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How to Check Your Power Steering Fluid

Have you noticed your steering wheel taking a bit more effort to turn when driving around the Philadelphia, Doylestown, Mechanicsburg, and Flemington areas? While it could be various problems, the most likely culprit is your power steering fluid. With modern vehicles, we tend not to think about it too much, but power steering is necessary for a driving experience that’s both safe and enjoyable.

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Fortunately, there is a way to make sure your power steering fluid is doing its job correctly. It only takes a few minutes, so make sure you take the time. A few minutes used up is far better than losing control of a vehicle you can’t steer properly. Learn how to check your power steering fluid and discover what it takes to maintain your vehicle’s steering performance for years to come in 4 simple steps:

  1. Prepare to check your power steering fluid
  2. Locate your power steering fluid
  3. Check your power steering fluid
  4. Seal away your power steering fluid

How to Prepare Your Power Steering Fluid?

How to Check Your Power Steering FluidTo get a proper analysis of your power steering fluid, you’ll have to heat it up first. To do this, simply turn your engine on and let it sit idle until the temperature gauge reaches a normal level. Afterward, turn your steering wheel one direction all the way until it locks. Repeat this procedure for the other direction. Doing this several times should heat up your fluid as needed, so it can properly be examined.

How to Locate Your Power Steering Fluid?

Once it’s heated up, turn off the engine and pop the hood. Your power steering fluid container will be on or around your engine and can usually be identified by its black cap and white or yellow reservoir. Every car is different, however, so it always helps to check your owner’s manual to make sure you’ve found it. When you’ve located the container, wipe the outside area clean before you remove the cap just to make sure no dirt or debris fall in.

How to Check Your Fluid?

How to Check Your Power Steering FluidYou’ll find two primary things you need to check when it comes to your power steering fluid. First, you need to check the level. Whether you can see through your reservoir or have to pull a dipstick, you should be able to see MIN and MAX lines. If the fluid level is between these lines, you won’t have to add any more. If it’s below the min, you’ll have to add more fluid in. Be careful not to exceed the MAX line. The fluid expands when in use, so it needs the extra space.

The second thing you need to check is the fluid quality. All you have to do for this is take a look at the color. Proper power steering fluid will be fairly clear with an amber or pinkish color to it. If it looks more brown or black, it means your fluid has been contaminated by rubber. This often comes from nearby hoses and seals. You’ll have to flush and replace your fluid if it’s too dirty.

How to Seal Away Your Fluid?

Once you have your power steering fluid to an appropriate amount and quality, all you have to do is clean the surrounding area if necessary and twist the cap back on. Just make sure it’s on there good and tight so you don’t have to worry about any leaks or contamination.

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You know how to check your power steering fluid, but actually servicing your vehicle itself can be challenging. It’s often best to leave it in the hands of professionals, and you’ll find the best technicians in Philadelphia, Doylestown, Mechanicsburg, and Flemington at the service center at Fred Beans. Schedule your service appointment today.