How to Flush and Change the Power-Steering fluid on your Z32 300zx (non-HICAS)

Another quick write up from a job I did on my own car.  While a quick browse of the forums yielded a few threads on the subject I couldn't find anything really easy to follow that included pictures, so I put a quick one together.In my case I wanted to do a complete LoL fluid change as another workshop had previously filled the system with Power Steering fluid, rather than Dexron III automatic transmission fluid as per the serivce manual. It hadn't caused any problems but was one of those niggling things on my to-do list.

What you will need:

Left to right we have: Oil Pan, Hose pliers (not essential, but these guys have really come in handy over the years), screw driver, and of course Dexron III automaic transmission fluid (or similar).

Regarding fluid, the service manual specifies Automatic Transmission Fluid, Dexron type (MA-10) for the steering system, and 1.3L capacity non HICAS and 2L capacity with HICAS.

I used Motul ATF1A because I'm a wanker and like synthetic oils, and given the expected mileage of the car this is very much going to be a "one off" service. While I was happy to justify spending $50 on fluids, it's worth noting that Nulon etc make perfectly suitable products for a very reasonable price.

First of all  get the car in the air and on to some stands. I have some low profile ramps that I can drive the car on to and then use a trolley jack to lift from the engine cross member. Drop me a line if you're keen on the ramps, I sell them for $150 delivered. I prefer to position the stands on the gaming frame rails so as they are not in the way in my work area. Disregard the water on the ground; this job  was done in the middle of some other work including a good hose/pressure clean of the radiator/inter cooler/condenser.

You will need to locate your power steering low pressure hose on the passenger side of the power steering rack, towards the front of the vehicle. Please note this will require removing the plastic lower engine cover. The hose in question is circled in red.

Disconnect the hose and drain fluid into your oil pan.

It will help if you remove the lid on your power steering fluid reservoir. Note you may not have a bling power steering fluid reservoir -that's OK you can still follow this article....

Once the fluid has drained, replace the hose and refill the reservoir. There will still be fluid in the system so don't be surprised if you use less than the 1.3L specified when you refill.

Follow the instructions for bleeding described in the service manual page ST6, reproduced below.


1. Raise front end of vehicle until wheels clear ground.
2. Add fluid into tank to specified level
3. Meanwhile, quickly turn steering wheel fully to right and left lightly touching
steering stoppers.
4. Repeat steering wheel operation until fluid level no longer decreases.
5. Start engine.
6. Repeat steps 2-4 above.

Get back under the car and drop that fluid once more, and repeat step 4 above.

I bought two 1L bottles of fluid, and repeated steps 4 & 5 until I had consumed one bottle of fluid, and then used the second to refill and repeat step four a final time. Ideally I would have preferred to run two bottles through the system then refill, but just didn't have any more available. I may repeat this process at a later date.

Before replacing the lower engine cover, start the car and slide underneath (while the engine is still running) to verify that you have no leaks from the low pressure hose.

Replace lower engine cover, place the car back on the ground, and check power steering fluid against the marker to verify the system is full with the car on level ground.

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And that's it. Super easy, hopefully the step by step and pictures will be of use to somebody.

3 Responses

  1. the picture links appear to be broken...would love to see the pics from the z32 power steering flush writeup. thx!
    • rob260
      Thanks Garry I'll check it out
  2. Thanks for the writeup. I must have been in a beer induced stupor and accidently topped off my power steering with brake fluid. I will be doing this to clean it out and get things right. Might go ahead and buy a new high pressure hose while I'm at it to hopefully stop the leak that keeps killing my alternator.

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