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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the plethora of threads on towing, trailer hitches and transmission coolers is anybody upgrading or adding extra cooling or forgetting about the power steering (PS) system? My OEM PS cooler is rusty and I want to replace it. I'm looking at a few PS coolers and read some transmission coolers can be used for PS cooling. Another alternative are high performance PS coolers drivers use to keep temperatures lower during track time usage.
The OEM PS cooler is essentially a long metal tube that runs the width of the a/c condensor. The OEM PS cooler is <$30 at Majestic while the heavy-duty OEM PS cooler looks the same as the standard PS cooler with a set of fins is $160. The aftermarket 2 to 4 pass tube+fin coolers are <$35. Has anybody run the aftermarket PS alone or in place of the OEM PS cooler? Some run the aftermarket PS coolers in series to the OEM PS cooler. Attached are some recommended Derale PS coolers. Thoughts....
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If it hasn't been an issue I wouldn't go reinventing the wheel... replace the OEM in kind.
 

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When I bought the 3/4 ton years ago for towing it came equipped with the rear towing package, I had to install the 5th wheel hitch. The package included an ATF cooler, Oil cooler and PS cooler. It's the only vehicle I have ever had with a PS cooler that I know of. Not sure that towing puts that much more stress on the power steering pump like it does on a transmission. With that said, I don't figure it can hurt if you put one on.
 

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Change the fluid
With the plethora of threads on towing, trailer hitches and transmission coolers is anybody upgrading or adding extra cooling or forgetting about the power steering (PS) system? My OEM PS cooler is rusty and I want to replace it. I'm looking at a few PS coolers and read some transmission coolers can be used for PS cooling. Another alternative are high performance PS coolers drivers use to keep temperatures lower during track time usage.
The OEM PS cooler is essentially a long metal tube that runs the width of the a/c condensor. The OEM PS cooler is <$30 at Majestic while the heavy-duty OEM PS cooler looks the same as the standard PS cooler with a set of fins is $160. The aftermarket 2 to 4 pass tube+fin coolers are <$35. Has anybody run the aftermarket PS alone or in place of the OEM PS cooler? Some run the aftermarket PS coolers in series to the OEM PS cooler. Attached are some recommended Derale PS coolers. Thoughts....
View attachment 139148 View attachment 139149
I would prefer the OEM cooler design that runs along the bottom of the radiator core support. The aftermarket PS cooler will stack on top of the A.C. Condenser that's already stacked on the Radiator making it 3 deep.
Honda power steering failure usually is a result of the fluid never being replaced. Some have felt the need to ad an inline filter. Really, just change the fluid more often.
 

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Change the fluid

I would prefer the OEM cooler design that runs along the bottom of the radiator core support. The aftermarket PS cooler will stack on top of the A.C. Condenser that's already stacked on the Radiator making it 3 deep.
Honda power steering failure usually is a result of the fluid never being replaced. Some have felt the need to ad an inline filter. Really, just change the fluid more often.
Every oil change you can suck out around 6 ozs and put fresh fluid in... adds a couple dollars to the cost of an oil change and can be done while the oil is draining, so no additional time.
 

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Curious why power steering fluid needs to be cooled. Or I guess a better way of asking that is why does power steering get hot enough to need cooling over and above what would regularly happen.

Most cars I'd imagine don't have power steering coolers. It seems like these coolers are often included as part of a tow package but I've always been curious how the two are connected.
 

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Curious why power steering fluid needs to be cooled. Or I guess a better way of asking that is why does power steering get hot enough to need cooling over and above what would regularly happen.

Most cars I'd imagine don't have power steering coolers. It seems like these coolers are often included as part of a tow package but I've always been curious how the two are connected.
Power steering fluid gets very hot if not cooled, regardless if towing or not. Larger vehicles usually have larger PS coolers. Even small cars have PS coolers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Curious why power steering fluid needs to be cooled. Or I guess a better way of asking that is why does power steering get hot enough to need cooling over and above what would regularly happen.

