The Dos and Don'ts of Refilling Power Steering Fluid

The Dos and Don'ts of Refilling Power Steering Fluid

5th Feb 2021

vehicle's hood open

Refilling Power Steering Fluid

Is your vehicle low on power steering fluid? If so, you should refill it as soon as possible. All vehicles with power steering have a fluid-filled reservoir. When driving, fluid will transfer from this reservoir to the power steering pump where it assists in steering and turning. You can refill your vehicle's power steering fluid if the reservoir is low, but you should follow a few dos and don'ts.

Do Choose the Right Type

Like with other types of automotive fluids, you'll need to choose the right type of power steering fluid. Different vehicles require different types of power steering fluid. Some of them use simply use automatic transmission fluid, whereas others use synthetic power steering fluid. Refer to your vehicle's owner's manual for more information on which type of power steering fluid to use.

Don't Pour Into the Wrong Reservoir

You should avoid pouring the power steering fluid into the wrong reservoir. Most vehicles are designed with multiple reservoirs, each of which contains a specific type of fluid. There's a reservoir for the power steering fluid, brake fluid and coolant -- not to mention the transmission and engine fluid compartments. You'll want to find the correct reservoir before refilling your vehicle's power steering fluid.

Do Use a Funnel

It's recommended that you use a funnel when refilling your vehicle's power steering fluid. Reservoirs have a narrow opening. Without a funnel, you may accidentally spill some of the power steering fluid inside your vehicle's engine bay. A small amount of spilled fluid probably won't harm your vehicle, but it's still something you should try to avoid. Using a funnel will ensure that all the power steering fluid ends up in the reservoir and not inside your vehicle's engine bay.

To find a funnel, check out our online shop.

Don't Overfill It

Another mistake to avoid is overfilling the reservoir. When inspecting the side of the reservoir, you should notice two horizontal lines. The bottom line indicates the "low" level, whereas the top line indicates the "high" level. If you overfill the reservoir with so much fluid that it goes over the top line, it may leak. 

Do Look for Leaks

You should look for leaks when refilling your vehicle's power steering fluid. If the reservoir is low, it means that power steering fluid is escaping from your vehicle's steering system. Maybe there's a worn o-ring in the pump, or perhaps the line running from the reservoir to the pump has a hole in it. Regardless, you should try to find the leak so that you can fix it. Otherwise, you'll have to continue topping off the reservoir with new power steering fluid.