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Power Steering Fluid

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Whats up guys?

I was low on Power steering Fluid and it feels really heavy when I turn. I was wondering if I put Transmission Fluid ATF in the power steering reservoir. It says ATF oil only on the reservoir. I am at a gas station and I have shell transmission Fluid ATF. It says For use in vehicles previously serviceable by Dexron 3. Its 2001 BMW 530i
Thank in advance
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Any Dexron III compatible ATF fluid is fine.
So that shell transmission fluid should be fine? I attached a picture of it, I just want to make sure.
Thank you for your reply.

Attachments

If it says Dexron III compatible anywhere on the label it is fine.
Yes, Dexron III will do. Dexron IV is compatible with III so good too.
THank you for all your help.
AFAIK, they can't use the words Dexron III anymore (due to legal decisions by GM).

More details here:
- What is the legal status of the Dexron III ATF license vs Dexron IV ATF (1)

As for the fluids, more details here:
- Power steering fluid (1) (2) & power steering fluid flush DIYs (1) (2) (3) (4) & volumes (1) & how to clean the power steering fluid reservoir internal filter (1) (2) & how to replace the cap o-ring (1) (2) & why you want to fix the power steering hose drip onto the alternator (1) (2) (3) & how to debug PSP power steering pump noises (1) (2) (3) or steering rack noises (1) & a nice power steering pump autopsy photo (1) & how to flush cloudy ATF fluid (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & what PS fluid to use (1) (2-pdf) (3-volume) & what volume is needed to buy (1) & DIYs to replace the power steering hoses (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & how to debug common BMW power steering issues (1) and noises (1) (2) (3) or steering rack noises (1)
If it says Dexron III compatible anywhere on the label it is fine.
To clarify, it is only the fluid itself that cannot be called Dexron III, due to the expired license. They can still use the words Dexron III in the fine print somewhere on bottle in the context of Dexron III compatibility.

Examples:

1) OP's bottle states on the bottom:
"For use in vehicles previously serviceable by Dexron III and Mercon brands"

2) Latest Valvoline Dex/Merc ATF bottles states:

"Suitable for use in: GM DEXRON®-II, DEXRON®-III and DEXRON®-VI applications"
or
"Helps provide smooth shift performance where DEXRON®-III or a MERCON® fluid is specified"

3) Various Castrol Dex/Merc ATF bottle lines state:

"Also meets requirements of General Motors DEXRON®***8211;III H and prior (Not for use where DEXRON®***8211;VI is required)."

So just always look for the compatibility fine print on the label.
AFAIK, they can't use the words Dexron III anymore (due to legal decisions by GM).
My fluid is low as well and I stumbled across a 3/4 full bottle of royal purple fluid in my garage. It is a couple of years old. Any harm using it if it is free of debris?

I kept the bottle because I had to refinance the house and tap into the kids college fund to buy that chit.
As long as the label states Dexron III compatible you are fine.

The oil itself will last till the next century. Only thing that happens is the additives fall out of suspension so shake that bottle a little to get the it back in suspension.

Wouldn't want you taking out another mortgage and denying the kids a higher education to buy another bottle.
My fluid is low as well and I stumbled across a 3/4 full bottle of royal purple fluid in my garage. It is a couple of years old. Any harm using it if it is free of debris?

I kept the bottle because I had to refinance the house and tap into the kids college fund to buy that chit.
Thanks dvsgene. As for another mortgage, nope. Two of the kids are stepchildren so I can sell them.... Nevermind. I do belive it is Dexron III. I used it on a p.o.s Chrysler Pacifica. I will read the bottle.
As long as the label states Dexron III compatible you are fine.

The oil itself will last till the next century. Only thing that happens is the additives fall out of suspension so shake that bottle a little to get the it back in suspension.

Don't want you taking out another mortgage and denying the kids college to buy another bottle.
Wait. Are you really putting transmission fluid into your power steering reservoir!? That ATF is a German acronym. Not standing for automatic transmission fluid. Do a full P/S Flush. Get all that crap out and use a real high end cleaner that's solvent free. Detergent based cleaners are best for systems like power steering. And then get a very good quality fluid like royal purple power steering fluid or similar. You won't regret it.
bkovalick,

Where do you get this stuff?
Automotive repair manuals and certified mechanic. Same places you can.
Wait. Are you really putting transmission fluid into your power steering reservoir!? That ATF is a German acronym. Not standing for automatic transmission fluid. Do a full P/S Flush. Get all that crap out and use a real high end cleaner that's solvent free. Detergent based cleaners are best for systems like power steering. And then get a very good quality fluid like royal purple power steering fluid or similar. You won't regret it.
Automotive repair manuals and certified mechanic. Same places you can.
:jawdrop:
What does it stand for?
....That ATF is a German acronym. Not standing for automatic transmission fluid.....
Now that's interesting!

I did not realize that - and - to help others, I'll add those comments to the thread. Thanks for edifying me!

They can still use the words Dexron III in the fine print somewhere on bottle
What does it stand for?
You know. I doublechecked (I don't really know why I do these things), just in case there 'was' a German translation that differed from the American ...

- BMW E39 technoterms, acronyms, glossary, definitions slang, technical terms, abbreviations (1)

But as stated, it's exactly what we think it is:
ATF - Automatic Transmission Fluid (from ETK)

Not surprisingly.
???
You smoking some strange stuff or sniffing that real high end solvent?
Wait. Are you really putting transmission fluid into your power steering reservoir!? That ATF is a German acronym. Not standing for automatic transmission fluid. Do a full P/S Flush. Get all that crap out and use a real high end cleaner that's solvent free. Detergent based cleaners are best for systems like power steering. And then get a very good quality fluid like royal purple power steering fluid or similar. You won't regret it.
Aww BlueBee, I know, but I wanted to see what bkovalick would come up with.
But as stated, it's exactly what we think it is:
ATF - Automatic Transmission Fluid (from ETK)

Not surprisingly.
FYI, there are millions of vehicles out there on this planet whose PS system is built by ZF and ZF (the maker) specifies that Dexron-III be used in them.

You need to read the correct repair manual and hang out with different mechanics.
Wait. Are you really putting transmission fluid into your power steering reservoir!? That ATF is a German acronym. Not standing for automatic transmission fluid. Do a full P/S Flush. Get all that crap out and use a real high end cleaner that's solvent free. Detergent based cleaners are best for systems like power steering. And then get a very good quality fluid like royal purple power steering fluid or similar. You won't regret it.
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