How to Check & Add Power-Steering Fluid

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When checking and adding car power-steering fluid, check the fluid level and color. Discover how to check and add automotive power-steering fluid with tips from an automotive service excellence (ASE)-certified master auto technician in this free video on automotive maintenance.

Part of the Video Series: Car Maintenance Tips
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Video Transcript

This is Dave Erb from Dave's Ultimate Automotive in Austin, Texas and we are talking about checking and adding power steering fluid. Power steering fluid is what runs your power steering system and helps you assist in your steering and makes it much easier. This is done with hydraulic rams and a pump commonly referred to as a power steering rack and pump. In most cars usually the fluid reservoir will be either on the pump or a remote reservoir which is what we have in this case will be marked and it will either say power steering on top or power steering fluid or have a picture of the steering wheel or something of that nature. You want to be aware that most vehicles use just a generic standard power steering fluid. Some vehicles like Honda have their own specific fluid and if you don't use that fluid the system won't run right so make sure that you check your owner's manual for proper fluid types. When you are checking your fluid what you are looking for is level and color. In this case we have a reservoir that has a high and low marked on the side of it. In some cases you'll have a lid that comes off like this and have a little stick that comes off that will also show the high and low. You want to do this fluid check with your vehicle off. If you do determine that it needs fluid you simply add it to the reservoir. In this case we are simply using the regular fluid. You might want to use a funnel. If you have a steady hand you don't really need a funnel in this case. You just add a little but until it gets up to the proper line and you can see this fluid is nice and clear, almost a tan look to it. If you find that the fluid in the reservoir is dark that indicates that some of the rubber components inside the fluid, inside the system are starting to deteriorate and get in the fluid. That's what can shorten the life of these components. I recommend changing the fluid every 30,000 miles. That will greatly extend the life of the power steering components and make it work much better. That is checking and adding power steering fluid.

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