There are a few signs the power steering fluid may need to be replaced.
Frank Renda, owner of Superior Care Auto Center in Brooklyn, New York, says dirty fluid or noise coming from the powering steering indicates the fluid may need to be changed. Peck adds that if you hear a moaning or growling-type sound as you turn, it could be an indication that the fluid level is low.
“Power steering systems are sealed, meaning they should not lose fluid over time,” Peck says. “If the system needs to be topped off, the vehicle should be inspected by a technician to determine the source of the leak. Drain and refills should be part of the scheduled maintenance interval.”
One thing the auto pros don’t agree on is how frequently power steering fluid should be flushed. Manouchekian says the service should be done about every two years, while Peck recommends about every 75,000 to 100,000 miles. Nemphos says he suggests a flush every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Depending on your vehicle’s age and performance, talk to your mechanic about his or her recommendations for a flush.
“You won’t find this service in many manufacturers’ service menus,” Nemphos says. “Car companies compete with one another on how low maintenance their vehicles are. They only have to get the vehicle through the warranty period, and they’re off the hook. Then it’s on you to pay for any repairs.”