Useful Tips When Buying Power Steering Fluid
Nowadays, modern cars and even aircraft use power steering systems. The power steering fluid is a vital component to make this system work. Through it, power is transferred from the steering wheel to the front wheels. As a result, it makes the maneuvering of the wheels a whole lot easier. Since this fluid runs constantly among tubes and cylinders of the engine, it is prone to harmful debris and particles that may cause contamination. Once the power steering fluid gets tainted, it loses its power. Replacing the fluid in your car's system regularly should never be forgotten. Now if you need to purchase a bottle of replacement steering fluid, read some of these reminders to make the selection process easy.
Brake fluid vs. power steering fluid
Okay, first things first. The power steering fluid and brake fluid have unique chemical compositions and they are made for totally different purposes. The function of the power steering fluid was mentioned above. The brake fluid, on the other hand, helps in transferring the force produced by the driver's foot to the rest of the brake system to stop the car. You cannot substitute one for the other. It may result in extensive damage in your car's engine. To prevent this from happening, make it a habit to read the labels of the automotive fluid that you're buying.
Thick fluid vs. thin fluid
The design and mechanism of every car model is created uniquely. The power steering fluid in your neighbor's car might not be compatible to yours. One thing you should pay close attention to when selecting steering fluid is the viscosity level. If the fluid is too thick for your car, it wouldn't flow freely within the system. Too much friction from too viscous power steering fluid would consume a lot of fuel and energy. To make the right choice, always refer to your car's manual. In most cases, a car would require a specific type of power steering fluid. It is always better to buy the exact type as the original one. It would also remind you of the kinds of fluids that cannot be mixed together. It's a big No-No because it can cause a lot of damage in your engine.
Mineral-based fluid vs. synthetic fluid
Mineral-based power steering fluids are not necessarily better in quality than synthetic ones. Some of the laboratory-enhanced fluids possess qualities that mineral fluids do not have. The synthetic fluids do not contain a lot of carbon atoms. These particles when combined with oxygen produce acid. In that case, synthetic oils can last longer and wouldn't need much of a replacement. They also do not require a lot of heat to achieve their normal operating temperature. If you are living in a cold area, this type suits your car.
Remember these friendly reminders while you're browsing the shelves of power steering fluids in the auto parts shop to get the right one for your car.
How to Keep Your Power Steering Fluid in the Pink of Health
Once the power steering fluid in your car turns dark from its usual pinkish color, it's done! It simply means that it is already overused therefore you need to replace it with a fresh one.
The steps in changing the power steering fluid in your car are as easy as a pie. Get your tools ready and read the following step to begin.
Difficulty level: Easy
- Drain pan
- Liquid removal tool
Step 1: Open the hood of your car and find the power steering fluid reservoir. Inspect the fluid first to verify if you need to change it. Open the cap and look at the color. If it's still clean and pinkish, it's still okay to use it. When it's brown, replacement is recommended.
Step 2: Flush the old fluid out of the car. Use a fluid removal tool if you have one. You can also use a drain pan. Just simply open the cap of the fluid container to drain the liquid.
Step 3: Refill the container with the new power steering fluid. Wait until it reaches the required level in the reservoir.
Step 4: Replace the cap of the steering fluid container. Close the car hood.
Step 5: Drive your car up to a few miles. Just wait until the car reaches the normal operating temperature. Just warm the car up a bit.
Step 6: Open the hood once more and observe the power steering fluid's color. If it's still dark and brownish, you need to repeat the steps again.
Step 7: Repeat the process until you see that the power steering fluid retains its pinkish color after driving several miles.
The power steering fluid must remain intact despite the car's extreme temperature. That's why you have to test it for several times until you're sure that it's well functioning.