The power-steering fluid level should be checked regularly and the fluid itself changed every 60 thousand kilometres. The cost of changing the fluid is rather low, so we recommend that you have it done by a professional garage rather than risk causing damage to your car by doing it on your own. Too little fluid in the system or its excessive contamination may cause irreversible damage to the power-steering pump and significantly affect your car’s manoeuvring abilities.
What is the role of the power-steering system?
The power steering system facilitates the turning of the steering wheel. The system is comprised of a hydraulic pump powered by a drive belt connected to the engine, hoses and a control valve, constituting an integral part of the steering gear.
How does the power steering system work?
The system is filled with a hydraulic fluid, which is pushed by the pressure generated by the power steering pump into the steering gear to facilitate the turning of the wheels. Like any other fluid, the hydraulic fluid gradually becomes spent and contaminated. This is why it requires regular changing.
How is the power steering fluid changed?
The fluid is sucked out of the expansion tank located in the engine chamber. This way only a part of the fluid is replaced, as some of it still remains in the hoses and the steering gear. Next, a new fluid is poured into the expansion tank. The system is deaerated automatically after turning the engine on. The procedure should be followed by a test drive to check the system for any leaks and to ensure that it operates properly.
What to keep in mind
A failure to change the fluid or driving with insufficient amount of it in the system may cause pump seizure and the necessity to replace it. A malfunctioning pump produces a characteristic wailing sound during the turning of the wheels. A contaminated fluid may also clog the channels of the control valve in the steering gear.
It is recommended that the fluid be changed every 60 thousand kilometres or every two years. The fluid must conform to the manufacturer's recommendations in the user guide.