What is a power steering fluid service?
Power steering fluid is the hydraulic fluid that transfers the power in a
power steering system. It is a pressurized fluid designed to decrease the amount of effort required to turn the steering wheel when driving and ensure proper lubrication of all of the moving parts in the power steering system. In doing so, the hoses, pistons, valves, and power steering pump work as intended.
When you get a power steering fluid service, the mechanic will check and change the fluid in your hydraulic power steering system if it is contaminated with metals. They will also check your power steering system's hoses, fittings, and clamps for leaks if the fluid level is low.
On average, a power steering fluid service costs between $111 and $178, depending on the car you drive and the auto shop you go to.
How do I know if my power steering fluid needs replacing?
Changing your power steering fluid is a regular part of scheduled maintenance services, but you should consider getting a power steering flush service every three to four years to ensure extended service life. The power steering fluid, however, should be changed about every 50,000 miles.
If you notice any of the following symptoms, it might be time for a power steering fluid change:
How often should you service the power steering fluid?
In most cases, you’ll want to change your power steering fluid every five years or 50,000 miles. Depending on your vehicle, you may require more or less frequent changes, so follow the guidelines in your owner’s manual.
However, regularly changing the power steering fluid and/or scheduling a power steering flush is recommended to prolong the life of other steering components that are more expensive to replace.
If following a
regular car maintenance schedule, you’ll want to replace the power steering fluid if it appears dark or if there is any visible dirt, debris, sludge, or other contaminants.
Can I replace the power steering fluid myself?
If you want to
save money on car expenses by changing the power steering fluid yourself, you absolutely can—and you don’t have to be car-savvy to do it. All you’ll need is a turkey baster or a fluid transfer pump and a new bottle of power steering fluid, and then you can get started.
Replacing your power steering fluid involves sucking out the old fluid and refilling the power steering fluid reservoir with clean fluid. Although quick and easy, if you’re not comfortable performing the process, call your local mechanic and leave the job to a professional.