Your car runs on many different fluids: engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid/DOT fluid, coolant. But the one fluid that is often overlooked is the power steering fluid.
Besides knowing that power steering fluid makes it easier to steer your car, most drivers don't know what kind of maintenance is required to upkeep the fluid and system.
There's way more to power steering than making the steering wheel easier to turn. Industry experts suggest that a periodic power steering fluid change can stop sludge and grit from collecting within the power steering components (rack, pinions, and seals).
How do you know when to swap out your power steering fluid?
Like your other fluids, power steering liquid can get dirty over time. Usually, contaminated fluid will display ineffective symptoms. For the power steering system, in particular, you might hear a moaning sound while steering left or right. Any unusual sounds usually mean that there is insufficient lubrication. If the fluid levels are low, it usually suggests that there's a leak. Not only will you need a fluid change in this case, but you'll also need a technician to patch up the leak.
Besides a leak, most professionals recommend changing power steering fluid anywhere from every couple of years to every 100,000 miles. This number can obviously vary depending on the vehicle you drive, how frequent you drive, and the conditions in which you operate the car. You must consult with a trusted mechanic who can advise you on the best times to change your power steering fluid.
You should also refer to your owner's manual for additional guidance on what type of power steering fluid to add to your car. It would be best if you never veered away from the manufacturer's recommendations. Also, please do not use additives or leak-proof products, as they can jam the filter screens in your steering system.
For a power steering fluid change in Columbus, OH, please bring your vehicle to the trusted professionals at Luke's Auto Service.