Which Power Steering Fluid for My Car?

Which power steering fluid for my carFiguring out which power steering fluid your vehicle needs can be as easy as checking in the owner’s manual or as difficult as trying to guess based on what the fluid in your power steering fluid reservoir looks and smells like.  If you’re asking “which power steering fluid for my car?” then you’re probably in the latter group that either can’t find the information in their owner’s manual or never got an owner’s manual with their car.

Before checking on which power steering fluid your car needs, we recommend making sure your car actually has a hydraulic power steering system.  If your vehicle was manufactured in the 80s, 90s or early 2000s, then the chances are that is exactly what you have.  However, it can be worth checking what sort of steering system our car has just to make sure.  Late model vehicles often came with a completely manual power steering system due to the smaller tires installed on older cars.  On the other end of the spectrum, more car companies are transitioning to electric power assist steering systems on their new model vehicles to help improve fuel mileage in their vehicles by removing the parasitic drag of the hydraulic pump on the motor.

How do I know what type of power steering fluid to use?

The best way to check what type of steering your vehicle has is to check under the hood and find the power steering fluid reservoir.  Any hydraulic power steering system will have a reservoir to hold power steering fluid for the pump to draw from.  The reservoir is usually clear, black or white plastic with an identifying cap.  If you can’t find the reservoir, find you power steering pump then follow the low pressure (larger rubber) line from the pump up to the reservoir.

Installing the correct type of power steering fluid in your power steering system is essential to long life and quiet operation.  The power steering fluid is pressurized by the power steering pump, then that pressure is what is used to assist the driver in turning the wheels of the vehicle.  However, your power steering fluid is just there to add force to turning your wheel.  Your power steering fluid also lubricates the system and prevents corrosion of the metal components as well as the rubber seals.  If the incorrect power steering fluid is used it could be too thin or too thick to provide proper lubrication which could lead to premature wear, or it could be missing the correct additives to prevent corrosion or wear in the system again leading to premature wear and often times, fluid leaks.

Power steering fluid or automatic transmission fluid?

To make things more complicated, some power steering system require power steering fluid, while others have been designed to use automatic transmission fluid of which there is over a dozen to choose from.  If you’ve checked your vehicle’s owner’s manual and looked on the power steering fluid reservoir cap for direction as to which kind of fluid to use and still come up empty, we recommend you check this power steering fluid application chart to see if your vehicle is listed.  If all else fails, you can try calling your local dealership to see if they can steer you in the right direction.

While you’re topping off your power steering system with the correct type of fluid, you should consider why the fluid level is low in the first place.  In almost all case, a low power steering fluid level is due to a fluid leak.  Rather than spending time and money hunting down the leak, you should consider adding BlueDevil Power Steering Stop leak along with your top off fluid.  BlueDevil Power Steering Stop leak is compatible with all types of power steering fluid and will seal the leak in your system so you don’t have to continue to add fluid.

For more information about BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak, click on the banner below!

You can also purchase BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak 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 Distributer
  • 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

 

Pictures Provided By:

power_steering_fluid_reservoir.jpg – By MG_54 – Licensed by Getty Images – Original Link

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26 responses to “Which Power Steering Fluid for My Car?

  1. I have a 2008 Buick LaCrosse and have been adding power steering fluid about every 3 weeks. Mechanic said I needed $800 rack & pinion replacement. Would the stop-leak work? Is it worth a shot to try?

  2. Could you please tell me what kind of power steering fluid i can use in my 2009 kia optima? I don’t have an owners manual. Thanks! Nancy

    1. Ananda-

      What kind of vehicle are you referring to? Please contact our technical support line at 888-863-0426 so that we can get a better understanding of the vehicle’s condition and be able to make any appropriate recommendations.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  3. I have a 2000 Mitsubishi gallant 2.4l. The owners manual calls for Dexron 2, which is no longer around. The car has been in storage for ten years with 67000 miles on it. I now have it running again, runs pretty good. I have a squeal coming from the power steering pump after driving it about 250 miles. The power steering fluid is a medium brown color. I am thinking changing the hoses and a fluid flush and cleaning the reservoir and installing a filter at the return line should be in order. I called the Mitsubishi dealer and they said they use CP3, but I can’t find anything on CP3 anywhere on line. What is CP3? Another dealer said use any power steering fluid in the car. That it don’t matter. That didn’t sound like a good idea to me. This dealer, also said it was ok to mix the old fluid aka original manufactures fluid from the factory when the car was new with power steering fluid. That didn’t sound right to me either. Also the other question is about using a full synthetic in the system, if it would cause my system to leak and do damage to the seals and rack and pinion of which it is in good shape at present. I am the original owner of the car, got it new in 2000. The car belonged to my late wife and after she pasted I parked it in the garage for ten years. I drove my truck for the last twenty years. It time for the car to run again. Thanks, James

    1. James-

      Thank you for asking about your Mitsubishi Gallant. CP3 is the power steering fluid that replaced Dexron 2, and is used in many foreign made vehicles, such as Honda, Nissan, Acura and Mitsubishi. There are many CP3 compatible power steering fluids on the market. You can visit your local parts store and they will usually have a few different options for you based on your vehicle. Using a full synthetic fluid would not cause a system to leak, however, synthetic or semi-synthetic blends are thinner in viscosity versus regular 30W or 40W oil, so it would be easier if there was a crack or the rubber was starting to deteriorate for that fluid to escape from those weak spots.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

    1. Nicholas-

      The recommended power steering fluid for you Chrysler Voyager is ATF+4. It seems standard Mopar power steering fluid is what was in it when it left the factory, but when changing or adding fluid, it is recommended to flush the power steering system and add ATF+4.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  4. I have a 2000 Lexus ES300. It uses AT fluid. Can I use Blue Devil Power Steering stop leak? i.e mix it with the existing transmission fluid in the power steering reservoir?

    1. Jim-

      Thank you for asking about your Lexus ES300. Yes, the BlueDevil Power Steering Stop Leak is safe and compatible to use with AT fluid in the power steering system. You will start by adding 1/3 of the bottle into your power steering reservoir and should expect to see results after approximately 100-200 miles of driving.

      Thank you!

      -BDP

  5. Hi there, can you help me ? do you guys sell Power Steering Cleaner / Flush ?
    Hi there again, i have 1993 Toyota Troopy 4.2 D, what type of power steering fluid of your products should i use?

  6. Can you please tell which power steering fluid I can use for Honda City Type 2 model other than Honda genuine can I use bosch ATF TASA Power steering fluid

    1. Rejo-

      Before switching over to a power steering fluid outside of the factory recommended fluid, make sure that the new fluid is vehicle specific. The new fluid must be compatible and meet all of the specifications of the power steering system that it is being put in.

      Hope this helps!

      -BDP

    1. Ellard,

      Thanks for your question about your 2010 Mazda Axella. You can try looking in your owner’ manual or calling the local Mazda dealership to find the type of fluid Mazra recommends. You can also use BlueDevil Synthetic Power Steering Fluid to top off or refill your system.

      Thanks again for your question!
      -BD Auto Pro

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