Power Steering Fluid and when to change it!

by Andrew Automoto22. November 2013 09:13

Power steering fluid, is a clear red or pink liquid similar to that of Transmission fluid. Power steering Fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid that has been designed for specific use in power steering systems, on all vehicles.  Power steering fluid is a thick substance and is designed to flow well in a range of temperatures, which in turn helps lubricate and protect the moving parts in the hydraulic system of the engine.  

Power Steering fluid is only designed to be used in vehicles with power steering systems. However not all cars use dedicated power steering fluid. Some systems use Transmission Fluid for the hydraulic pressure in the steering system. Your Owner’s manual is the best guide on if either transmission fluid and the what type, or Power steering fluid should be used. You can also check your power steering reservoir to see which one it takes!

Power steering fluid like Transmission fluid is one of the most overly discussed fluids in your vehicle with the age old question – to change or not to Change? Well like all other fluids in your engine even Power Steering Fluid will eventually pick up contaminants and loose particles over time, so it should be drained, flushed and replaced as part of the routine maintenance .

Not all Owner’s Manuals will advise you how often you should change your steering fluid, however the easiest way to check if your vehicles steering fluid needs replacing is to look at the colour. On most vehicles the power steering cap is labelled and under the bonnet. Once you get it open look at the colour. If it is brown, or black, or not transparent at all, then it’s time it was changed.

When it comes to choosing your Power steering Fluid there are quite a few different brands  each with its own chemical composition.

 Most Vehicle manufacturers have their own brand of power steering fluid, however there is also:

  •    Nulon
  •    Caltex
  •    Penrite
  •    Halfords

To find out how to change your Power Steering Fluid see - How to change your Power Steering Fluid.

Alternatively see www.carservice.com.au to find your closest authorised service centre or dealership.


 ‘The information provided in this article is for general advise only.  It is not intended for instructional use.  Use of the information is at your own risk.  We recommend you seek the advice of a trained professional.'