When was the last time you checked your power steering fluid? The answer is probably never (and you’re not alone, trust us). It’s actually not very common for drivers to check their power steering fluid; it’s something that you’d leave to the experts at our Charlotte Toyota service center. However, power steering fluid is essential for safe and effective performance, and we’re here to explain why AND how to spot if you need to change it.
What is power steering fluid, and why does it matter?
First, let’s talk about why power steering fluid is important. Basically, it transmits the power in the power steering system, which means you can turn the steering wheel with very little effort but manage to turn the front wheels of a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds. It also keeps all the moving parts in the system lubricated and keeps them working as they should.
But what signs should you be on the lookout for in terms of when it’s time to replace the power steering fluid? Here are the top four.
#1: Your steering wheel is hard to turn. Does it feel like it’s a struggle to turn your steering wheel? It could mean that your power steering fluid is either low or gone completely. If you don’t refill it or have it flushed and filled, you may not be able to turn at all soon, or will at least have a very hard time turning, which can delay your reactions and get you into a collision.
#2: You’re having issues with your steering pump. Is your steering pump giving out on you? This part is used to circulate power steering fluid throughout the system. When the fluid is low or gone, it can leave the pump dry and cause it to malfunction. This also makes it hard to turn the steering wheel.
#3: You can see that the fluid is no good anymore. Did you know that you can physically check your power steering fluid? Turn your car off, pop the hood, and locate the reservoir. You can pull the dipstick out and look at the color – healthy power steering fluid is red, so if it’s dark or has debris or dirt in it, it needs to be flushed and replaced. Running bad power steering fluid through the system can damage it over time.
#4: You’re due. You can also get on a schedule for your power steering fluid. Our techs can recommend when it’s due for a change, and you can always check your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends.
Schedule power steering fluid service at Toyota of North Charlotte
Have questions? Call us! Toyota of North Charlotte is open seven days a week at 13429 Statesville Road, just off I-77 at exit 23 in Huntersville. Call us to schedule your auto service ahead of time at (704) 659-2025!