Among many auto maintenance services we recommend, power steering fluid change is one of the least frequent. While Doral’s Auto Repair in San Leandro provides comprehensive auto services, you are not likely to need power steering fluid change more than two or three times during the lifespan of your vehicle. Having said that, it is important to get it done, as loss of power steering can be both scary and dangerous.
Have you ever wondered how it is possible that we can steer a 4000lb vehicle with only pressure of one hand on the steering wheel? It’s all thanks to the power steering. Without it, we would need to use both hands and work pretty hard to move the steering wheel. But to keep the power steering system operating properly, we need to change power steering fluid from time to time.
Why would a car need power steering flush? Typically it’s either because a leak has developed somewhere in the power steering system or because of fluid contamination. Obviously the leak needs to be fixed, but while the power steering fluid was leaking, the remaining fluid volume was lower, so it became contaminated faster. Yes, the second reason is fluid contamination. Even without a leak, over time, as the system is used, the fluid picks up bits of grime, metal and plastic shavings that come from normal deterioration of the system.
There is a wide range of opinions as to when the power steering fluid should be changed. We recommend checking your owner’s manual – manufacturers usually will tell you how often power steering fluid should be changed in your vehicle. The number differs depending on the make and model.
- If the owner’s manual does not specify a number, there are rules of thumb and signals you can watch out for:
- At a minimum, change power steering fluid every 30,000 to 50,000 miles.
- If you encounter steering difficulties, time to have the problem diagnosed by a professional – it may be time to change the power steering fluid.
- If you hear whining noise or loud noise when turning the steering wheel, either the power steering fluid level is low, or it is contaminated – time to get it changed and check the system for leaks.
So if you have driven 50,000 miles since the last power steering fluid change (or since the car was brand new), or if your vehicle exhibits any strange noises when turning the steering wheel, call Doral’s Auto Repair in San Leandro. We will get your vehicle inspected, and let you know if there is a leak, or if the condition of the power steering fluid is such that it should be replaced, or if the whining/noise is due to something unrelated to the power steering. We offer convenient online appointments, or you can call us at the shop.