Updated at: 09-08-2022 - By: Lucas

Power steering fluid deteriorates over time. The longer a vehicle’s power steering is used, the worse the issue will become. As a result, many technicians are aware of the problem and can remedy it promptly if it is discovered during routine service appointments.

What is a power steering fluid?

It is a sort of hydraulic fluid that is responsible for distributing power steering fluid in modern vehicles. Many people who drive vehicles with power steering ignore the required interval between oil changes, which can lead to a breakdown of the power steering fluid over time.

What does power steering fluid do?

Power steering fluid is in charge of transmitting energy from various components that allow the car to operate. The primary function is to power the hydraulic steering rack, which transfers steering wheel energy into movement in the front wheels to turn and operate an automobile.

The pump that transports this fluid requires hydraulic pressure to function properly, and problems with this component caused by low power steering fluid might lead to failure.

Symptoms of bad power steering fluid

Signs Of Bad Power Steering Fluid-2

Bad power steering fluid can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including:

Vehicle pulling to one side when driving

This is immediately seen during a test drive.

Burning smell coming from under the hood while driving

This is frequently caused by failure of components of the rack and pinion system, which transfer energy from the vehicle to the front wheels.

Unusual noise when turning the steering wheel

This could be a symptom of wear and tear on the power steering rack and pinion system, with odd sounds being produced as the parts rub together in an unlubricated environment.

The vehicle shakes or vibrates while driving at lower speeds than usual for no apparent reason

The lack of power steering fluid causes a hydraulic imbalance, resulting in increased wear on vehicle components.

Low power steering fluid due to neglecting fluid changes or delaying service appointments

Poor maintenance will also affect the overall fuel economy of the car. This is because low steering fluid lowers driving stability, requiring the engine to work more to maintain pace.

Solutions for power steering fluid issues

If one or more of these symptoms appear, it is usually an indication that the vehicle’s fluid levels are low, and it is time to schedule a service appointment with a mechanic.

Many individuals believe they can bleed air bubbles by running the engine and moving the wheels back and forth while pressing the brake pedal.

This is a dangerous procedure that can cause more damage to your vehicle and should never be done, since it causes tremendous pressures inside the vehicle’s hydraulic system, which can result in an explosion if not handled properly.

Typically, a service visit will include draining the vehicle’s power steering fluid. Replacing any components damaged by low fluid levels and inspecting the vehicle for leaks.

Replacing all of a vehicle’s power steering fluid is a reasonably straightforward job that can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on how efficient the shop is at draining and replenishing fluids.

Can power steering fluid get old?

Signs Of Bad Power Steering Fluid-3

Yes, all power steering fluid should be replenished every two or three years. This ensures that the car runs smoothly.

Running out of fluid can cause components of the rack and pinion system, which distributes energy from the engine to the wheels, to burn out.

Low power steering fluid levels can also cause air bubbles to become trapped inside the hydraulic system, causing serious problems while the vehicle is in motion.

If kept at proper levels and replaced according to manufacturer instructions, this fluid does not become old or stale.

Do you ever need to replace the power steering fluid?

Yes, replacing the power steering fluid every 2 to 3 years is always recommended. This ensures that all vehicle components are in good operating order and that no damage has occurred over time.

Replacing the fluid does not remove or alter any of the chemicals in the original formula; rather, it simply takes the fluid from the vehicle and replaces it with a new supply.

How long is the power steering fluid good after it’s opened?

Power steering fluid can often last up to two years, depending on the vehicle and how frequently it is used. Power steering fluid should be changed at least once a year in vehicles that are not driven frequently or are used infrequently.

Higher speeds also put additional strain on the rack and pinion system, which transmits energy from the engine to the wheels while consuming more power steering fluid.

Can power steering fluid get low without a leak?

No, in most circumstances. If the power steering is leaking, you will typically notice it. This can be caused by issues such as rust or dried-up o rings, which cause leaks and allow air into the hydraulic system.

During car servicing appointments, the fluid should constantly be checked. Even though there are no visible leaks, it should be refilled if necessary.

During normal service appointments, all of the power steering fluid in a vehicle is typically replaced. It entails inspecting for leaks and repairing worn-out components.

What happens if you run low on power steering fluid?

If replacement parts are not available for your vehicle, the rack and pinion system may need to be replaced totally. Replacing components necessitates the removal of all power steering fluid from the hydraulic system, producing a condition in which air bubbles might become trapped.

Air bubbles present significant problems while the vehicle is in motion because they reduce the efficiency with which energy is transported throughout the system.

Can I just add power steering fluid to complete it in the tank?

No, before adding new power steering fluid, the hydraulic system should be completely emptied. Adding new fluid without draining the old exerts pressure on internal components, which can result in leaks or decreased performance owing to partially clogged hoses and lines.

Before attempting to determine whether more power steering fluid is required, always follow your vehicle’s service guidelines for checking for leaks and replacing worn out parts.

What should you do if there’s a leak?

If your car has any leaks, no matter how minor, it is best to inspect the complete hydraulic system. You may discover further issues. After the fluid level has been restored to normal and all old fluid has been removed from the system, the vehicle should be safe to drive until a service appointment is scheduled.


Every driver should check the power steering fluid on a regular basis. When low levels are discovered, servicing appointments should be planned to ensure that the vehicle operates properly.

Power steering fluid can go bad if neglected, leading to serious damage in a vehicle’s hydraulic system that must be professionally serviced to prevent further problems.