Power Steering Flush: Does My Vehicle Need One?

Power Steering Flush, Low Fluid, Noisy Steering, Power Steering System

Power Steering Flush: Does My Vehicle Need One?

Power Steering Flush, Low Fluid, Noisy Steering, Power Steering SystemMost motorists are familiar with routine auto maintenance duties, like oil changes and tire rotations. However, many of us should familiarize ourselves with less common maintenance duties, like a power steering flush. Your owner’s manual is a terrific resource for discovering all the service intervals recommended for your vehicle. Additionally, your manual can help troubleshoot common issues with the power steering system, including low fluid, noisy steering, and leaking fluid. Don’t hesitate to schedule a power steering flush if your vehicle is experiencing any of the issues below.


What Is A Power Steering Flush?

A power steering flush is a process that removes contaminated fluid from your vehicle’s power steering system via a powered flushing machine. This method effectively removes old fluid, sludge build-up, and particulates from the system and circulates the new fluid. Schedule this service when you experience issues with your power steering system, when your power steering fluid is contaminated, or when the factory service interval requires it.

What Is A Power Steering Drain?

Some car manufacturers recommend a power steering drain instead of a flush. What’s the difference? Well, the driving force of a power steering fluid drain is simply gravity. There is no machine forcing the old fluid out. Once the old fluid has drained out from the lowest area of the system, the technician reconnects the hoses & plugs and adds new fluid. Air is purged from the system manually by turning the steering wheel back and forth and adding more power steering fluid until the level stabilizes.

6 Signs You Need A Power Steering Flush or Drain

1) Factory Recommended Service Interval

Different auto manufacturers have different requirements regarding power steering fluid services. Read your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine the suggested service interval. Depending on your vehicle’s make and model, you can expect to service the power steering fluid every 30,000 – 100,000 miles. Never skip the factory-recommended service. Doing so may void your warranty or cause expensive repairs to your vehicle’s power steering pump and seals.

2) Noisy Steering / Faulty Pump

Inspect your power steering fluid levels if your vehicle makes a screeching noise when turning the steering wheel, especially when stopped or moving at very slow speeds. Low fluid levels and contaminated power steering fluid cause the pump to work harder, resulting in noisy steering. Additionally, a clogged or faulty pump will make noises you can hear. When this happens, bring your vehicle in for service without delay.

3) Low Fluid / Leaking Fluid

If the level is low, add more fluid and look under your car for leaks. Generally speaking, your power steering fluid should not need refilling since it is a closed, pressurized system. If you regularly add power steering fluid, your vehicle has a leak. Contact your local auto service station to locate the source and replace the necessary components.

4) Hard to Steer

Check your vehicle’s power steering fluid whenever it becomes hard to steer. Schedule a diagnostic service if turning the steering wheel is difficult or feels loose, as this can point to additional issues besides low or dirty power steering fluid. 

5) Dirty Steering Fluid

Dirty power steering fluid can happen over time. Tiny particulates of metal and rubber can build up, creating a sludge that damages seals and steering components over time. Power steering fluid should be a bright, translucent red color. Schedule a power steering flush with your local auto service center if your fluid appears dark, cloudy, or contains metallic particles.

6) Power Steering Fluid Smells Burned

Although power steering fluid does not endure the same high temperatures as engine oil, it can still become compromised. Schedule a power steering flush if the fluid in the reservoir looks dark brown or black or smells burned.

Power Steering Flush Service In Ann Arbor, MI

Ron’s Garage has been serving Ann Arbor and surrounding areas since 1982. We offer professional automotive services at a fair price, emphasizing customer satisfaction. Our staff includes three state and ASE-certified technicians who are trained to perform major and minor repairs on all makes and models, imported or domestic vehicles up to one-ton.

Schedule Your Appointment

Visit our website or call us today at (734) 961-4701 to schedule an appointment with any of our friendly service agents. We will check your car’s power steering system and repair everything from low fluid to noisy steering to power steering flush.