Power Steering Fluid Leaking: Causes, Symptoms & Fixes
Power steering has proven to be a must-have in any vehicle, but what happens when it starts to go out? To deal with this mechanical mishap, we offer expert advice about how to identify and repair a power steering leak. So, before you go trying to fix the problem yourself, read on to find out what all is involved with this issue and why you should consider getting only the best power steering fluid to keep your vehicle in prime condition.
Why Is My Power Steering Fluid Leaking?
Age and constant usage are the two biggest contributing factors to a power steering fluid leak. As the supply and pressure hoses start to age, they may develop holes through which the fluid can leak. Likewise, the O-rings and seals gradually lose their flexibility as your mileage increases. In this situation, the seals can harden, and small fragments can drop into the fluid. Another cause relates to your power steering pump which might also be leaking. No matter the situation, though, you should check out and rectify the power steering leak right away.
Symptoms Of Power Steering Fluid Leak
Along with the probable causes mentioned above, you should also familiarize yourself with the following power steering fluid leak symptoms.
Fluid On the Floor
If you look at your garage floor or driveway, and you see red or pink drops underneath your engine, then that is a sure sign that you have leaking steering fluid. This fluid takes time to accumulate, so you are likely to find it after the car has been sitting awhile, usually after a day or so. Thus, you should check underneath your car for this fluid daily.
One other sign to watch or listen for is the squealing noise that is coming from the steering pump when you first turn on your ignition. Plus, an alert light might accompany the noise.
Grinding Or Whining Noise
Another noise that also indicates a power steering leak is a loud grinding or whining that occurs when you turn your steering wheel. This type of noise comes from friction, whereas power steering fluid prevents this by providing lubrication.
Decreased Steering Performance
The most unnerving sign occurs when suddenly, you must struggle to turn your wheel. Normally, the steering wheel maneuvers easily when you turn it because of the lubrication from the power steering fluid. On the other hand, if you have an extremely stiff steering wheel, this is not only dangerous but also a sign of a steering fluid leak.
How To Fix Leaking Power Steering Fluid
While some power steering leaks can be fixed at home, there are others that may require the attention of a mechanic. To start off, here are some tips to follow when dealing with leaking steering fluid.
Flush/Clean The Power Steering
The Power Steering For most vehicles, you simply turn the wheel into the lock position many times to get the air out of the hoses. For others, the process is more complex. This requires flushing out the power steering which involves running small tubing through the tubes that carry the power steering fluid after you open the bleed valve and apply penetrating oil to it. This will rid your system of old fluid and air. After you replace the steering fluid, you can close the bleed valve.
Replace Worn-Out Parts
As mentioned, parts wear out, but you would first need a thorough examination of your power steering system to determine which parts need replacing. For instance, you can install a new hose which may take care of a clog or a leak. Also, you can replace your power steering pump and/or adjust your power steering belt which lengthens the life of your system. If you are not sure of what parts to get, or if you are not comfortable with attempting these repairs, then consider consulting with a mechanic.
Apply Power Steering Stop Leak
Additionally, you can apply a power steering stop leak by pouring a portion of it into the reservoir. From there, you start your car and drive for an hour or two to allow the fluid to circulate through the power steering system and stop the leak. The instructions may vary depending on the brand, and it is not intended to be a permanent fix for leaking steering fluid.
Use Premium Quality Fluid
Whether you are refilling your power steering fluid or adding a stop leak solution, you should always opt for the highest quality of fluids. By using the best brand of power steering fluid, you will add years to the life of your system and allow it to run smoothly free of leaks.
Therefore, if you want to maintain the prime condition of your vehicle, consider using high-performance, high-end lubricants, and oils by Shield Lubricants. Shield Lubricants manufactures lubricants in such a way that they prevent corrosion from setting into the vital parts of your vehicle. They block water and contaminants from encountering the metal, thus providing reliable protection. Not only will your vehicle’s engine systems run properly, but they will also run for years to come. Reach out to our team today! We have a wide range of products for the industrial, automotive, and marine industries.
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