How to Replace Power Steering Fluid for a 2012 Ford Escape

You can change the power steering fluid in your 2012 Ford Escape by removing the black fluid reservoir cap, draining the old fluid, and replacing it.
Written by Bee Davis
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
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You can replace your 2012 Ford Escape power steering fluid by removing the fluid reservoir cap, draining the old fluid, and replacing it with new fluid compatible with Ford vehicles. 
Regular car maintenance can be a pain, especially with how expensive mechanic bills can be. Fortunately, maintenance for fluid levels, such as the fluid in your 2012 Ford Escape’s power steering system, can be done at home for a fraction of the cost of mechanic services. 
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How do I replace my 2012 Ford Escape’s power steering fluid?

You don’t have to be a grease monkey to change your 2012 Ford Escape’s power steering fluid at home. Follow these simple steps to perform your fluid change:
  • Locate the power steering reservoir. Pop the hood and look for a yellow or white container with a black cap, located on the passenger side of your engine next to the firewall.
  • Remove the cap and insert a pump into the reservoir. You can use anything to pump the old fluid—an empty pump from a shampoo bottle works just fine!
  • Pump the old power steering fluid out of the reservoir. Grab an empty container to catch the old fluid and pump until the reservoir is empty. Make sure you clean up any spills to prevent the old fluid from damaging other parts of your engine. 
  • Refill the reservoir with new fluid and replace the cap
And there you go! You’ve changed your power steering fluid. If you’re handy with your engine, you can take your fluid change to the next level by adding a few extra steps:
  • Disconnect the fluid line.
  • Turn or wiggle the wheel. Turning the wheel back and forth a few times will get those last drops of old fluid and drain your system completely. 
If you don’t feel like getting your hands dirty, you can always decide if you should bring your Ford to a mechanic.

Should I change it myself or take it to a mechanic?

Here’s the deal—if you want to be absolutely 100% sure your power steering fluid has been changed correctly, you should take your 2012 Ford Escape to a mechanic. A full fluid flush at an auto shop should take about an hour and cost around $120
But we know how exciting saving money can be, and performing your power steering fluid change at home is much less expensive. 
If you have the time and don’t mind the labor, you can change your power steering fluid for the cost of new fluid from an auto parts store, about $10 to $20 off the shelf. 

Which power steering fluid is best for a 2012 Ford Escape?

Now that you’re an expert on changing your 2012 Ford Escape’s power steering fluid, let’s talk fluid! 
Your Ford owner’s manual recommends
Mercon ATF Power Steering Fluid
for the 2012 Ford Escape. This fluid should work well with any Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury vehicle. 
Here are some of our favorite picks for power steering fluid for a 2012 Ford Escape:
Power steering fluid
Amount
Cost
Motorcraft Trans Fluid
1 quart
$15.50
Prestone Full-Synthetic American
12 ounces
$12.99
Peak Original Equipment Technology Full Synthetic
12 ounces
$13.29
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Pro Tip Whichever brand of power steering fluid you buy, make sure it’s made for American vehicles!

When do I need to replace my 2012 Ford Escape’s power steering fluid?

Ford recommends that you change the power steering fluid in your 2012 Escape every 3-4 years or 30,000 miles, whichever comes first. This will keep your power steering system running smoothly and allow you to continue to turn the wheel with ease. 
A lot can happen to your car in between fluid changes, and you may need to change your power steering fluid early if you experience any of the following symptoms in your car. 
  • Strange noises when you turn the wheel (like squeaking or grinding)
  • Difficulty steering
  • Bubbles in your power steering fluid
  • Fluid leakage
  • Color change from red to dark brown or black
Timely maintenance for your power steering system doesn’t just make driving easier; it also ensures the longevity of your Ford and helps prevent trips to the mechanic down the line! 

How to save money on Ford insurance

Regular maintenance can cost a pretty penny, but it isn't the most expensive part of owning a car. That title goes to insurance, costing drivers an average $1,771 per year. Luckily, you can find the best deals available for your
Ford Escape car insurance
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FAQs

Yes! A power steering fluid change is a pretty simple procedure, easy, and cost-effective to do yourself.
It’s recommended that you change your power steering fluid every 3 to 4 years or 30,000 miles, whichever comes first.
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