When Should I Change My Power Steering Fluid?


Power steering fluid is a vital feature of a strong steering wheel. Some may be aware and keep up with their miles for changing the oil.

Regular tune-ups and essential replacements will ensure the longevity of the vehicle more efficiently. Paying attention to these needs will help ensure your safety while driving. You need not overlook the fluid level, either. Just know the info about oil changes. Knowing when to change power steering fluid is very essential. Regulating this fluid will make your job behind the wheel a lot easier.

The power steering fluid is a hydraulic fluid that powers the steering system. It doesn’t combust as motor oil, instead it gets dirty and contaminated over time. If the power steering fluid is polluted then it can heavily strain the power steering pump, thus it may cause the system to overwork. 

Below are three signs to tell if it’s time to change out the power steering fluid:

Dark fluid

Once you’ve started the car, wait for some time and open the hood of your vehicle and remove the dipstick. Keep note that the color of your power steering fluid should be bright red, and make sure that the liquid is free of dust and debris. If the solution looks dark, grimy, or produces a burnt smell then immediately hire a professional to check the condition of your vehicle. The system must be flushed out and replaced with the fresh steering liquid.

Unusual sound

If the power steering solution is completely contaminated then it will make the power steering pump work harder. Additionally, the inefficient system will release a loud noise. A noisy powering system pump means there’s a serious problem with your power steering system.  

Stiff steering wheel

If the steering wheel is rigid and a bit difficult to turn, the power steering liquid may be the problem. If a steering wheel is not turning easily then it can indicate that the fluid is running low or contaminated. Hire a professional for a vehicle inspection to determine the root of the problem. 

Read the Manual

Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will give you the recommendation for when to change your power steering fluid. The time interval will vary for every vehicle. There are unique formulations of fluid for every vehicle model to achieve proper performance.

What happens if you ignore the power steering fluid?

If your vehicle runs out of fluid and you don’t replace it, then your vehicle is running in danger. The components of the steering system may wear out or corrode. This could lead to broken parts and debris moving around in the vehicle. If you fail to replace the fluid regularly, it may lead to a total break-down of your car.

Pay attention to these tips, inspect your fluid at least once a year and know when to change the fluid, then you’ll have no issues keeping up with steering maintenance.