Just like other moving parts of an engine that needs fluid to function, the steering also needs and uses fluid known as the ‘Power Steering Fluid’ for effecting running.
It is important that the power steering fluid is in the right amount in the car for it to run well. It should neither be too low nor too much, although it is said to be better when it’s too much than too low. So, how much power steering fluid do I need?
The right amount of power steering fluid you need is somewhere between the ‘min/max’ marking on the reservoir. You must ensure that it fills to the maximum marking to ensure the steering works well. Do not overfill the reservoir to avoid spill-over.
What is Power Steering Fluid Used For?
Power steering fluid as the name implies is the fluid that makes it possible for a driver to steer the vehicle in whichever direction, it is essential for the proper running of the vehicle.
This fluid is used only in vehicles with a hydraulic system, this is because the fluid applies hydraulic pressure needed in the system to turn the vehicle’s wheel. It creates a link between the front wheel and the steering wheel.
The power steering fluid is also used to ensure that engine parts like the steering pump, pistons, valves, etc., work well.
How Much Power Steering Fluid Do I Need?
The amount of power steering fluid a vehicle needs largely depends on its model. Getting the actual amount to add can also be tricky depending on the container marking.
Some vehicles may have a dipstick while others have a transparent fluid container, getting the right amount, in either case, is quite different. However, a common thing with either type is that you can see the min and max volume.
Before determining whether the amount of fluid in the container is enough, you should check whether it is ‘Cold Fluid’. This is because Cold fluid tends to have lesser volume than warm fluid a will therefore expand when the car is warm to the point of spilling out.
Therefore, the best way to get the right amount of fluid needed in the fluid container and also avoid a spill-out is to fill above the min mark and then turn on the engine, as the car warms up you should monitor the fluid to see its rising level.
If it rises to a reasonable level between the min and max mark then you can leave it, but if it doesn’t, you should carefully add more. For vehicles with cold and hot marking, you should fill up to the area marked cold.
Can You Put Too Much Power Steering Fluid in your Car?
Yes, you can put too much power steering fluid in the car but it’s not advisable to avoid leakages or spill-offs.
One common way this may happen is if cold fluid is used. It has been established that cold fluid expands when the vehicle is warm and it gets hot, it can expand to the point of spilling out of the fluid container. And a fluid spill-out will result in a messy engine compartment.
It could also be a result of ignorance. When one is ignorant of the markings on the container and pours too much fluid into the container.
One easy way to avoid putting too much power steering fluid in the car is first, to identify whether your steering fluid container has a hot/cold marking or the min and max marking.
This knowledge will help you know what to do in either case. Although it is much easier and less stressful to get an accurate measurement with a hot and cold marking.
How Do You Know If You Have Enough Power Steering Fluid?
Powering steering fluid is important for a vehicle to run, therefore, you should know when you are low or have enough of it in the car.
Usually, during routine car maintenance, the mechanic will check the level of all fluids in the engine the power steering fluid inclusive.
But what happens when you are not going for car maintenance and need to know if you have enough steering fluid?
Here is how you can check and know if you have enough power steering fluid:
- In the engine compartment, the power steering reservoir should be located. One easy way to identify the reservoir is by looking at the label on the cap and removing it.
- If the reservoir is transparent you will be able to see the fluid level with the markings on it. In a case where the reservoir is made of metal and hard to read you will have to use a dipstick to check the level. There’s an indicator on the dipstick that shows whether the fluid is low, normal, or high.
In order to get the accurate level of the fluid, you should check when the vehicle has been running for some time, giving enough time to warm up.
What Happens if you Put Too Much Power Steering Fluid?
It is very possible to put too much power steering fluid whether by mistake or for whatever reason. The question now is what will happen if you put too much-steering fluid? Knowing this will help one take extra care when topping up the steering fluid reservoir.
One should also know that too much power steering fluid may not have too many negative effects as having low power steering fluid.
This is an obvious thing to expect when you have too much steering fluid, especially in the case of using cold fluid known to expand when the car is warm. The fluid will most likely spill when it is more than what the reservoir can take at a time.
Messy Engine Compartment
When there is spillage you can’t avoid having a messy engine compartment as the fluid will spill on other engine components near it.
A messy compartment is not something you should leave like that, rather once this is noticed you should take the time to thoroughly clean it.
Early Wear and Tear of Engine Components
If care is not taken and the fluid spilled in the engine is not cleaned out in time, it will affect some parts of the engine. The longer the fluid stays, the more it causes parts of the engine to rust and wears out.
Repairs and Replacement
When you have a part of the engine that is rusting, there will be a need to repair and replace it where necessary.
To prevent all this from happening, care should be taken when topping up the power steering fluid in the reservoir.
It is important to understand the markings on your power steering fluid reservoir and also take time out as often as you can to check if it is at a good enough level or needs to be topped up.