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How to Power Steering Flush 2009 5.3L Silverado

Very Easy To Do and Often Overlooked
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How to Power Steering Flush 2009 5.3L Silverado

Postby Gozzie [OP] » Oct 04 2016, 9:53pm

How to flush the power steering system in a 2009 5.3L Silverado.

This is the proper and no mess procedure to flush out that old power steering fluid and replace it with new. It's a relatively easy task and is often overlooked and neglected.

Difficulty Level Easy
Time To Complete 1 to 2 Hours
Skills Needed knowledge to jack the front tires off the ground

Power Steering fluid (4 -5 quarts) do not use atf. Use power steering fluid. Do not get the stuff with stop leak or other things added to it. I used prestone. I used the regular stuff. The synthetic to me was way to pricey but that decision is totally up to you. I'll say it again "do not use atf". Use regular power steering fluid.

Tools Needed
either channel locks, slip joint pliers, or a hose clamp tool (need to loosen one hose clamp)
jacks and jacks stands (to raise both front wheels off the ground)
drain pan (4-5 quarts)
a helper or assistant (no skills necessary) to turn the steering wheel
2 plastic vacuum caps (as shown below) you can get a variety pack when you pick up your power steering fluid. They come in handy for other projects too. You need one to cap off the power steering pump and one to cap off the tubing.
Plastic vacuum cap attached to power steering pump
H1750008.jpg (44.9 KiB) Viewed 15526 times

Optional Equipment
turkey baster (not necessary but could be handy)
a couple of feet of tubing that can be attatched to a 3/8" hose (for draining)
if you don't have skid plates the tubing isn't needed but it is recommended. You can use a barb adaptor or any other means. You are just extending the hose to reach the drain pan. Here is what I had on hand. The tubing just slides into the power steering hose. There is no real pressure here so it doesn't need to be a real tight fit.
tubing came with an eastwood fluid pump
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tubing slid into hose
H1750011.jpg (53.22 KiB) Viewed 15526 times

Identify the return line to the power steering pump. There are 2 lines coming out of the pump (3 if you have hydroboost) The return line is the one with the clamp on it as shown below.
power steering pump
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pointing to the return line
H1750003.jpg (58.98 KiB) Viewed 15526 times

1. Have your vacuum cap ready to place on to the power steering pump. Place a rag or paper towels under the hose and using your pliers or clamp tool loosen the clamp and remove the hose from the pump. Fluid wont come gushing out but it will leak onto the rag. Place the vacuum cap on the pump and raise the hose up. The dripping will stop. Insert your tubing into the power steering hose. cap off the end or pinch it closed and thread it down to the drain pan below the truck. I use vise grips to hold the tubing to the drain pain to keep it from flopping out.
Holding the tubing in place
H1750016.jpg (33.98 KiB) Viewed 15526 times

2. Jack up the front of the truck so the tires are just off the ground. Make sure your jacks or stands are placed where they don't interfere with tires being turned to their full left and right positions. I used 2 jacks and no stands since I wont be under the truck and it's barely jacked up with the tires still on but you make that call. Stay safe.
raise tires just off the ground
H1750014.jpg (51.8 KiB) Viewed 15526 times

3 Remove the cap off the end of the tubing or un-pinch it at the drain pan and then take the cap off the pump reservoir. At this point you can either empty the reservoir tank with a turkey baster or go to step 5. If you did empty the tank fill it full now with fresh fluid.

4. If you didn't empty the tank first now it's time for your helper to get inside the truck. Have him or her very slowly turn the steering either left or right (it doesn't matter). Watch the fluid in the tank level drop. Don't let it completely empty the tank to create an air pocket. Don't worry if you do at this point but for the following steps never empty the tank. Once the tank is empty fill it completely up with fresh fluid.

5. While you direct the helper to turn the steering wheel, you keep the tank full with fresh fluid. While he is turning the wheel the fluid will drop. Just keep it topped off and never let the tank empty. Have your helper turn the wheel to full stop each time left and right. It will take roughly 4 quarts to replace the old fluid with new.

6. When you feel confident that all the fluid was replaced ( it will be as clear as water) stop and fill up the tank. Now very slowly turn the wheel until the level drops to the full cold mark on the reservoir cap. Keep lowering and checking the level until you get it right.

7. Cap off or pinch the end of the tubing Remove the tubing and the vacuum cap on the pump and reinstall the hose to the pump. Have your helper turn the wheel from stop to stop a couple of times. Check the fluid, it should still be close to the full cold mark on the cap.

8. Start the engine for just 2 or 3 seconds and turn it off. Check the level again. It should still be close to the full cold mark. If not add fluid to get it there.

9. Start the engine again and have your helper turn the wheel to full left or right. When the pump squeals at full stop hold it there for 2-3 seconds. If you can look into the tank you will see it start to bleed air. Turn the wheels the other way to full stop and when it squeals hold it there for 2-3 seconds. Repeat this another 2 times each side.

10. Shut off the motor, check the fluid level, replace the cap, lower the vehicle, remove the jacks and stands and drain pan. Make sure all your tools and rags are picked up and close the hood.

11. Start the vehicle and go for a drive. Now remember if you go for a drive the fluid level will change and will raise because it's now not cold anymore. So the best thing to do would be check it again after it's cooled back down. Look everything over and check for leaks.

While this is a little time consuming the job is not very complicated. Now that we all know how to do this maybe we wont wait 100k miles to change it out. Keeping the fluid fresh will help prevent un needed service or repairs to the system.

Here is an attachment from the chevy manual for a 2008 which is the same as a 2009. It has a little more documentation for vehicles equipped with hydroboost steering.
2008 Power Steering Flush and Bleeding
(402 KiB) Downloaded 711 times

I hope this how to helps you all out
2009 Silverado Extended Cab 4x4
5.3L flex fuel 4 Speed
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Re: How to Power Steering Flush 2009 5.3L Silverado

Postby wirelessf » Oct 05 2016, 10:17am

Excellent write up. This procedure can also be done with older trucks as well.
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