What is power steering fluid?
Power steering fluid passes through the power steering hydraulic system. The system is pressurized by the power steering pump and by way of valves, plungers, or pistons decreases the effort needed by the driver to turn the steering wheel. When the pump stops pumping, the pressure drops and the power steering system loses its hydraulic pressure.
As components in the steering system wear, metal particles will contaminate the fluid, which will cause seals in the system to leak and parts to suddenly fail. Checking the fluid level and replacing the fluid at consistent intervals recommended by the manufacturer is vital for the life of the hoses, pistons, valves, seals, and the power steering pump itself.
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Facts to Note:
Pouring in the wrong fluid or overfilling the system can bring about expensive damage. The mechanic will have to consult the vehicle owner’s or service manual.
If the fluid is low, the mechanic will inspect the hoses, fittings, and clamps for leaks.
How to Fix:
Empty the power steering reservoir
Fill with the right type and amount of new fluid
Bleed the power steering system/clean up any residual fluid
Test operation of power steering
Check for any power steering leaks
Consider getting a power steering flush once every 3-4 years.
Common signs indicating you need to change the power steering fluid:
Groaning noise from the power steering pump or steering gear
Struggle in turning the steering wheel
Contaminated fluid (brown/black)
Importance of this service:
Replacing your power steering fluid at manufacturer recommended intervals, will guarantee continued system performance and extended service life. It is a part of scheduled upkeep services and will save you the trouble of major repairs down the road.