Check Your Power Steering Fluid
Though power steering is not absolutely necessary we'd rather have it than not. Anyone who drives often will surely agree. If your power steering should fail, it could prove to be a dangerous situation. One of the causes for a failure could be a leak of the power steering fluid. If your car was manufactured and designed to operate with power steering, it would be difficult to operate and steer without it. If it fails, you might experience a loss of control in your steering, which can cause an accident.
Balancing out your power steering fluid levels are one of the easiest do it yourself jobs and only takes a couple of minutes. Don't be afraid to get your hands a little dirty.
Checking The Fluid Level
It is recommended that you only check your power steering fluid level when the car engine is cold. Depending on your car, there may be markings that allow you to check the level when the engine is either hot or cold. Check to see if you have this option, otherwise it is advisable to simply add the fluid while the engine is cold.
The tank holding steering fluid is usually under the hood on the passenger's side of the vehicle. I can possible be found on the drivers side as well. In smaller vehicles it will usually be located on the side that containing the belts. To help you locate the tank, you will find it labeled or marked "steering" at the top.
Vehicles that are more recent have an opaque tank that allows you to observe the level of power steering fluid without opening it. You may need to wipe it off a bit to clearly see the markings and check the level.
Some vehicles contain a reservoir or tank that is too opaque to see levels. If this is the case with your vehicle, you must continuously check the levels measure by measure. Remove the cap of the reservoir and keep checking it as you gradually pour the fluid in. Before you uncover the tank, wipe the area around opening with a cloth You want to avoid having any dirt enter the reservoir. The cap to the reservoir has a dipstick built in it. Wipe the dipstick clean, put the cap on and then remove it again to check the fluid level.
Now that you've have determined the existing level, you should know how much you'll need to add if necessary.
Adding Power Steering Fluid
Let's supposed you've checked the level and found that you need to add more fluid there are a few things to keep in mind first.
1) check for power steering fluid leaks around reservoir and pump
2) Before you open the cap to refill fluid, wipe the area around the power steering cap, if you haven't already. Even a minor amount of debris can really screw up your steering system including parts of your hydraulic system, such as a clutch or brakes.
With the cap removed, gradually fill the reservoir. It will rise fast since the power steering system holds a very small amount of fluid. Fill the container until it has reached the full mark or maximum. This level will be different depending on whether it is being filled while the engine is hot or cold.
Make sure you recap the reservoir and tighten it securely you start your car and operate the vehicle on the road.
Safety is paramount and many things can go wrong if the levels or not sufficient. The more you use your vehicle the more important it will be to check the levels to avoid an accident.
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