Knowing When To Change Your Power Steering Fluid

It's interesting if you think about it - despite the fact that almost everyone in the United States drives or has driven in the past, millions of drivers are limited in their knowledge of their vehicle's more intricate parts and functions. One such part and one that's rarely considered by drivers is power-steering fluid. Like all automotive fluids, it's easy to forget about until it runs low and sometimes it can be hard to identify when it needs to be replaced. With this handy guide, you should be able to identify when your power steering fluid is low and when to add more.

First, it helps to know exactly what power steering fluid does. As the name suggests, power steering fluid is responsible for lubricating two key parts of the vehicle - the power steering pump and the power steering gear shaft. Of these two, lubrication in the pump is less vital - it merely ensures that fluid is able to flow evenly throughout the system. The gear shaft, however, is more important - this is the part of the car that connects to the steering rod, allowing the vehicle's front tires to turn.

What Kind of Noises Does it Make?

Knowing When To Change Your Power Steering Fluid

For this reason, it can be easy to identify when you're running low because the vehicle may screech or grind when the front tires are turned. This particularly unpleasant sound should be a good indicator that you need to check your levels.

What happens, though, if you hear the grinding and continue to drive without adjusting your fluid? Well, at first it's simply annoying .. but as the problem progresses, it can quickly cause serious damage to your vehicle's steering column. This damage is often expensive and difficult to repair, often requiring total replacement of the involved parts, and should be avoided at all costs.

What Other Purpose Does Power Steering Fluid Serve?

Other purposes for power steering fluid include regulating the temperature of the power steering system and maintaining hydraulic pressure - if you notice your vehicle overheating faster than it should be or the wheels not turning as quickly as they should, it could be a power steering issue or something that requires further analysis. Always check your fluids before taking your vehicle to a mechanic - if there are more serious issues, they can handle them there.

If you'd like to learn more about power steering fluid and the various moves you can take to protect your vehicle from damage, contact Frontier Ford and speak with one of our friendly agents today.

Categories: Service