Power Steering Fluid Leaks| Reasons and solution
A car contains a number of fluids such as power steering fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid. Power steering fluid is very essential for your car as it plays a very important role in maintaining the performance of the steering wheel of the car. If power steering fluid leaks it is not good for your car. It allows you to turn the steering wheel very easily. The power steering fluid is a hydraulic solution that allows the steering wheel to perform well. And keeps your car operating at its peak performance. It helps lubricate the power steering pump and the steering components and prevents corrosion.
As the role of power steering fluid is so important it is not a very good sign if it leaks. In this blog, we are about to learn about why power steering fluid leaks and what remedies we can perform. Before discussing the reasons and solution for power steering fluid leaks first it is essential to know that our power steering fluid is getting leaked. To know that below we have listed some of the symptoms have a look.
Symptoms of Power Steering Fluid leakage
- Steering produces noise. In case your power steering is making any kind of noise. This can be a signal of low power steering fluid or power steering fluid leakage. To make sure that this sound does not exist notice it while moving slowly, like in a parking lot, and check the fluid level in the power steering reservoir.
- Jumpy or jerky power steering can also be a sign of power steering fluid.
- Facing difficulty while turning the steering wheel.
- Squealing steering.
- Oil spills stains under the vehicle.
- Decreased steering performance.
Reasons for Power Steering Fluid leakage
Using wrong power steering fluid
Do you need to have a proper knowledge about which power steering fluid does your vehicle system supports? Because not all of the systems use the same type of hydraulic fluid. Some of them support the synthetic automatic transmission fluid and others use silicone-based fluid. What kind of fluid will be suitable for your vehicle depends upon what type of power steering pump your vehicle holds. When you fill the power steering fluid ensure you don’t mix it with the synthetic fluid or silicone-based fluid. Otherwise, it can create a few damages to the hydraulic system which will be very dangerous for your part. This could also lead to leakage of power steering fluid.
Low fluid level
Low fluid levels can also create the problem of leakage. If the power steering fluid drops low then the expected level, extra effort would be needed in order to move each component and it will create stress. The power steering pump needs an adequate supply of fluid to work appropriately otherwise it will soon become useless. If it doesn’t get enough lubrication. If you continue to use the pump in low fluid levels then its internal components, seals, and rubber parts will be damaged. In the end, it will start producing whining sounds when you turn the steering wheel. And this is the sign of steering leakage.
Usual wear and ageing
We all are familiar with the concept of ‘old is gold’ but it does not work everywhere. In some cases, you need a replacement. And it would work best for you. One of the main reasons for leakage is that the pumps and other components are used for a long period of time than intended. And need replacement now. The hydraulic pressure, thermal fatigue, heat, cold, corrosion can be some reasons why steering components are not working properly. As it contains seals and rubber components the leakage is quite obvious if we do not replace them on time.
Too much force
Our cars are basically designed to handle some of the basic complicated road conditions, including potholes, unexpected bumps, or hard jolts against your wheels. But it is important that we do not put a lot of stress or force on our vehicle which is not meant to handle. Pumps, belts, and other steering system components can break if you put too much stress on them frequently. So it is important that you do not use your car regularly on rough roads unless the vehicle is equipped with steering pumps that are designed to handle such obstacles. Too much stress can easily break the components and invite leakage.
Solutions for power steering fluid leakage
There are some basic steps by which you can prevent or solve the power steering fluid leakage. We have shown them below so have a look.
Check the condition of power steering fluid
The first and foremost step you have to do is to check the condition of power steering fluid. There are three basic things which you have to take a look at. The color of the fluid, consistency of the fluid, and the odor of the fluid. If your car supports modern ATF fluid its color should be translucent Red. If the color of the fluid looks brown, opaque, dark brown, or black with the burnt smell then you should replace it. In case the fluid gives a milky appearance it means that the fluid is contaminated and needs to be replaced for the betterment of your car.
Check the level of power steering fluid
Maintaining the level of the power steering pump is very necessary in order to prevent leakage. so check the fluid condition after a period of time and when you check the fluid condition check its level in the top-up reservoir. This is a closed system so any drop in fluid level is an indication of leakage.
Clean the parts before inspection
Cleaning the power steering pump reserve year, hydraulic connections, hydraulic line in the steering rack can prove to be very helpful if you do it properly. When you will clean all these parts you can have a close look at when and which is very important if you want to locate small leaks.
Check power steering hoses for leakage
In the next step check power steering hoses for leakage. You need to follow the hoses, the pump from the reservoir, the hoses feeding the steering rack, and the hoses returning to the top-up reservoir. If you find any leak on any of the hoses or joints, they may need to be replaced, depending on their condition.
Perform test for engine running
Now as you have successfully performed all the above tasks it’s the right time to perform engine tests. You need to ensure that the top-up bottle is topped up to the required level and start the engine. now what you have to do is slowly turn the steering wheel all the way to the left and then all the way to the right. When you are doing this keep an eye on the power steering reservoir. If you are able to see bubbles in the reservoir fluid, then you have air in the system. The air gets and in if there is any leakage. when you are done with the running engine test, re-check the power steering hoses, connections, power steering pump, steering rack, and the power steering cooler for leaks. If you find a leak anywhere fix it.
What if I run my car without power steering fluid?
If it has been a while that you are driving without power steering fluid you need to know what consequences you have to face because of this. Although nothing is going to stop your car from moving. But driving your car for extended periods without power steering fluid can damage the pump. First, the pump will show the low-level warning of the fluid, and if you keep running ignoring the factor that the power steering fluid is low the pump will completely dry. The dry pump can cause an increase in friction and heat which can quickly cause expensive damage. Although you can run miles without the power steering fluid we recommend you not to do so.
We have discussed symptoms of power steering fluid leakage, what are the reasons behind power steering fluid leakage, and what remedies you can perform. We hope you found the above information helpful and you are able to fix your car now. If this wasn’t helpful to you. And you have issues related to power steering fluid leaks and you. If you want to know more we advise you to take help from expert Advisors, professional mechanics.
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