Technician conducting a power steering fluid exchange.

Why you should have a power steering fluid exchange performed

In Vehicle Maintenance by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire

Your vehicle’s power steering system undergoes a lot of heat and pressure to help you maintain control. 

The high pressure and temperatures eventually lead power steering fluid to deteriorate and lose its ability to lubricate parts.

Over a period of time, power steering fluid – just like oil, brake fluid, and transmission fluid – will start to break down. 

Contaminants collect in the fluid and may cause components to wear out earlier than expected. 

Some metal and material from oil seals start to deteriorate and float around the system. As it does, it can put more wear on the power steering pump and – on most cars – the rack and pinion system.  

To keep the system running properly, it’s a good idea to have regular power steering fluid exchanges. HomeTowne Auto Repair and Tire suggests this service every 30,000 miles.

Some manufacturers, like those of performance cars, recommend you have it performed at shorter intervals.

Thirty thousand miles is a good time to do it, because that’s when you need to change other fluids.

What happens during a power steering fluid exchange?

Our technicians use a cleaner, BG Quick Clean for Power Steering, when they are conducting a power steering fluid exchange. The cleaner, which goes in the reservoir, collects contaminants as it travels through the power steering system. 

We use a push and pull strategy to remove old fluid. Then, we add in new fluid, BG Power Clean.

What are the benefits?

In addition to cleaning the power steering system, power steering fluid exchanges ensure that steering remains smooth. 

They also extend the life of the power steering pump, rack and pinion, power steering hoses, and electric steering components that are exposed to the fluid. This service delays break downs, as well.

Overtime, your steering may feel a little wonky or loose. With new fluid, it’s going to feel much more firm and steady as you’re heading down the road. That can depend on the type of car.

What are signs that you need a power steering fluid exchange?

When you need a power steering fluid exchange, the power steering fluid will be dark.

In addition to seeing dark fluid, you might have trouble steering. It may feel choppy, rather than smooth. A whining or grinding noise could also be heard.

When repairing a vehicle, certain parts may require a power steering fluid exchange.

It’s important to make sure that your service center is using the right type of power steering fluid on your car.

Certain vehicles, such as Volkswagens and Audis, use mineral hydraulic fluid. Some older cars use transmission fluid. Most use what we call “regular power steering fluid”. 

BG produces a wide variety of power steering fluid products.

We use BG Power Clean, a synthetic fluid that guards against heat and wear. We also have the mineral hydraulic fluid as well as regular power steering fluid, which is made by BG and features additives that help the system last longer.

BG Universal Synthetic Power Steering Fluid provides even better protection when it’s very hot or cold. It can also stand up against sub-zero conditions.

BG Full Synthetic Electric Power Steering Fluid is made for vehicles that have electric-hydraulic power steering systems.

HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.