How to Check Power Steering Fluid

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Checking power steering fluid on most cars is easy, though not all cars have it: if you can parallel park with one hand and eat an ice cream cone with the other, then you have power steering.

Difficulty:
Moderately Easy

Instructions

Things You'll Need

  • Automotive Repair Manual
    • 1

      Find the hood release, usually located beneath the dash. Pull.

    • 2

      Walk around the front of the car. Find the hood latch. The hood latch is usually located at the front edge of the hood. Depress the latch. While depressing the latch, lift and open the hood.

    • 3

      Locate the belts. The power steering pump is driven by a pulley and a belt and has a clear plastic or metal (usually round) reservoir on top if it. The power steering cap will often say "power steering."

    • 4

      Check the fluid level either by looking at the side of the reservoir (if you have the clear plastic type) or by unscrewing the cap (for the metal type). Some reservoirs may have a small dipstick attached to the cap. Typically, you have a choice between checking the fluid warm or cold, and there will be corresponding "Hot" and "Cold" levels.

    • 5

      Add fluid if necessary. Use only the proper type of power steering fluid for your car. Check the owner's manual and the bottle. Some cars require power steering fluid specifically for your make of car.

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