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  1. #1
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    01 Aug 2011
    La Vergne, TN USA
    1999 Saab 9-3 Turbo 4-door hatchback.
    Thumbs Up:   0

    How do you flush a power steering system in the '99 saab 9-3?

    I am not sure what type of fluid the previous owner had in the power steering and need to flush and get new fluid as my power steering decided to pee all over my driveway tonight as I was going to the tractor supply. sigh.

    I know I need to get chf11s or the equilivent. I just am not sure how to go about flushing the system to make sure no air bubbles or nasty dirty fluid is left.

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  2. #2
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
    Join Date
    30 Jul 2010
    Rochester, New York, USA
    1973 96
    Thumbs Up:   1
    If you are leaking, sounds like you've got a leak! Fix that first.

    But to flush:
    1)Disconnect the return line from the power steering reservoir. It's on the bottom and pretty small.
    2)Get that return line aimed into some catch container to catch all the old fluid.
    3)Connect a hose to the nipple on the return reservoir. Use that hose to suck up fresh fluid (CHF-11S) from the bottle. You'll be sucking up at a quick rate, so be ready for the bottle switch. I sucked up quite a bit air, running the pump dry for a bit, but I haven't noticed any problem yet, and I know other people have too and haven't had problems. But keep putting fresh fluid in there until it comes out into your catch bottle that pure color. Turn it off and put it all back together.
    4)Then top off the reservoir, and keep the top open while turning the wheel back and forth (lock to lock) to work out all the bubbles. You'll hear the pump making some noises when you've got air in there, but again, I haven't had any trouble from that happening and the sound quickly went away once the air bubbles worked their way out.

    I can't remember how much fluid it took, but I want to say make sure you have at least 2 quarts.

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  3. #3

    Join Date
    25 Aug 2012
    milwaukee, wi
    none, i just fix them
    Thumbs Up:   0
    thank you for the helpful instructions. very well written.

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  4. #4
    Saab Fan
    Join Date
    15 Sep 2016
    Pittsburgh, PA
    2000 9-5 Gary Fisher edition
    Thumbs Up:   4
    My procedure differs, and I think it requires less fluid and less frenzy.

    It is best to lift the vehicle front so little or no resistance occurs. Use back wheel chocks and parking brake. Or, drive the front wheels onto layers of hardboard - a grease sandwich. (Also is a good technique for front end alignments in your home garage.)

    First, I suction out the reservoir using hand pump, baster, or large syringe. (Ms Conehead would not need devices.) I remove the bottom hose from the reservoir and run two hoses to a waste container. In order to flush out all the old fluid, I also turn the steering wheel from full left to full right and back a couple times; all this with the engine off.

    Reconnect all lines. Refill completely and exercise the steering wheel again - all without starting the engine.

    Exercise the steering wheel with engine running.

    Repeat all the above if fluid is still too dirty.

    Top off the reservoir.

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    Last edited by avid0g; 25 February 2018 at 16:58.

  5. #5
    Dave T.
    Super Moderator Dave T's Avatar
    Join Date
    03 Aug 2010
    near Seattle, Washington
    1999 9-3SE (2013-2015), 2005 9-3 (2005-2013), 1990 900 (1990-2003)
    Thumbs Up:   26
    I have done it the lazy way. Suck out as much as possible from the reservoir then add new Pentosin CHF-11S which I last got at NAPA Auto Parts. Drive a short distance or even a day and repeat. After several cycles, the fluid becomes as clear as new fluid. One can also mathematically calculate the percentage of old fluid if you know the total capacity. For example, if the capacity is 1 litre and you suck out 300 ml or 30% of the total, after adding the new fluid, it is 70% old, 30% new. The next time it is 0.70 x 0.70 = 0.49 or 49% old fluid. The next time is 0.49 x 0.7 = 0.35 or 35% old. The next time is 0.35 x 0.7 = .245. The next time is 0.245 x 0.7 = .1715. The next time is 0.12 or 12% old fluid. So 5 cycle is 12% old fluid.

    If you were somehow able to suck out 50%, and I'm nor sure you could, then after 5 cycles, you would have only 3.125% old fluid.

    That is how I fill up on gas. If you fill a tank when you have half or less fuel, you can use up the old gas quickly. Not so if you fill up the tank when 3/4 full. If the weather is cold, i then to fill the tank often to reduce the amount of water condensation. Sometimes, I fill up as often as when it is 2/3 full.

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  6. #6

    Join Date
    18 Sep 2018
    93 I B204i YS3DD
    Thumbs Up:   0
    Great idea. Will do so next time.

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