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How Much does a Power Steering Fluid Replacement Cost?
Your car’s hydraulic power steering system only operates if it’s full of clean power steering fluid.
It circulates throughout the power steering system to provide hydraulic assist whenever you turn the steering wheel.
During everyday use, the power steering fluid will deteriorate, just like engine oil, and requires replacement.
Depending on your manufacturer, power steering replacement should be performed every 50,000 to 100,000km, or when it looks dark and discoloured.
Typically, power steering fluid replacement costs $100 to $250 to perform, depending on the type of power steering fluid used.
The more you drive your car, the more frequently you’ll need power steering fluid replacement.
Power Steering Fluid Replacement
What is Power Steering Fluid?
Power steering fluid is a hydraulic fluid that circulates through the power steering pump and the power steering rack to provide steering assist when you’re turning.
Pressurised fluid from the pump flows to either side of the steering gear to apply pressure on the piston inside, aiding your steering effort.
In most vehicles, the fluid also circulates through a power steering fluid cooler to prevent premature fluid breakdown due to high temperature.
Power steering fluid itself is commonly mineral-based or silicone-based fluid, although sometimes a synthetic fluid like transmission fluid is used.
It breaks down over time and loses its lubricating properties. It can also become contaminated by water or other fluids.
If the power steering fluid becomes dark or milky, it’s time for it to be changed.
Symptoms You Need Power Steering Fluid Replacement
- The steering wheel is stiff or choppy to turn
- The fluid appears black, dark brown, or milky
- The fluid feels gritty or has flecks of black in it
How is Power Steering Fluid Replacement Performed?
- The technician siphons the fluid from the power steering fluid reservoir, often attached to the pump and new fluid is added
- Alternately, the technician disconnects a power steering hose and fully drains the power steering system
- New, clean fluid is added to the reservoir
- The technician operates the power steering to circulate the clean fluid into the system, pushing out old fluid in the power steering cooler and power steering rack while ensuring the reservoir is always full
- Once clean fluid comes out the disconnected power steering hose, it’s reconnected and the reservoir topped up
- The technician bleeds the system and performs a road test
Tips to remember
- Only the specified type of power steering fluid should be used or damage can occur to the power steering system’s seals and hoses
- Don’t operate the power steering system without fluid or it can become damaged
How Important is Power Steering Fluid Replacement?
The power steering system won’t work well if the fluid is low or contaminated, and internal problems can result from operating the power steering with such power steering fluid.
Driving your car when the power steering fluid is dirty won’t cause immediate issues, however, it can cause expensive power steering trouble down the road.
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