Depending on your age, you may or may not have ever driven a car without power steering. As someone who has driven a car without it, many times, I, am grateful for how much easier power steering makes driving. But, just like the rest of the fluids in your car, it will deteriorate over time. Each car’s manual has a recommendation for a power steering flush and if you don’t at least check yours at the recommended time, you could end up with a hefty repair bill.
How to Check Your Power Steering Fluid
Because auto manufacturers don’t have a “standard” interval between flushes, one car you own may say to get a power steering flush every 30,000 miles while another says 100,000 miles. Because of this, we recommend checking it at 30,000 miles and then about ever 10,000 miles until you get it flushed. Here’s how to check yours:
- Turn the car off but make sure it’s been running and is warmed up.
- Find the power steering reservoir. If it’s clear, you may be able to see if it’s at the proper level. If not, you’ll need to open it and use the dipstick to determine if the level is within normal operating range.
- Next verify it’s still clean – depending on the brand it may be reddish or pinkish or even clear, but should never be dark or contain flecks or spots.
If the level is off but the color looks good, you may have a leak and should either fill and watch it carefully or take it to your mechanic to have it checked. If the color is off, it’s time for a power steering flush no matter how many miles remain according to your owner’s manual.
Can You Change the Fluid Yourself?
There’s a difference between a power steering flush and a new fluid. You can remove most of the fluid yourself but you won’t be able to flush everything out of the lines without specialized equipment. Doing it yourself comes with the risk of continuing to run your car with contaminants in the line, but can save you money. Keep in mind a typical repair can cost well over $500 if your pump requires replacing.
When you trust Oldsmar Automotive to handle your power steering flush, not only will we clean the lines and replace the fluid, we’ll make sure that there are no issues with common leak points in the system. You’ll enjoy easier and more predictable steering with new fluid. Call us at (727) 784-3501 to schedule your power steering fluid check or ask for a quote for a power steering flush based on your car’s make and model. You can also stop by 3166 Tampa Road in Oldsmar.