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How to change power steering fluid

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When you turn the steering wheel and it stiffens, it could mean it’s time for new power steering fluid. We’ll show you how to change this Exhausted from strength.

View all of us Autoblog Wrenched video for more tips on diagnosing, fixing and modifying cars from expert detailer Larry Kosilla. While you’re at it, check out Larry’s other auto maintenance and cleaning video series Automatic log details!

Materials used:

Instructions (video recording):

[00:00:00] When you turn the steering wheel and it’s hard, hard to turn, or worse, you hear this whine, (engine) May need to wipe or drain your power steering fluid. Here’s what you need to get the job done. Turkey fishing gear, catch cans, goggles, gloves, power steering fluid, pliers, rags and funnel. I’m Larry Kosilla, detail expert and coach for the past 15 years, but when it comes to what’s hidden, I’m a student. Follow me for experts to guide me on how to diagnose, fix

[00:00:30] and car modifications on Autoblog’s Wrenched blog. – Okay Spence I have to be honest, I never thought about changing my power steering fluid. When is a good time to discharge it? – They really don’t have many recommendations if you look in your manual. There are three different ways to do this. The first thing would be to look at the liquid and just fill it up if necessary. The second way is to drain all the liquid out of the reservoir and put fresh liquid in it and the third is to completely flush the system. – [Larry] Consult your manual

[00:01:00] for the manufacturer’s recommended power steering fluid and then locate the reservoir. It will have the steering wheel logo or steering fluid text and “Do not overfill” around the cap. Twist the cap and just check the dipstick will have dashed lines indicating high and low and add more if it is low. Pretty simple. Option two is to use a turkey hood or vacuum pump to remove some of the old liquid and replace it with a new one. Here’s a quick and no-mess way to get a clearer percentage

[00:01:30] dirty liquid to clean and took less than five minutes to do. The third option as mentioned by Spencer, is to flush the system. This will remove most, if not all, of the old fluid and replace it with clean power steering fluid. First, make sure that the front wheel of your car is on the ground as you will need to rotate the steering wheel comfortably for this method. Next, remove most of the liquid with a turkey skin cutter like we did in option two but leave some liquid left to avoid drying out the pump. Then slide your can under the power steering reservoir

[00:02:00] and find the low pressure path. Some systems will have a fixed clamp on the high pressure line, so look for one with a removable clamp as this will be the low pressure line. Use pliers to open the tube, then direct the tube down to the receiver. (peaceful music) Next, add new liquid to the tank and fill it up before starting the car to drain the water. Now with an extra set of hands, let’s start the car to let the pump drain all the old liquid

[00:02:30] through the hose and into the receiver until the color turns clear or clean. Don’t let the car run for more than 5 to 8 seconds because you don’t want the steering pump to dry out. You’ll know very quickly when fresh liquid from the reservoir starts to shoot out of the hose, it’s time to turn off the engine. Take the used liquid to an auto parts store or hazardous waste collection center for recycling. Now that the fluid looks clean, replace the low pressure hose and clamp, then fill the power steering reservoir

[00:03:00] to the full line again. Before you tighten the cap, turn the wheel back and forth to clear the air in the system. Then start the car for 10 to 15 seconds to allow the power steering pump to draw in more fluid as you will sometimes notice the liquid level drop as it fills the air bags so you will need to empty tank full. when necessary. When the fluid appears to be full, drive quickly to build up the power steering temperature, then go back and check the level again and turn off the engine if necessary.

[00:03:30] Finally, double-check your work by finding leaks and cleaning hoses from any prior spills. This will help you notice any future leaks on the road. Keeping up with your power steering fluid is incredibly easy. Just remember, check your level and color every time you change your engine oil. That way, you can avoid annoying squeaks or permanently burning out the pump. For more videos on auto repair, visit I’m Larry Kosilla from As always, thanks for watching.

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