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Old 01-31-2019, 05:31 PM #1
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Winter Capabilities of Our Power Steering Fluid

Anyone knows at what temperature our steering fluid gets dangerously low to operate?

I notice with latest polar vortex, steering was more difficult at the beginning before car warms. But I wonder at what temperature it can "freeze"? I came across numbers like -30C / -22 F which can explain the difficulty on that particular morning for my 4runner since the windchill definitely was lower than that temperature, temperature reading was -24C/-12F already.

Is there anything to add to the power steering fluid to be safe or needs to be replaced with something better?
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:20 PM #2
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I've taken my 4Runner up into northern Canada and regularly had no issues in -40C/F. Keep an eye on the making sure the battery is in good condition and topped up, otherwise everything should be fine. On my FJ Cruiser the clutch would get really heavy when cold below -30c but no worries about that on the 4Runner obviously. Some places up here hit -40 very commonly and there are plenty of 4Runners are here, I wouldn't worry about your fluids freezing, the only exception is if you're running cheap windshield washer fluid.
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:54 PM #3
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Minneapolis Native here.

I noticed the same thing in the -30 degree air temperature. Steering was very very heavy. I also noticed that the brake pedal was extremely stiff and slow to retract to the normal position after being pressed. Curious about responses in this thread!
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:19 PM #4
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it cold here baby

We get cold snaps, and everything feels heavier, the steering, braking, shocks stiffen up, round wheels become squares, mpg plummets, rolling resistance increases,:but within 2 minutes the heats blowing and on my way. Bring on the storms!!

Last edited by lakerman; 02-01-2019 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:39 PM #5
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I didnt drive my 4Runner in the extreme cold but at twenty below my 2003 Galant had the slow heavy steering feel and a firm but still responsive brake feel. All day the brakes were more firm at least to me.

Not great for engines to be started cold in these temps especially with old oil. I'm certain the 2014 polar vortex damaged my 2012 camry's engine. 9k plus on that oil and -15 everyday
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