chrysler with the Mitsubishi based drive train called it ATF4 or some other part spec number and they meant it- seals different on automatic transmission and the power steering. some of newer toyotas spec with synthetic tranny fluid and power steering fluid since it now a Japanese standard - caps are marked and about 2010, 2015 is/was changeover date, some market and model differences. Get what manual recommends or double check the Prestone bottle information on compatibility

    • 7 months agoReport

      what about Lucas Power steering fluid?? (it says on the bottle that it is "compatatible with ANY model of vehicle, even Hondas") and has conditioners in it that are suppose to help stop leaks and whining

  • Anonymous
    7 months ago

    The seals will blow with incorrect fluid and cost a fortune to replace. Don't do it.

  • Erik
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    If it says it can go in any Asian car, it's probably OK. But why take the risk? The guy behind the counter at the auto parts store can tell you exactly what is acceptable. You could even call if you didn't feel like going down there. Also, anything that says Dexron II, you can use Dexron III (or probably even higher). I don't thing they even make Dexron II anymore.

  • 7 months ago

    I'd use power steering fluid before using ATF if it's not specified. Why ruin $1000 worth of steering components over a bottle of fluid?!

    Source(s): Mitsubishi Master Tech
    • FlagMichael
      Lv 7
      7 months agoReport

      The manual specifies Dexron II, so Dexron III is the way to go.

  • Anonymous
    7 months ago

    Are you a qualified hydraulics engineer? Obviously not, so use Dextron II. It's always best to follow the manufacturer's instructions.

  • 7 months ago

    Generally, power steering fluid is less critical than transmission fluid but you still want to use the right one. For decades people tried Dexron or fluids that worked in American cars in Honda systems with catastrophic results.

    Dexron is cheaper than any power steering fluid I know of and is more widely carried on the shelves so I would go with that.

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