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Tech Talk

What Problems Can Old Power Steering Fluid Cause?

What Exactly Is Old Power Steering Fluid?

Old power steering fluid is generally easy to detect on a vehicle. Like most vehicle fluids, old power steering fluid can become thick and sludge-like and cause a variety of problems for vehicles. Determining the age of the fluid is imperative for diagnosing the need for fluid replacement.

Old Power Steering Fluid Symptoms

Loud Sounds as You Turn. A significant and easy-to-detect sign your power steering fluid needs to be replaced is hearing a moaning or growling type of sound when making turns. You may also begin to hear rattling noises from your power steering system.

Dark Fluid Leaking. Dealing with old power steering fluid can cause a dark, thick fluid to pool under your vehicle when parked or while driving. Most power steering systems should be totally sealed and with few drain plugs, so visible fluid underneath your vehicle should be addressed quickly.

Dark Fluid on Reservoir Cap. A collection of old power steering fluid in your reservoir will cause the liquid to gather on the cap. A dark liquid pooling isn’t always the only symptom.

It’s possible that you’ll see particles or debris suspended in the fluid, showcasing its age. Additionally, the fluid will give off a faint burning scent if it’s not only old but also heat damaged.

When to Change Old Power Steering Fluid

There are mixed recommendations on when power steering fluid should be flushed or changed in a vehicle, with suggestions ranging from every 24,000 miles to 100,000 miles. The best thing to do is to consult your owner’s manual for both the timing and recommended type of fluid.

It’s also a good idea to inspect your power steering fluid reservoir monthly to make sure the correct amount of fluid is in the reservoir and that there are no leaks. It’s important to keep up with the maintenance of your vehicle to adhere to all inspection guidelines and extend the lifetime of your vehicle.

If you’re experiencing any of the abovementioned symptoms or just feel like something is off on your vehicle, bring your car into Brake Works. With two convenient locations in San Antonio, it’s simple to give your vehicle a proper inspection. Our team of certified specialists can inspect all makes and models of cars.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.