Power Steering Fluid Replacement
The purpose of power steering fluid
Power steering fluid is used in vehicles with hydraulic power steering systems. The fluid works along with the power steering pump to enable the driver to turn the steering wheel much easier thus making it much easier to direct your vehicle. Does anyone remember driving vehicles without power assisted steering?
Why we recommend changing the power steering fluid at regular intervals
The power steering system is a closed system. As the fluid circulates throughout the system the friction wears on the seals and pump causing particles of rubber and metal to get into the fluid. Over time this will cause failure of such parts as racks, seals and the pump if the fluid is not replace. Mechanics replace racks and pumps on fairly late model vehicles because they have failed due to the wear caused by these particles. Let's face it, all fluids break down over time due to friction and extreme temperatures. Also, if the power steering fluid needs to be topped off this indicates a leak, again from wear.
To prevent premature failure of these more expensive parts it is a very good practice to have your power steering fluid replaced at regular intervals. Your vehicle's owner's manual will probably not mention this as regular maintenance. Knowledgeable automotive technicians like those at Main Street Automotive can recommend replacement of the power steering fluid every two years or every 75,000 to 100,000 miles. Some mechanics even recommend every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Flushing the power steering systems is much less expensive than replacing costly parts.