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The Forgotten Power Steering Fluid

Most drivers are aware that they should change their oil about every 5,000 miles or so. However, when it comes to the power steering fluid, you may be uncertain of the proper interval to have it changed. In some cases, drivers may forget about the power steering fluid altogether. Changing the power steering fluid is essential to maintaining the health of a vehicle. It doesn’t burn off with time like engine oil does; it gets dirty and contaminated. Over time pollutants and sludge accumulate and eventually build up. When the power steering fluid becomes contaminated, it immediately puts more pressure and stress on the steering wheel. In severe cases, significant damage can occur, leaving you with a costly repair bill. 

How often you change your power steering fluid is variable to your driving habits and specific road conditions. Depending on who you ask, you will get a different recommendation. Below are a few ways to determine what’s the best service interval for your powering steering fluid. 

Check Your Vehicle’s Owner’s Manual
Don’t discount your vehicle’s owner manual as a source of great information. The manufacturer’s goal is to set you and your vehicle up for success. Check the manual for recommendations on when to change your powering steering fluid and the best liquid to use for optimal performance. 

Check the Power Steering Fluid
After running your car for a few minutes, take a moment to check the power steering fluid. The power steering fluid is usually bright red. If you pull out the dipstick and notice the liquid is dark or has a burnt smell, it may no longer be effective. Don’t stop at just analyzing the dipstick; check inside the power steering reservoir for particles inside the fluid. If there are particles, there will be sludge. This is a good indication that it’s time for a flush. 

Listen for Unusual Sounds
If the power steering fluid is contaminated, it can give audible indications that it’s time for a change. Contaminated fluid forces the power steering system to work harder. If you hear any unusual noises coming from the fluid pump, it may be time for a change. 

It’s Difficult to Steer
If you have major difficulties turning the steering wheel, there may be an issue with the power steering fluid. A hard-steering wheel can indicate the power steering fluid is too low and need to be refilled. Or the fluid needs to be thoroughly flushed. If you’re struggling to steer due to inadequate power steering fluid, it’s essential to have this fixed right away. Problems with steering can result in a dangerous situation if an accident occurs, and the steering wheel isn’t responsive. 

Power Steering Inspection in Bound Brook, NJ
Don’t wait until your vehicle has significant engine damage before flushing your power steering fluid. Take action as soon as possible. Power steering fluid keeps the steering wheel fluid working and responsive while also promoting optimized engine performance. If you need a power steering inspection in the Bound Brook area, don’t hesitate to click here to schedule an appointment. The friendly team at Nerger’s Auto Express would be happy to assist you.

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