Adding Power Steering Fluid
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated May 28, 2010)
Many people think that adding power steering fluid is nothing more than just opening the appropriate reservoir cap, and pouring a couple of bottles down. Whenever you go to add power steering fluid, in fact when you go to add any fluid to your engine you really need to check the level of the fluid first. Fortunately, the whole process of checking and adding power steering fluid is not a long or drawn out one. In fact the entire process takes maybe 10 minutes, and that is if you are being slow about it.
- Power Steering Fluid
- Adjustable wrench
- Engine. When engines are running, the temperature can get really hot, and this high temperature can cause fluids to boil, so you need to be careful since this hot fluid can burn you. I usually think that it is best to check the power steering fluid on your car when it has not been running for a little while. This allows you to get a fairly accurate idea of how much fluid is in the system, as well as keeping you safe.
- Locate. Now, you need to locate the power steering reservoir. This is going to be in the engine compartment, so open your hood and look to see if you can find a clearly labeled cover. If you can't find that cover, then simply look to the belts. Near the belts should be a pump that has a reservoir on top of it (it can be either plastic or metal).
- Check. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, your reservoir could be see-through or not. If it is see through, then look to see if the level of fluid is at the proper level or not. On these see-through reservoirs there should be two clearly marked indicators, one that says "hot" and the other that says "cold." These indicate the temperature of the engine. If you have been running the engine recently then simply look at the hot, whereas if you have let the engine sit for a little while you need to look at the cold. If you don't have a see-through reservoir then remove the cover, attached to this cover should be a small dipstick. Wipe this dipstick clean using one of your rags, and reinsert into the reservoir. After you have reinserted the dipstick pull it back out, and check to see where the fluid level is at. Same rules apply as with the see-through reservoirs.
- Fill. Once you have an idea of whether your power steering fluid level is low or not, you can go ahead and fill it up. Use your funnel to help you get as much of the fluid into the reservoir as you can.
- Check. Chances are you are going to need to check the fluid level as you add more. To do this you just simply need to repeat steps 3—5 as needed.
- Clean. Once you have filled the power steering fluid to the proper you are pretty much finished. All that is left is to clean up any mess you have made, using your rags to wipe up any spills and to wipe off the funnel.