Most cars I'd imagine don't have power steering coolers. It seems like these coolers are often included as part of a tow package but I've always been curious how the two are connected.
Power steering fluid operates under incredible pressure so you can turn the wheel with your pinky LOL. The PS system could generate heat hot enough to boil or melt the reservoir. Keep it cool keep it changed and the PS will be happy.
 

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Power steering fluid operates under incredible pressure so you can turn the wheel with your pinky LOL. The PS system could generate heat hot enough to boil or melt the reservoir. Keep it cool keep it changed and the PS will be happy.
For sure.
 

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Power steering fluid gets very hot if not cooled, regardless if towing or not. Larger vehicles usually have larger PS coolers. Even small cars have PS coolers.
I never knew this! It makes sense. Does towing put extra strain on power steering?
 

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I have always had my doubts about the article posted by Nail Grease. I believe he did as well as his original posts starts out with "Man claims." In looking at the photo it is only the top cap area that melted, but power steering fluid is normally not up to and touching the cap. In observing the area around the cap there is no fluid splash and as the boiling point of power steering fluid is 600 Degrees F or 315 C one would expect that the bottle would melt where the fluid is in contact with the plastic before it got to the point that it would boil, thereby reaching the PS reservoir cap area.

Only PC and PTFE have melting points higher than 315C and the softening points for both are substantially lower than that, yet there is no visible deformation in the area where the fluid would have been in contact with the reservoir.

139199


Personally me thinks that the story is more story than fact.
 

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I have always had my doubts about the article posted by Nail Grease. I believe he did as well as his original posts starts out with "Man claims." In looking at the photo it is only the top cap area that melted, but power steering fluid is normally not up to and touching the cap. In observing the area around the cap there is no fluid splash and as the boiling point of power steering fluid is 600 Degrees F or 315 C one would expect that the bottle would melt where the fluid is in contact with the plastic before it got to the point that it would boil, thereby reaching the PS reservoir cap area.

Only PC and PTFE have melting points higher than 315C and the softening points for both are substantially lower than that, yet there is no visible deformation in the area where the fluid would have been in contact with the reservoir.

View attachment 139199

Personally me thinks that the story is more story than fact.
Did you read the whole thread on the Accord forum?
 

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I never knew this! It makes sense. Does towing put extra strain on power steering?
Possibly.
A loaded vehicle making a lot of turns, more so.
 

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There is a video on youtube comparing the axle weights for an HD pickup with a heavy trailer without airbags, with airbags and with a weight distributing hitch. The WDH put more weight on the front axle than the unloaded truck experienced, so now your power steering is working even hard to turn the wheels. Many users tow with a WDH on their Pilot.

This video also served to debunk the theories that airbags help with towing, the fact was they did almost nothing to help other than placebo.

I'm at work or I'd look for the video.
 
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There is a video on youtube comparing the axle weights for an HD pickup with a heavy trailer without airbags, with airbags and with a weight distributing hitch. The WDH put more weight on the front axle than the unloaded truck experienced, so now your power steering is working even hard to turn the wheels. Many users tow with a WDH on their Pilot.

This video also served to debunk the theories that airbags help with towing, the fact was they did almost nothing to help other than placebo.

I'm at work or I'd look for the video.
Using a WDH on your Pilot is just, is just, just... 😑
 

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Using a WDH on your Pilot is just, is just, just... 😑
How many people come to the forum towing over 4,000 lbs? I know it's not great to put those a unibody but how the hell can a Pilot tow 5000 lbs without one?
 

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How many people come to the forum towing over 4,000 lbs? I know it's not great to put those a unibody but how the hell can a Pilot tow 5000 lbs without one?
Without writing a long paragraph, I couldn't say WDH is a good thing on a Pilot when my feelings are not to tow more than 2500 Lbs. with it, from the lumber yard, 2 times a year. Lol
 
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