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Hydraulic Steering Oil Change

My GS-201 has hydraulic assist steering with the little filler on the helm. How often should the steering oil be replaced? Is this a relatively easy job or best left for a mechanic at time of boat service? Since I don't trailer my boat I would have to do it while on the lift. I don't when the last time the oil was changed. Thanks.
1999 Fundeck GS-201, Teal, Honda 200HP

Comments

  • cjjjdeck
    cjjjdeck Northern NJMember, Moderator Posts: 1,872 ✭✭✭✭
    Just got off the phone with SeaStar Solutions, manufacturer of BayStar and SeaStar steering systems, very often used in Hurricanes.  Here's what they told me:

    Oil changing of the steering system is not necessary unless the unit leaks oil due to needing a repair (like a defective seal).  The reason for non-oil changes is that the oil never gets heated enough to break down its properties.  Although there are many oils made that could be used in this system, SeaStar recommends you using their oil because they cannot be sure of what formula/additives other manufacturers might use in their oils.  They advise that their oil formula is blended specifically for their steering systems.

    I learned something too!
    2012 SD237 I/O Mercruiser 5.0L MPI ECT/ Bravo 3
    2012 Load Rite Elite Tandem axle trailer

  • DavidPJ
    DavidPJ NCMember Posts: 67 ✭✭
    Thank you cjjdeck. Glad to learn this is one item I won't have to service anytime soon!
    1999 Fundeck GS-201, Teal, Honda 200HP
  • 89checkmate
    89checkmate Member Posts: 148 ✭✭✭
    It should be checked for play though, just grab the motor by hand and give it a push in both directions, if the cylinder moves more than 1/2 " in either direction there's air in the system and it should be bleed, it's usually worse in northern climates, here in Canada we have to bleed the systems every spring.
  • DavidPJ
    DavidPJ NCMember Posts: 67 ✭✭
    It should be checked for play though, just grab the motor by hand and give it a push in both directions, if the cylinder moves more than 1/2 " in either direction there's air in the system and it should be bleed, it's usually worse in northern climates, here in Canada we have to bleed the systems every spring.
    OK, thanks. I'll give it a try.
    1999 Fundeck GS-201, Teal, Honda 200HP