Getting your power steering system flushed can seem like one of those maintenance items a mechanic may use to get a few extra dollars out of you during your regular visit. A regular power steering flush may also be one of the things that keeps your car on the road longer and keeps you from getting stranded. In this article will help you determine how often you should flush your power steering system to make sure you’re keeping your car safe while not wasting money.
To help learn how often you should get a power steering flush, it’s important to understand why you need to have it done in the first place. Your power steering system uses fluid in order to use the power of your engine to help turn you front wheels when steering at low speeds. This is done through the use of a high pressure pump, your power steering pump, a series of high and low pressure lines, and a steering gear or rack that can use the high pressure fluid to assist the driver in turning the wheels.
Like any fluid system in your car, over time that fluid can get dirty or contaminated. This contamination can start to cause problems in your vehicle over time for a variety of reasons. First, the contamination will change the characteristics of the fluid. Absorbed water can turn the fluid acidic causing corrosion problems. Suspended particles from normal wear can add an abrasiveness to the fluid that is being pumped wearing out components and possibly causing damage or leaks. Lastly, the fluid itself can break down over time from simple use increasing or decreasing the viscosity, allowing the fluid to froth or foam and lowering is ability to lubricate. All these things can turn a fluid in your car from a functional benefit to something that can quickly destroy any system.
Some systems in your car get the fluid dirty very quickly. Things like your engine oil, transmission fluid or differential oil gets dirty quickly due to the extreme fluctuating loads, the bearings or gears used, and the possibility of outside contamination. These systems are usually designed to be easy to change the fluid on including drain plugs and easy to access fill holes.
Your power steering system most likely doesn’t have the convenience of a drain plug, and with good reason. Your power steering system leads a relatively easy life with mostly constant loading, no gears and only a few seals. Your power steering system also either uses power steering fluid or transmission fluid which are fluids designed to take much more abuse and temperature swings than usually seen in your power steering system so they can hold up well for many years.
You can check you vehicle’s owner’s manual to see if there is a specification for flushing your power steering system, however, it most likely won’t have a recommended interval. Many mechanics disagree on the particular frequency as well so it may take a little work on your part to inspect the system to see if yours needs a flush.
Our minimum recommendation for power steering fluid flushes is every 2 years or 75,000 miles. You may consider more frequent flushes if you notice an increase in steering difficulty, discover dark brown or black power steering fluid or discover a leak.
If you discover a leak in your system either by fluid on the ground or by a low power steering fluid level it is important to flush your system as leaks introduce the possibility of foreign particles entering the system more easily. After you’ve flushed your power steering system, add BlueDevil Power Steering Stop leak to your new fluid to seal the leak from the inside out and keep you power steering system operating properly.
BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak will restore the worn or cracked seals in your system stopping your leak and keeping your car working properly. For more information about BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak, visit our product information page here: Power Steering Stop Leak.
You can find BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak at any of our partnering local auto parts stores like:
- Advance Auto Parts
- Bennett Auto Supply
- CarQuest Auto parts
- NAPA Auto Parts
- O’Reilly Auto Parts
- Pep Boys
- Fast Track
- Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts Specialists
- S&E Quick Lube Distributer
- DYK Automotive
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