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: 3 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.
Article first published