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How Often Should I Change The Power Steering Fluid In My Car? Facts & FAQ

Power steering fluid in a car

Every vehicle needs to have a reliable steering system. Without it, you won’t be able to turn your vehicle properly and you could have issues that could compromise your safety.

Most problems happen when your power steering fluid is running low, so you need to change it regularly. Now, you are probably wondering when a change of power steering fluid is necessary and how often you should replace it. If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered.

Check out the article below to find out how often you should replace your car’s power steering fluid.

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Why Does My Car Need a Power Steering Fluid Flush?

Power steering fluid is prone to contamination as it can quickly become dirty due to the sludge and particles that build up inside. Since there’s no way for the dirt and particles to discharge, they will only gather and cause more harm to your vehicle. Every time your wheels turn, your power steering fluid pump and the other system components will suffer from more and more stress. That’s why it’s crucial to flush the power steering system and replace the old fluid.

flushing old power steering fluid
Image By: Pavel Skopets, Shutterstock

Why Is It Important to Change the Power Steering Fluid?

The power steering pump contains fluids that help you turn the steering wheel in your vehicle. With constant use, the fluid becomes dirty and abrasive and can damage your pump seals or rack seals, which can be expensive to fix.

To avoid issues, check your power steering fluid monthly to ensure there are no leaks and that there’s enough fluid inside. If you notice that your steering wheel is hard to turn or there’s a whining sound when you corner, it could mean that your power steering fluid is running low.

Many vehicles have see-through reservoirs, so you can check the fluid level even without removing the cap. Of course, you can always consult with a mechanic or read your vehicle manual to know which type of power steering fluid you need and when to replace it.

How Often Should I Change My Car’s Power Steering Fluid?

The answer to this question is not simple because there are a lot of different recommendations regarding how often you should change your vehicle’s power steering fluid. Every car manufacturer varies on this, and while some suggest you should replace the power steering fluid every 2 years, others say you should do it every 75,000 to 100,000 miles, and the truth is somewhere in between.

The best way to know when it’s time to replace your power steering fluid is to do regular check-ups and have a mechanic inspect your vehicle every once in a while. Of course, some indicators will tell you that it’s time to change your power steering fluid.

man filling car with new power steering fluid
Image By: SURAKIT SAWANGCHIT, Shutterstock

How to Know When It’s Time to Change Your Power Steering Fluid?

There are certain ways to know when to replace your power steering fluid, so you should be on the lookout for any weird things you notice in your vehicle. Here are some common indicators letting you know that your power steering fluid needs a refill:

  • Loud, whining noises: This could be an indication of a leak and that it’s time for a new power steering fluid.
  • Leaks underneath the vehicle: If you notice spots under your car, it could mean that your power steering fluid is leaking and causing the fluid levels to drop.
  • Wheel not turning properly: If you’re having difficulties turning the steering wheel and it feels tight, your power steering fluid is likely ready for a replacement.

Here are some other ways to know if you should replace your power steering fluid or not.

Inspect the fluid

You can inspect the fluid to see if it’s ready for a replacement. Turn on your vehicle, and then get under the hood to check the color of your fluid. If the fluid is too dark and smells bad, it could indicate you need to pour new fluid inside. Also, check the reservoir for particles in the fluid. If you find them, your power steering fluid is contaminated and needs replacement.

Read your car’s manual

Your vehicle’s manual will have all the important information regarding your vehicle and its maintenance. That’s why you should also read it to find out when to change your power steering fluid. Some manuals might not have these details, but it’s always better to check, just in case the information you need is there.

car and road divider


There’s no precise answer to how often you should change the power steering fluid in your car, but you can stick to the recommendations in the article. Of course, try to listen to your vehicle and always check for signs that your steering fluid is running low or becoming too contaminated. Also, regular maintenance and check-ups are essential and will help you catch problems early—before they do too much damage.

Featured Image Credit: ETAP, Shutterstock


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