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Old 03-22-2009, 10:12 AM   #1
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Could someone please explain why you would need a cooler for the power steering ?

If you where using a WDH then maybe.

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Old 03-22-2009, 10:36 AM   #2
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I copied the following text from

“Power assisted steering is present on most vehicles. What is not commonly known, however, is the fact that some power steering systems reach temperatures that significantly reduces the life of the system.

The power steering system creates pressure, in turn creating heat. The rise in the temperature of the system can create loss of assist as well as leakage. This primarily occurs when the temperature of the fluid exceeds the specification of hoses and of the seals in the pump.

Power steering oil coolers are commonly found on higher performance or specialty vehicles, vehicles with increased trailer towing capacity, large car platforms, SUV’s and Trucks.

Automakers continue to stretch warranty periods to win the end consumer’s business and power steering oil coolers are one of the components used to achieve these extended warranty periods and ensure a robust product.”

New power steering systems employ electric pumps which pretty much eliminate parasitic losses on continuously operated pumps driven by the engine. The hydraulic pressure is maintain by operating electric pump only as needed. I have electrically driven power steering pump on my TDI VW Jetta. I believe that primary purpose for using electric power steering system is reducing fuel consumption.


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Old 03-22-2009, 10:37 AM   #3
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If you pull a large fifth wheel trailer you might need one. Some of these may weigh 20K pounds or so. The large, specialized trucks like F-550 and F-450 are the only vehicles I've noticed them on.
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:29 PM   #4
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The power steering system creates pressure, in turn creating heat. [b]The rise in the temperature of the system can create loss of assist...
I have experienced "Loss of assist" when doing a collision avoidance maneuver, or rapid lane change on the freeway.

I forgot that the true name is "Power ASSISTED steering"
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:27 PM   #5
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My '98 Ranger 4.0L V6 pickup with towing package (TC=5,800 lbs) has a power steering cooler. I imagine it will be most needed when backing and filling around a campsite, esp if rough ground. It is also a 4WD.
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:29 PM   #6
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Honda recommends a power steering fluid cooler for towing on their Odyssey minivans. Apparently, the reason is that towing usually means higher rpm on the engine for long periods of time. The power steering pump vents it's extra pressure through a relief valve, and the constant higher rpm causes excessive heating of the hydraulic fluid.
So I've been told - and it seems logical, I guess.
I, normally, leave the transmission in Drive (Overdrive?), unless it seems to be hunting, lugging, or changing too often, then I'll leave it in 3rd. Definitely, in those conditions, the motor is revving higher than normal!
I've never noticed any problems with the steering fluid.
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:35 PM   #7
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Thank everybody for the reply's

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Old 03-26-2009, 05:23 AM   #8
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My wife's 88 pontiac 6000 had one from the factory, it ran across the front crossmember.
My 1995 Lumina APV also had one, same location.
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:05 AM   #9
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Front wheel drive vehicles require a WDH and that in turn throws a bunch of weight onto the front wheels and therefore the cooler as explained to me by the dealer. As mentioned above the Odessey has one but its not big enough so an after market is required
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heading sloowly up the eastcoast to our next 2 month (Aug and Sept) camp hosting gig at Camden Hills State Park in Maine
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