Mechanics

Power Steering Fluid Flush and Fill

Easy step by step guide on how to flush and refill an automotive power steering system, this articles pertains to most vehicles.

Difficulty Scale: 2 of 10

Start with the car on level ground, engine OFF, lifted safely using jack stands.

Step 1 - Locate the power steering reservoir and remove the cap.


Removing Power Steering Reservoir Cap

Step 2 - Next, remove the power steering system hose clamp. (Note: This is usually the smaller of the two hoses.)


Remove Return Line Clamp

Step 3 - Once the fluid return line is disconnected and a plug installed over the open fitting, attach a hose to the return line.


Installing Hose to Return Line

Step 4 - Then, refill the reservoir with fluid.


Refilling Power Steering Reservoir

Step 5 - While having a fluid catch basin ready, have a helper start the engine (idle). The system will pump fluid out while adding new power steering fluid into the reservoir.


Flushing Power Steering Fluid

Step 6 - Continue this until fresh fluid is present.


New Fluid

Step 7 - Once this operation is complete, reattach the return line to the reservoir and refill the system.


Refilling Reservoir

Step 8 - Install fluid until full as shown by the fluid level indicator, some are located inside the reservoir, under the cap.


Fluid Level Indictor

Step 9 - Once the fluid is at its proper level, reinstall the reservoir cap.


Reinstalling Cap

After the job is complete, check for leaks. It is normal for the system to make a little noise while the air in the fluid dissipates, this can take up to a day to occur.

Tools and Supplies Needed

  • Small wrench set
  • Vacuum hose
  • Brake fluid
  • Protective clothing and gloves
  • Shop towels
  • Helper
Helpful Information

Power steering fluid that has broken down can cause the system to make a whining noise which can be corrected by a fluid flush. If the pump has been run for an extended period with degraded fluid, damage to the pump can be permanent in which case replacement is required. Visit - Power steering pump replacement

Best Practices

  • Always use protective gloves, clothing and eye-wear to guard against accidental spillage.

AUTHOR


Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of 2CarPros.com
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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Article first published (Updated 2015-02-05)