How to Perform a Power Steering Flush

power steering flushPerforming a power steering flush is definitely a procedure you can do in your garage with a few hours on Saturday morning with a little know-how and a good set of hand tools.  A power steering flush is something that your car needs if your power steering fluid looks dark.  Power steering fluid is usually a light golden or bright red/pink color.

You can check the condition of your power steering fluid by locating the reservoir, removing the cap and peaking in.  If the fluid looks dark or contaminated try wiping a little of it on a white paper towel either from the dipstick or by dipping a clean corner of the cloth in the fluid.  With the fluid on the white towel, you should be able to tell quickly if it looks clean or it’s time for a flush.

A flush is better than simply changing the power steering fluid because it removes all the old fluid and replaces it with clean fluid.  When changing your power steering fluid, the reservoir is simply sucked dry and new fluid added there.  This leaves lots of old fluid still in the pump, lines and steering rack which then will contaminate your new fluid.  You would have to empty and refill the reservoir multiple times to get your power steering fluid looking clean again and each consecutive time you would be removing some of the new fluid you added that had mixed with the old fluid wasting money.

As we mentioned, performing a power steering fluid flush doesn’t require any fancy tools.  You can use your power steering pump to pump out the old fluid and install new fluid in the reservoir.

The start your power steering flush, pump all of the old fluid out of the reservoir then refill it with new, clean power steering fluid.  Next, locate a low-pressure line in your power steering system.  The low-pressure lines will run from the steering rack or gear back up to the power steering fluid reservoir.  If you can find one in the front of your vehicle and low on the chassis it will make things easier.  Many vehicles have a power steering cooler at the front of the vehicle in front of the radiator or condenser.  These lines make great choices for a power steering flush.

Next, disconnect the low-pressure line you’ve found and feed it to an oil drain pan.  You may need to add a length of rubber hose to keep from making a mess.  If the line is a hard line, consider using a line wrench to keep from rounding the nut.

It can be helpful to have someone help with the next step, but the goal is to start your vehicle’s engine and allow the power steering pump to pull the new fluid out of the reservoir and push the old fluid out of the low-pressure line you disconnected.  You need to make sure the reservoir always has fluid in it to keep air from being drawn into the system so it can be helpful to have your friend start the car and keep an eye on the drain pan while you keep the reservoir full.

Once clean, new fluid is running out of the low-pressure line, shut off the engine, reconnect the line, burp the system and top of your reservoir with new fluid!

If you’re looking the best power steering fluid to use for your power steering flush, consider using BlueDevil Synthetic Power Steering Fluid.  BlueDevil Synthetic Power Steering Fluid can be used in place of any factory power steering fluid and will help maintain your power steering system preventing future wear and problems!

You can find BlueDevil Synthetic Power Steering Fluid at any of our partnering local auto parts stores like:

  • AutoZone
  • 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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power_steering_flush.jpg – By MG_54 – Licensed by Getty Images – Original Link

8 responses to “How to Perform a Power Steering Flush

  1. My Toyota Sienna Steering is soft but making a loud noice when not in motion when I start speeding the sound reduces. My mechanic told me I have to get a new power steering but I doubt the decision

    1. Amin,

      Thanks for your question about your Toyota Sienna. If you’ve got a noisy power steering system, the first thing to do would be to check your fluid level. If the level is low, top it off and add BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak (available here: http://store.gobdp.com/power-steering-stop-leak-00232/) to seal the leak and keep the noise from coming back. If your level isn’t low, it’s possible you’ve got a clog that is raising pressures at low engine RPM causing the noise you’re hearing. You could try a power steering flush to remove the clog, but at the end of the day, you may need to simply replace the line or component the clog is in.

      Thanks again for your question!
      -BD Auto Pro

  2. I’ve Mazda6 2008, when I start my car and move steering wheel or try to park, steering making noise, power steering fluid level is good and it looks fine..So what i have to do..?

    1. Faisal-

      Thank you for asking about your Mazda 6. Is the noise you are hearing like a whining noise? A whining noise can indicate that there is air trapped in the system, or that the power steering fluid as lost its lubricating properties. Please contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 so that we can get a little better understanding of the vehicle’s condition and be able to make any appropriate recommendations.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  3. I have an 06 Cadillac STS. My power steering symptoms go in cycles. Sometimes it normal. Sometimes it’s real hard. Then sometimes it’s hard until a hard turn then the system breaks loose and it will stay normal the rest of the trip or sometimes stay normal for awhile. Then the process starts all over again. Fluid level good, system burped, color good, no noise. Any thoughts?

    1. Michael-

      Thank you for asking about your Cadillac STS. Based on your description, it’s possible that debris/dirt are causing the fluid not to be able to circulate all throughout the system. Performing a power steering flush should remove any debris and return the system to normal. Another possibility is that there could be an issue with the power steering pump not pumping the fluid through routinely, however, typically you may hear a whining noise associated.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  4. Some questions about your procedure.

    I will be working on a Buick enclave. Is there an ideal location to open the line?

    How do I burp the system?

    When I start the engine, I assume the pump will pump out the fluid ? How fast does it typically come out a few seconds or a few minutes?

    1. Emmen-

      Thank you for asking about your Buick Enclave. The low-pressure lines will run from the steering rack or gear back up to the power steering fluid reservoir.  If you can find one in the front of your vehicle and low on the chassis it will make things easier. To burp the system, start the engine, remove the power steering reservoir cap and turn the steering wheel back and forth a couple of times to get the fluid circulating. The fluid will start to burp itself out and you should top it off with power steering fluid from there.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

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