Should I get a Power Steering Flush?

Steering LeakYour power steering system is one of the most robust systems in your vehicle.  It is not overly complicated, and most of the components are designed to withstand much more than normal driving situations. Also, relatively few changes have been made in the design of power steering systems since they started being used in motor vehicles back in 1950s.  All of these factors help keep your power steering system operating as you expect it to with very little, or no maintenance.  Since you can overlook the regular maintenance without any immediate consequences on your power steering system, many systems go over looked and unmaintained.

Flushing the fluid in your power steering system is just a fancy way of saying you are changing the power steering fluid.  Since there is no drain on the system, a flush is the best way to make sure all the old fluid has been removed and new fluid is filled to the proper level.

Power Steering LeakTo explain why you should get a power steering flush, you need to understand why the fluid gets dirty in the first place.  It seems to make sense that as long as you keep the cap on your power steering fluid reservoir the fluid should stay clean because dirt and water can’t get in the system.  For the most part, this is actually true.  It is very difficult for outside dirt and grime to enter your power steering system.  The reality is that any fluid system with moving parts, like your transmission, engine oil or power steering system will get dirty simply from the wear of the components inside the system and of the seals designed to keep the operating fluid from leaking out of the system.  In your power steering system the power steering pump is driven by a pulley and belt that is powered by your vehicle’s engine.  This pulley is connected to the fluid side of the pump by a shaft that travels through bearings and a seal.  As the shaft rotates on the seal and bearings tiny particles of rubber and metal are worn off and suspended in the power steering fluid.  Also, as you are turning your steering wheel, there is a similar motion and consequently wear products produced in your steering gear or rack and pinion.  It is these wear products that cause your power steering fluid to look dirty and turn brown or black.

Knowing you have microscopic pieces of metal floating around in your power steering fluid might not seem like a big deal, but can cause big problems in a very short time.  The Fluid in your power steering system is constantly being circulated from the pump through the high pressure lines down to the steering gear or steering rack and back.  The added suspended metal and wear products turns your power steering fluid into a high powered abrasive.  Similar to sand suspended in a river being able to carve out huge canyons, these wear products in your power steering fluid can damage the internal components of your power steering system including the pump, gear, rack and most importantly your seals since they are made of soft rubbers or silicone.

It is important to the longevity of your power steering system components and seals to flush your power steering fluid at the recommended factory intervals to make sure you have fresh fluid with little or no suspended participles to damage your power steering system.  If you have already discovered a leak in your power steering system you should add BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak along with your new power steering fluid.  BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak can reverse the damage done to old leaking seals restoring them to their original shape and size.  BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak is not a particulate leak sealer so it will not cause more damage or clog your power steering system.

BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak

You can purchase BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak online.

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5 responses to “Should I get a Power Steering Flush?

    1. Jack,

      Thanks for your question about your 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue. Oldsmobile recommends using genuine GM power steering fluid or an equivalent. The Prestone Power Steering Fluid you purchased should list the fluids it is compatible with and if GM Power Steering Fluid is one of them, it should work well.

      Thanks again for your question!
      -BD Auto Pro

  1. I use Prestone power steering fluid the regular kind .Is that an acceptable type for my 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue.?

  2. my power steering fluid is dark and contaminated , and it is also close to the minimum amount of fluid. would i have to do an entire flush or could i just fill it?

    1. Kelly-

      Based on your description, it would be best to flush the power steering system first to ensure all contaminants are removed, prior to refilling the power steering fluid.

      Thank you!


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