How to Check Power Steering Fluid
- Locate your power steering fluid reservoir
- Determine the method of measurement
- Know if your fluid is hot or cold
- Add the right type of power steering fluid to top off your system
Now that we’ve gotten through the simple answer, it may turn out these 4 steps aren’t as easy as they seem, and you may be left with even more questions now! Don’t worry, we’re here to help you learn how to check power steering fluid in your car the right way!
Power Steering Fluid Reservoir
Every hydraulic power steering system has a fluid reservoir where the fluid accumulates after it has been used to power the steering gear. This reservoir gives the pump a place to pull fluid from, a place for the fluid to cool down and an expansion volume for fluid to expand into as it heats up. Power Steering fluid reservoirs are air black, white or clear and the cap is usually marked “Power Steering Fluid” or will have a picture of a steering wheel on it. The reservoir can be attached to the pump or can be remotely located and connected to the pump by a hose. If you really get stumped your vehicle’s owner’s manual will often have a picture of the reservoir and its location.
How to Measure
Measuring the power steering fluid level is always done in one of two ways. Some power steering systems have a dipstick under the cap that you can use to measure the fluid level. Try removing the cap and looking for this dipstick. If you don’t have a dipstick then the reservoir will be clear or at least translucent and have graduation marks on the outside. Many reservoirs of this type are hard to see through so you may need to shine a flashlight into the top of the reservoir to get a good reading.
Hot or Cold
As we mentioned earlier, the reservoir is used as an expansion tank to leave room for the power steering fluid to expand as it heats up. Your reservoir or dipstick will have a “cold” range and a “hot range” our rule of thumb is to use the hot range any time the engine has been running for more than 10 minutes. It is easiest to check the level either first thing in the morning when you’re sure things are cold or after a long drive to ensure things are hot.
Which Type of Fluid?
Your owner’s manual is the best place to go for the best fluid for your car. Many auto parts stores can also help with determining what you should use but it’s important to use the right fluid. For example, Hondas use a special type of fluid specific to Hondas and Acuras while many Toyotas and Nissans actually use transmission fluid. The important thing is to add BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak with your top off fluid to make sure whatever leak caused the low fluid level gets sealed up!
You can pick up BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak at one of your 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 Distributor
- DYK Automotive
- Fisher Auto Parts stores
- Auto Plus Auto Parts stores
- Hovis Auto & Truck Supply stores
- Salvo Auto Parts
- Advantage Auto Stores
- Genuine Auto Parts stores
- Bond Auto Parts stores
- Tidewater Fleet Supply
- Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts
- Any Part Auto Parts
- Consumer Auto Parts
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