View Full Version : Power steering fluid

Frank Mc
05-29-2016, 02:53 AM
The PS tank on my 08 2500 is almost dry . Nothing showing on dip and when I put a stick down to where it bottoms out it is still dry. I bought Lucas PS fluid with conditioners It says it is for all PS systems even Honda. Would this work in Sprinter ? Thanks, Frank

PS. the steering is still working fine but getting close to not working.

05-29-2016, 03:45 AM
Frank Mc,
Think I would go with the MOPAR specific power steering fluid, or use ATF-4.
The additives in the Lucas Product might be good, and then again maybe not.
Looks like the MB BEVO Spec could be 236.3.
Here's a snip of the PS Fluid Spec from the 2008 Dodge Sprinter
Operator's Manual

05-29-2016, 05:27 AM
After refilling; check the hose fittings/ clamp for tightness.
The fluid is getting out somewhere!

Tooth Fairy
05-29-2016, 07:22 AM
Frank oils is oils, its all down to the viscosity of it, you could put water in it and it would work, the only problem with water is the rusting effect. :thumbup:

05-29-2016, 08:31 AM
The fluid has probably leaked past the seals and has accumulated in the rubber shaft sleeves, so be careful to collect the fluid if you undo the clamps.



Aqua Puttana
05-29-2016, 10:56 AM
I would use what you bought.

Frank oils is oils, its all down to the viscosity of it, you could put water in it and it would work, the only problem with water is the rusting effect. :thumbup:
For power steering I agree completely, for whatever that may be worth ... < :2cents:

Some general fluid info. The power steering fluid history might be of interest for the OP question.

This is a Fluids canned response

Revised 2015/06/06

(Young people who have only ever purchased oil in plastic won’t appreciate the bold print title above.)

My goal is to refrain from Sprinter fluid discussion. (For me it’s a goal which is not easily attained.) This has what I think is some practical information.

All brands of fluids within a MB specification are compatible. They need to be, or they wouldn’t meet the MB specification. So for top off, what OEM factory brand was used is not critical within a MB specification.

Of course the easiest answer as to proper fluids is to direct people to the Mercedes Benz BEVO site which is the official information for MB vehicle fluids. Personally I find that the site is often not easy to extract the information you seek. Another issue for NAFTA owners is that many of the products they list are just not readily available, or available at all, in North America.

Here is the English language official MB BEVO link.

The MB and Sprinter market in North America is fairly small. Because of that there may be many readily available products in North America which would pass the MB spec tests, but just are not submitted to MB. The return on investment for the approval process just may not be there for them. Just my thoughts, I have no data.

As to MB specs, there is what I think is a rather large misconception in that the higher, or newer, number MB spec lubricants are better in all ways than their lower number predecessors. E.G. - MB228.XX oil as compared to MB229.XX oil for T1N’s and people assuming that MB229.XX is always better. In the MB BEVO system just because it is a different formulation and a lower number does not automatically mean that it is a totally inferior product. It means that it is a different product. If it were not up to the task then they would not list it on BEVO for use in your vehicle.

For example.

MB228.3 engine oil is fine for OM612 and OM647 5 cylinder engines used in a given climate. MB228.31 is indicated as not appropriate if you look at the proper sub notes. So not all products of a similar number range are backward compatible or "better". They are different.

Power Steering Fluid

The history of what is the PROPER power steering fluid in the Sprinter is long and ugly. The NAFTA 2003 Operator Manual mentions Mopar ATF+4. My 2004 Dodge manual lists MB 341.0 or synthetic ATF III. The BEVO list includes a number of MB 236.X suggestions as of this writing. Because so many different products have been listed over the years I say it must not make much difference as to what is actually used. One thread is here.

I have used Lucas Power Steering Stop Leak on my 2004 Sprinter with good results. It has now been over 80,000 miles since I added it.

There are some comments and at least one additional Lucas user in this thread.
Clunk, Clunk. Ball Joint or Rack n Pinion?

BEVO North American MB236.3 choice: After searching I conclude that a dealership is the easiest source.

Differential Fluid

I put the differential fluid in the same general perspective as power steering fluid. It is conventional so any good quality GL5 rated XX-90 weight gear oil is on my list ( not XX-140 although people do report using it.). Some members do recommend only synthetic products.

For those interested, MB dealers should have 90w Mobil Delvac in quarts $10/qt. range .

I kinda like this thread.

And this post. Although Dennis does not support my general view on diff fluid with his last comment. He recommends only using synthetic fluids. Fair enough.

BEVO North American MB235.8 choice:

General information for USA owners. Mobil Delvac is not commonly found in auto parts houses or big box stores.

Our local Camping World has Mobil Delvac™ Synthetic Gear Oil 75W-90 on the shelves. It has MB235.8 on the label which is listed in BEVO as should be used for our Sprinter differentials. Price was 10 bucks and change per quart.

:2cents: vic

A recent thread. http://sprinter-source.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=106

Engine Oil

Any oil which meets the MB spec and is in the correct viscosity range for your vehicle and operating conditions should be just fine. Either you believe the BEVO mantra or you don't. If the BEVO specs are to be trusted at all then brand preference is just that, brand preference.

