Changing Power Steering Fluid
Just like your cars engine and transmission the power steering system on your car needs to have its fluid checked regularly and changed for best operation.
Normally there won’t be a filter that needs to be replaced but flushing out the system can be a difficult process depending on your cars location of the pump.
There are a variety of different types of Power Steering Fluid so do not just grab a bottle off the shelf and pour it in your pump. Some systems use a glycerin fluid that is clear and others use transmission fluid.
BEFORE YOU START make sure you have checked with your car’s manufacturers parts counter for specifics on what type to use. Often they will recommend their own brand but ask for an equivalent. For Honda’s specifically almost everyone will say fork over the extra few dollars for Official Honda Fluid. It has the special sauce in it.
Remove the return line on the pump and place it in a bucket or other catch container. You will need a small piece of line with a plug to attach to the pump to seal off the return line opening or check your manual for exact details.
Do not let the fluid drip on your belts or slipping will occur if it gets on painted surfaces it will damage the paint so clean up immediately do not wait until you are done the job.
Run your vehicle and have someone turn the steering wheel from one side to the other and the old fluid will be drained. Do not force the steering wheel to the lock or very end of its turning ability or this could cause damage.
While you are doing this you should be adding new fluid so the pump will force all the old fluid out of the lines. Depending on your power steering fluid type you may have a colorless or red fluid. Dirty fluid looks black or a dark red.
Once the fluid flows out of the return line looking as clean as you are pouring in then you have flushed the system.
Reconnect the power steering return line to the pump and allow the car to sit for 15 minutes.
Check the level of the power steering and add any fluid as needed.
If necessary clean all power steering fluid off of painted surfaces. It will damage paint. Also clean any belts that may have got fluid on them with a can spray cleaner.
Apply belt dressing if necessary.
The final step is removing air from the system.
With the pump reservoir filled turn the steering wheel lock to lock about 10 times and air should be removed from the system.
Allow the car to sit again for about 15 minutes and recheck the fluid level.
If you see bubbles in the fluid allow the car to sit for a longer period of time until they are no longer present before driving.
Check the fluid level and for any leaks during the next few days.