Replacing Power Steering Fluid: When, Why & How?

Replacing Power Steering Fluid: When, Why & How?
Written by Tejen Dhankhar

Power steering is one of the most basic features that almost every car comes equipped with nowadays. Basically, a power steering system uses a fluid that rotates around the steering column inside to make the steering operation smooth and silky. But, with passing time, does this fluid needs replacement?

As we know a vehicle contains many other fluids ranging from engine oil to transmission fluids which needs to be replaced time to time as stated in the ‘user manual’ of your vehicle. Generally a steering fluid does not need replacement and none of the manufacturers write it down in the user manual, so, the replacement is totally an individual’s decision.

When you take your car in for routine service you may hear an urgent pitch for having your power-steering pump flushed and filled with fresh fluid because the current fluid has turned dark. Bear in mind that engine oil and transmission fluid also become darker after a while, so a deeper shade of red doesn’t mean the power-steering fluid is bad. Before you jump at paying for this service, see what your owner’s manual or maintenance schedule says. You probably won’t find mention of changing the fluid.

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In order to ensure the proper maintenance check, each fluid reservoir comes with the low fluid warning mentions. The new reservoirs come with transparent covers so that one does not even need to open the cap. Also check for the reservoir for any kind of leaks. Timed checking of steering rack for any leaks is also recommended for proper maintenance.

Replacing the steering fluid is a very complicated task that might prove difficult for you and may also lead to wastage of time, so a proper technician is recommended for such a replacement. Or, find a turkey baster that will fit inside the reservoir and drain as much old fluid as you can. Then, you can refill it with fresh fluid to the proper level. You won’t get all the old fluid out, but do this a few times and you should be able to replace most of it.

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