Is it Time to Change the Power Steering Fluid? 3 Ways to Tell!

Most drivers are aware that vehicles need oil changes every 5,000-7,500 miles. However, most people aren't entirely sure when the power steering fluid should be changed. The power steering fluid is forgotten altogether, even though it's a significant aspect of a healthy steering wheel. The power steering fluid may take a backseat in most driver's minds unless there's a problem. The power steering fluid is a hydraulic fluid that transmits power into the steering system. The power steering fluid doesn't burn away as oil does; it gets dirty and polluted over time. Contaminated power steering fluid puts stress on the power steering pump, causing it to work harder and eventually lead to failure. Is it time to change the power steering fluid? Below are three ways to tell if it's time to schedule an appointment.  

Dark Fluid

After running your car for a few minutes, pop the hood and pull out the dipstick. The power steering fluid should be bright red and clean. Power steering fluid that's dark, dirty, or has a burnt smell usually indicates a problem. Also, check inside the reservoir; there shouldn't be any particles inside the liquid. If the fluid inside the reservoir is contaminated, it's time to have the system flushed out and replaced with new power steering fluid.  

Unusual Sounds 

A contaminated power steering fluid pump will make it harder for the power steering pump to do its job. Over time, it struggles; and continually becomes louder and noisier. A loud powering system pump indicates it's time to have the fluid changed.  

Hard Steering Wheel

If the steering wheel is hard and becomes difficult to turn, the power steering fluid may be the issue. A steering wheel that no longer turns smoothly turns can indicate that the fluid is low and needs to be topped off. Or, in some cases, the fluid is too thin and contaminated. It's best to consider a vehicle inspection to determine which scenario may be the case. While it's simple to top off the power-steering fluid, if the remaining fluid is already contaminated, you may be enhancing the problem rather than helping it.  

Power Steering Fluid Change in Howell, MI 

If you notice any of the above signs, don't hesitate to schedule a time to drop off your vehicle at Mazur's Total Automotive. Click here to schedule an appointment at one of our three convenient locations. We are AAA Approved shop that specializes in most repairs for all vehicle makes and models.