When checking the power steering fluid, should I use the hot or cold readings?

I’m trying to check the power steering fluid in my car’s engine. But when I went to check the level reading, I noticed that there are two separate measurements—hot and cold, respectively. Should I use the hot or cold reading to check my power steering fluid levels?

Annette Maxon · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
That can definitely be super confusing, so I’m glad you asked!
It’s good to know that the power steering fluid expands when heated so, if your car has been driven in the past eight hours or your car has been parked in the hot sun, you should check the hot reading.
However, if you haven’t driven your car in a while (think: in at least eight hours), then the cold reading will be the most accurate when checking your power steering fluid.
If you’re interested in keeping your car in top shape as long as possible, it’s a good idea to review your insurance policy to make sure you have the best coverage for your needs. Just like your vehicle’s engine, your insurance needs to be checked and maintained every now and then! That’s where
comes in.
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