What Is Power Steering Fluid?
If your vehicle has power steering, it relies on power steering fluid. Power steering fluid is what powers the hydraulic link between your vehicle's steering wheel and its front tires. When you turn your steering wheel with ease, that's thanks to power steering fluid.
There are three types of power steering fluid:
- Universal Power Steering Fluid, which is suitable for most kinds of vehicles. Some manufacturers require special additives, so it's important to consult the manual or a knowledgeable automotive expert.
- ATF Transmission Fluid, which is not specifically for power steering but can be used as such in some vehicles. Again, an automotive expert can help you determine if this is the right choice for your car.
- Synthetic-based Hydraulic Fluid, which is commonly used in European and Japanese vehicles.
How Can I Tell If My Vehicle Needs a Power Steering Flush
Your vehicle needs a power steering flush every 40,000-80,000 miles, depending on manufacturer specifications. There are a few ways, however, to tell if it needs to be changed.
First, if you notice that is harder than normal to turn the steering wheel, it may indicate old or bad fluid. Pay attention to how stiff your steering wheel is and evaluate your power steering fluid as soon as it feels too difficult to drive.
Second, if your steering wheel makes sounds when you turn, it could indicate your power steering fluid is off. As the problem worsens, the noises will get louder.
Finally, you can evaluate the fluid yourself. After letting your vehicle run a few moments, pop the hood and remove the dipstick. If the fluid is dark or dingy instead of red and clean, it means you need to take your car to a mechanic.
The Bottom Line on Replacing Power Steering Fluid
As a driver, you rely on power steering fluid for smooth, safe driving. While it is possible to flush your power steering fluid at home, it is a messy and delicate process. Instead, you can rely on experts like us to make to process quick and painless. If your vehicle needs a power steering flush, we invite you to visit Westside Service today! Reach out to us here.