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19 – The Forgotten Fluid

There is a hard working fluid in almost every car that gets little to no attention. The forgotten fluid is power steering fluid. For some reason the manufacturers never recommend changing it; maybe its because the system is closed and the components are few. But nothing lasts forever.

Virtually all modern cars have power steering, and, almost all modern cars have automatic transmissions. In most cases, they use the same hydraulic fluids; yet according to the owner’s manual the transmission may have several fluid changes throughout its life.

With the power steering fluid, zero changes are recommended. Maybe there is some logical reason we don’t know about; but I seriously doubt it. Lets be honest, the power steering hoses, pump, and steering units in almost any car is going to last 100,000 miles; long enough to put it past any warranty. Meaning the manufacturer will never have to deal with failure under warranty. So who gets to pay the bill if the power steering fails? Why the car owner of course!

Depending on what fails, the repair or replacement of the necessary components can run over a $1,000. So how can I avoid a power steering failure you ask? The answer is simple, change the fluid at 90,000-100,000 miles.

Power steering systems have no filter in them, so this means any metal particles that get into the fluid just keep getting re-circulated throughout the system again and again. Over time, these particles can stop lubricating and as they should and cause damage. Ever heard a car that makes loud noises under the hood when the steering wheel is turned?

Today’s cars are continually being built better, but we are also driving them longer and further than ever.

At Sturken’s we regularly see cars well over 100,000 miles and some over 200,000 miles. Cars don’t get to that point without good, consistent preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance is far less expensive than repairs; so do yourself and your car a favor and ask your service advisor to change your power steering fluid.

See the pros at Sturken Automotive Repair for all of your power steering service and repair needs.

Sturken Auto