Rear View – A Carcility blog

4 ways to know that it is time to change the Power Steering Fluid of your Car

Car care

After having learnt about some of the fluids that are essential for your car, there’s one another fluid that is extremely important for your vehicle. The one in point right now is the power steering fluid that will have to be changed when the time comes. If you are a conscious driver, you may know that you have to change your engine oil when it’s around 5000 miles, but you may not be so sure about when you have to change the fluid of your power steering.

If you are driving a 4WD or any other vehicle, changing the power steering’s fluid is almost the same for all of them. A power steering fluid flush is needed as prolonged use of the same fluid will lead to steering fluid contamination. As the same fluid runs over and over through your car, the fluid will have to be changed once in every 5000 kilometres.  If you wait until you hear your vehicle pushing and pulling through or make groaning noises to change the fluid, then the mechanic will take you and your wallet for a ride.

Here are the things that you have to keep in mind to see if it is time to change the power steering fluid of your car:

1. Fluid inspection

Run the car for a bit. Then open up the bonnet, find the reservoir for the power steering fluid, pull out the dipstick and check the colour of your fluid. Power steering fluid is usually fairly bright red. After inspection, if you see that the colour of the liquid is dark, that means that you may have a problem. Darker fluids, especially when accompanied by a burnt smell, usually means that the fluid has been damaged by overheating and is no longer effective. Another sign to look for are particles in the fluid.  If you see particles in your fluid, this means that sludge and contaminants have entered your car’s system. You will have to flush it out and top up with fresh steering fluid.

2. Steering problems

If you feel like you are handling extremely loose steering or a stiff steering, it may mean that the fluid level has gone below “MIN”, or that it has finally become time to change the fluid. Whatever the reason might, it is not something that you can ignore. If you are driving a vehicle that has a steering that is slow to respond, be it in the morning or going for a drive in the night, it can prove to be quite dangerous.

3. Read your manual

Most people who buy a vehicle just skip reading the owner’s manual. What they don’t realize is that the owner’s manual can have a lot of information that will definitely be helpful. It will teach you about the gradations on the cylinder that you will have to look for. Never ever assume that the fluid change for one vehicle will be the same for another one as well. Your vehicle might need a unique formulation of a fluid at times. So, always check on the fluid that your vehicle might need.

4. Steering pump

If you are thinking about who or what circulates the fluid, it is the steering pump. The pump greatly reduces the effort that is needed to steer a vehicle. The steering pump falls in trouble if you drive great lengths without steering fluid. Once the fluid is over, it can make the pump really dry and you will have to work twice as much to drive the car. Also, this results in increased friction and heat and can quickly cause expensive damage.

If you ever feel that the wheels of your vehicle are hard and tough to turn, your car is giving you a reminder that it is time to change the power steering fluid. Always pay attention to the various sounds or warning lights that may pop up in your car while you may be driving. Just remember that a little extra caution never hurt anyone! Having trouble with your steering? Carcility’s got you covered. Our experts will keep your vehicle healthy. Book a service through Carcility to get free Steering wheel fluid top-up.

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