3 Top Signs Your Car Needs Power Steering Fluid

Few people really understand the ins and outs of their vehicle, but figuring out what your car is telling you can help you avoid major mishaps.

Our cars are always becoming more and more advanced, but this progress also distances the average driver from any understanding of how their car actually works. If you don’t know what’s going on under the hood, it’s more difficult to diagnose problems when they arise.

Power steering is a great example of this. When you’ve got low or no power steering fluid, your car is going to give you some telltale signs. If you don’t know what’s going on, you may think there’s something really wrong with your car, so in this post, we’re going to tell you what those signs are. 

1. Noises When Turning the Wheel

When you have a low amount of power steering fluid, more air is able to enter the system. The power steering system uses a pump to circulate the fluid so the wheel turns smoothly.

If the air to fluid ratio is off, you’re going to have your steering system malfunctioning in no time. This usually shows itself as you’re turning the steering wheel and the system will start to make a whining noise. 

All that you have to do to rectify this issue is fill up the reservoir with more power steering fluid. If the noise continues, it could be a problem with the pump or a leak in your power steering fluid reservoir. If you need to replace any parts, see here to find out what you may need.

2. Difficult to Turn the Wheel

The other telltale sign that there’s a lack of power steering fluid in the system is when you have serious trouble turning the steering wheel. It’ll feel stiff and will be much more difficult to turn around corners. In the early stages, it might start by jerking when you’re driving around parking lots or other slow-moving places.

Since power steering is a hydraulic system, the same problem is likely the culprit – too much air and not enough liquid. This is extremely problematic if you’re used to using power steering, as the wheel will become increasingly difficult to turn. 

3. Fluid Leaking

Lastly, if you’re experiencing one or both of the above problems and you notice a leak beneath your vehicle, then you can bet that you’ve got a power steering fluid leak. When this happens, you need to get it repaired immediately, since your car is basically going to be undrivable without power steering.

Fortunately, in most cars, patching or replacing the power steering reservoir should be a relatively affordable and easy fix and you’ll be back out on the road, steering easily, in no time.

Enjoy All of the Power Steering Fluid Benefits Once Again

Now that you know how to recognize a lack of power steering fluid, you can quickly rectify the situation when it comes up. Power steering is one of those things that all new cars come with now, so we tend to take it for granted. When you’ve got low power steering fluid, you realize how difficult it would be to drive, so make sure it’s always topped up and stay alert to recognize when something’s wrong with your steering.

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Author: Brandon Park