Oil selection is probably a bit more critical if you are using the ASSYST information to extend oil changes.
Sprinter diesel owners with a DPF should not stray from the MB 229.51 (Mobil 1 5w-40 Formula M ESP Emissions System Protection low ash formula meets the spec 229.51 and also 229.31). To use anything else risks fouling the DPF and possibly the EGR system = costing many dollar$$$.

Some (too many?) of my thoughts are here.
If this information matters to anyone, for my 2004 OM647 Sprinter I have settled on using Mobil 1 0w-40 European Car Formula MB229.5 which I stockpile when on sale. I find it to be too expensive otherwise.

BEVO North American choice:
T1N 5 cylinder = Mobil 1 0w-40 European Car Formula MB229.5

NCV3 6 cylinder = Mobil 1 5w-40 Formula M ESP Emissions System Protection MB229.51 [Now out of production] or Valvoline vv966 5w-40 Synpower MST MB229.51

Some recent discussion related to Mobil discontinuing the 5w-40 MB229.51 product can be found here:

NCV3 Oil Practical Information - Low SAP 5w-40 vs 0w-30

NAG1 Transmission
This is perhaps the most critical of the fluids in my mind as to staying with MB BEVO spec fluid. (Aside from Low Ash engine oil if you have a DPF.) That said, for the T1N I believe either MB spec 236.12 or 236.14 is fine. The viscosity of the 236.14 is said to be a bit thinner. Either can be mixed without any problem. Valvoline Maxlife Dex/Merc ATF III technology (red container about $18/gallon jug) lists Mercedes NAG1 and mentions synthetic base stocks on the label (semi-synthetic?), but not a MB spec number. In my opinion it probably will work fine if you're looking for something more readily available or for top off.

(I did experience cold temperature shudder until after warm-up when I tried the MaxLife. That said, it didn’t go away completely when I refilled with MB236.14 spec fluid.)

Edit: I have since completely drained the TC and pan to replace the Maxlife drain pan only fill. I then refilled with Shell 134 MB236.14 approved fluid. The shudder in cold weather at first stop signs is less, but definitely still there. I noticed no shudder once we were down in warm Florida on vacation. Doktor A recently mentioned that a pan drain only in response to shudder is a waste of money. A complete TC and pan drain is required. My pan drain only with MaxLife refill may not have been a fair test because it was effectively only a partial refill/change. FWIW.

Some info is here.

BEVO North American MB236.14 choice:
Shell 134 is available at good price from local industrial lubricant distributors as compared to any automotive or big box store price. It meets MB236.14 spec so it is fully approved for the Sprinter NAG1 transmission.

Do with this information what you will. Be careful with engine oil and transmission fluid. I don't think choosing a good quality fluid will result in Sprinter power steering system/differential life or death even absent a MB spec rating, but others may do disagree. Vic

Here’s a nice reference posted by Boater. http://www.febi.com/fileadmin/user_upload/febi/england/downloads/febi_fluids_brochure_GB.pdf

I basically agree with what Roger said. My exception would be that there are many oils suitable for your T1N other than just Mobil 1 depending upon your climate and ambient temperature range. Why wouldn't you choose an oil with the 40 weight top number? That weight is one consistency with the BEVO listed oils available in North America.

The Mercedes stuff may be "their own oil", but it is likely just one of the existing MB229.51 spec oils packaged with the Mercedes logo complete with higher price. MB does not produce lubricants.

I believe in the BEVO system for the science behind it. I also believe that there are suitable oils which have not submitted/paid Mother Mercedes to make the list because the market share isn't there for them. When I bought that Gulf oil I mentioned that it had MB228.3 on the label, "whether that was official or not". The counter person replied that "They wouldn't put it on the label if they can't support it. They have too much to lose." He may be on to something there.

Sorry to be a broken record...

If you buy into or believe in the Mercedes BEVO system then any oil which meets the spec and viscosity for your use is as good as any other oil which meets those specs. Brand preference, labels, and paying a higher price for the same spec oil is just personal choice.


To my knowledge the Sprinter steering rack is not easily re-built. If you find a leak (likely with a low reservoir), you might consider Lucas Power Steering Stop Leak. I've been running it for years now in my 2004 T1N.

I've noticed a few posts about steering system leaks. I learned that I could not rebuild my 2004 steering rack. I sucked out the reservoir and replaced it with Lucas Power Steering Stop Leak fluid as a preventative measure. No problems at the time. None so far. 246,000 302,000 + on the van. 100,000 + now on the Lucas fluid.

I'm certain others have my mileage and much more without steering system issues. If my experiment does nothing else it shows that the Lucas product will not immediately destroy your steering system. I would not hesitate to suggest that anyone who notices a leak should try the Lucas Stop Leak before going for the expensive rack replacement. It will likely work.

No other additives used other than Power Service Diesel Antigel in the white jug. FWIW. vic


Frank Mc
05-29-2016, 01:07 PM
Thanks Guys ! Big help and you guys ROCK !!