The power steering system takes the effort exerted on the steering wheel and intensifies it, giving the driver a mechanical advantage to make steering easier. If you feel you aren’t getting as much help from the power steering as you did before, or you hear a whine coming from under the hood during sharp turns, you may be low on power steering fluid.
Power Steering Fluid – Checking and Changing
Power steering fluid is a hydraulic oil that oxidizes, just like any other oil. When oxidized, it becomes more resistant to flow, and its ability to protect internal parts is compromised.
When to Change Power Steering Fluid
Oxidized power steering fluid should be changed periodically at manufacturers recommended intervals.
How to Check Power Steering Fluid:
- Wipe the fluid reservoir cap clean to prevent contaminants from dropping into the reservoir.
- Unscrew the cap and check whether the fluid level reaches the “full” mark.
- If it doesn’t, fill with fluid recommended by your car manufacturer in vehicle’s owner’s manual, replace the cap and check for system leaks.
- Check the color of the fluid. If it looks brown, it may need to be replaced.