Honda Ridgeline Power Steering Fluid

If you are the owner of a Honda Ridgeline built before 2015, you will need to change your power steering fluid every 50,000 to 75,000 miles.
Written by Andrew Biro
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
If your Honda Ridgeline is built between the 2006-2014 model years, you will need to change your power steering fluid after every 50,000 to 75,000 miles (or once every 4 to 5 years). All Honda Ridgelines manufactured between the 2017-2023 model years use an electric power steering system that doesn’t require power steering fluid.
As is standard for all vehicles with a hydraulic power steering system, all Honda Ridgelines manufactured between 2006 and 2014 require power steering fluid to keep their steering systems properly pressurized and lubricated. If steering starts to become difficult or the fluid itself becomes contaminated, you will need to remove and replace your power steering fluid.
Of course, this might be the first time you’ve ever even thought about power steering fluid, let alone changing it. Fortunately, the
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What type of power steering fluid does a Honda Ridgeline use?

Unlike some other vehicle brands, Hondas are pretty picky when it comes to power steering fluid—you should only ever refill your Honda Ridgeline with Genuine Honda Power Steering Fluid to avoid damaging your power steering system. 
There are only two exceptions to this rule, which we’ve touched on below:
Under no circumstances should you use automatic transmission fluid (ATF) in place of power steering fluid, at least in the context of the Honda Ridgeline.
MORE: Why does my steering wheel shake, and how do I fix it?

How to change a Honda Ridgeline’s power steering fluid

If you own a pre-2017 Honda Ridgeline, the process by which to change your power steering fluid is fairly simple, but it does require you to get your hands dirty—if that isn’t a problem, start by gathering the following tools:
  • Rags or shop towels
  • A car jack and jack stands
  • Fluid pump or household equivalent (e.g soap-dispenser pump, turkey baster, etc.)
  • An empty container
  • Rubber cap
Once you’ve gathered the necessary tools, follow the instructions listed below to replace your Ridgeline’s power steering fluid:
  1. Use the car jack to raise your Honda Ridgeline’s front tires a few centimeters off the ground and stabilize the vehicle with your jack stands (this step is not required, but it does make the process easier).
  2. Locate the power steering reservoir and unscrew the cap. Use the fluid pump or pump alternative to remove as much fluid as possible from the reservoir.
  3. Unplug the upper return hose—this is usually the thinner of the two hoses connected to the power steering system—and place the end of it in the empty container to catch the spent fluid.
  4. Use a rubber cap to plug the mouth of the return hose.
  5. Fill the power steering reservoir about halfway with new fluid and then switch on your engine.
  6. Turn your steering wheel as far as possible to one side, then to the other, and back again. Do this a few times to cycle power steering fluid through the steering system and add fluid as needed. Once the fluid exiting the return hose becomes pink, you can stop cycling and turn your engine off.
  7. Remove the rubber cap and reattach the upper return hose.
  8. Add more power steering fluid until it reaches the “MAX FILL” line.
  9. Remove the jack stands and lower the car jack.
Congratulations! You have now successfully changed your Honda Ridgeline’s power steering fluid! Over the next few days, keep an eye on the fluid level and watch out for potential leaks from the power steering system.

How often should I change my Honda Ridgeline’s power steering fluid?

Generally speaking, Honda recommends that you change your Ridgeline’s power steering fluid once every 4 to 5 years, or after every 50,000 - 75,000 miles, whichever comes first.
This does not, however, mean that you can just ignore your power steering fluid until this interval rolls around—you should get into the habit of periodically checking your power steering fluid to make sure it hasn’t started leaking or become contaminated earlier than expected.
You’ll also want to be on the lookout for the following symptoms indicating a power steering fluid change is needed sooner rather than later:
  • Change in fluid color from pink to dark brown or black
  • Steering becomes difficult or stiff
  • Noise can be heard from under the hood when the steering wheel is turned
  • Steering becomes unusually loose or sloppy
MORE:

How to find affordable car insurance

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