Power steering fluid is an essential component of your car’s steering system. Over time, it can become dirty and start to break down, leading to steering problems. When this happens, you may need to clean it to get it working fine again.
So, how do you clean power steering fluid?
In short, the best way to clean power steering fluid is by draining the old fluid, replacing it with new fluid, and then flushing the system with a cleaner.
In this article, we’ll discuss the steps to clean and maintain your power steering fluid properly and the benefits of cleaning your power steering fluid.
What Is Power Steering Fluid?
Power steering fluid is a hydraulic fluid essential for properly functioning a car’s power steering system. Without power steering fluid, the power steering system would not be able to work properly, and your car would not be able to turn as easily.
This oil-based fluid is generally used to lubricate and provide hydraulic pressure to the power steering system to make the steering wheel easier to turn. It is made up of a combination of base oil, additives, and other chemicals.
The base oil helps keep the fluid from breaking down and keeps it from becoming contaminated with dirt, debris, and other particles. Additives help improve the fluid’s ability to reduce wear and tear on the system, while other chemicals help to prevent corrosion and protect the system from damage.
How Does Power Steering Fluid Work?
Power steering fluid is a hydraulic fluid used to assist in the operation of power steering systems. It is a vital part of any vehicle’s power steering system, as it helps to reduce the amount of effort required to turn the steering wheel.
Power steering fluid creates hydraulic pressure, which applies force to the steering system, allowing the driver to turn the wheels with less effort. In general, power steering systems operate using a hydraulic pump driven by the engine to provide pressure to the steering system.
The pressure is transferred to the steering system through a series of hoses and pipes connected to the steering box. The steering box then uses the pressure to move the steering wheel and turn the wheels. As the steering wheel is turned, the pressure is reduced, allowing the wheels to move freely.
In that case, the power steering fluid is responsible for maintaining the correct pressure in the system. The fluid is stored in a reservoir, and as the wheels are turned, the fluid is forced through the system.
The fluid is drawn back into the reservoir as the pressure is reduced. This cycle is repeated as the wheels are turned, allowing the system to maintain the correct pressure at all times.
How To Clean Power Steering Fluid
Keeping the power steering fluid clean and free of contaminants is important to ensure the power steering system runs smoothly. Here are the steps you need to properly clean power steering fluid:
1. Preparing the Vehicle
The first step in cleaning the power steering fluid is to prepare the vehicle. This includes removing any obstructions or loose items from the engine area and ensuring that the engine is cool and off.
2. Draining the Fluid
The next step is to drain the power steering fluid from the system. This is done by locating the power steering fluid reservoir and using a large container to capture the drained fluid. Once the fluid is drained, the reservoir should be unscrewed from the vehicle and set aside.
3. Cleaning the Reservoir
The third step is to clean the power steering fluid reservoir. You can easily do that by using a rag, brush, and cleaning solution to scrub any dirt and debris from the reservoir. Once the reservoir is clean, it should be rinsed off with water and allowed to air dry.
4. Filling the Reservoir
The fourth step is to fill the power steering fluid reservoir with fresh fluid. You can easily pour the new fluid into the reservoir until it is full. However, double-check the fluid level and ensure that it is at the correct level.
5. Reinstalling the Reservoir
The final step is reinstalling the power steering fluid reservoir back into the vehicle. You can easily do that by securely screwing the reservoir back into place. Once the reservoir is securely in place, the engine can be started, and the power steering system should be tested to ensure it is functioning properly.
Benefits of Cleaning Power Steering Fluid
Cleaning the power steering fluid is essential to ensure it works properly and efficiently. Here we’ve discussed some significant benefits of cleaning power steering fluid.
- Increased Performance: Regularly cleaning the power steering fluid can increase your vehicle’s performance. This is because the fluid helps to reduce the effort needed to steer the vehicle, so when it is clean, it will be more effective.
- Reduced Wear and Tear: Cleaning the power steering fluid can reduce the amount of wear and tear on the steering system. The fluid can move more freely, reducing the strain on the components, making them last longer.
- Improved Fuel Economy: Keeping the power steering fluid clean can also improve fuel economy. This is because the fluid can reduce the effort required to steer the vehicle.
- Reduced Maintenance Costs: Cleaning the power steering fluid can reduce maintenance. The fluid helps to reduce wear and tear on the system, meaning that it will not need to be replaced as often.
Signs of Cleaning Power Steering Fluid
Power Steering Fluid can signal a serious issue with your car or truck’s steering system. If you notice any of the following signs, you should clean your car’s power steering fluid:
- Unusual Noises: If your car or truck makes loud or unusual noises when you turn the wheel, it could be a sign that the power steering fluid needs to be cleaned.
- Leaks: If you notice a leak under your car or truck, the sign indicates that the power steering fluid needs to be cleaned.
- Vibrations: If you feel vibrations in the steering wheel when you turn, it may be a sign that the power steering fluid needs to be cleaned.
- Difficulty Turning: If it is difficult to turn the wheel, this sign means that the power steering fluid needs to be cleaned.
- Unresponsive Steering: If the steering is unresponsive or slow to respond, it could be a sign that the power steering fluid needs to be cleaned.
How Often Should You Clean Power Steering Fluid?
Power steering fluid is a vital component of your vehicle’s steering system and provides smooth and precise steering. However, it needs to be maintained and cleaned regularly to ensure it is in good working order.
The frequency of cleaning power steering fluid depends on the car you have, your driving habits, and the type of power steering fluid you’re using.
For standard cars, it is recommended to clean the power steering fluid at least once every two years. During this time, you should check the fluid level and top it up if necessary.
By leaning how to clean power steering fluid, you can maintain the power steering system of your vehicle and extend its lifespan. Cleaning power steering fluid can be tricky, requiring attention to detail and safety precautions.
However, following the steps outlined in this article, you can successfully clean your power steering fluid and ensure your vehicle runs safely and smoothly.