Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Changing power steering fluid yourself

Save money by changing power steering fluid yourself

Changing power steering fluid

There are two methods for changing power steering fluid yourself. One method involves removing the return line and routing it to a waste container, while the other method is done with a small hand operated vacuum pump or turkey baster.

Changing power steering fluid quickly

To do a power steering fluid change in one fell swoop, you’ll have to remove the return fluid line form the power steering pump reservoir  and use a friend to help pour. It’s pretty easy. First, find the reservoir. On some vehicles the pump and reservoir are one unit, while others have a pump and remote reservoir (see images).

changing power steering fluid


changing power steering fluid

Start by removing all the fluid from the reservoir. Use a hand vacuum pump or a turkey baster. Then remove the return line from the steering gear. Cap off the return port at the pump using a plastic plug or rubber cork. Insert a barbed union into the return hose and connect a second long piece of rubber hose to the union and route it to a waste container.

flush power steering

Have at least four quarts of the recommended power steering fluid on hand. Fill the reservoir. Have your friend continuously refill the reservoir while you sit inside the vehicle. Start the vehicle and the pump will push the fresh fluid into the steering gear and expel the old fluid into your waste container. After you’ve gone through a few quarts of new fluid, slowly turn the wheels to the left and right. That will finish off the purge of the old fluid.

Stop the engine. Remove the fluid from the reservoir. Then remove the extra piece of rubber hose from the return line. Remove the return line plug and reinstall the return line to the pump. Fill with power steering fluid to the recommended level.

Changing power steering fluid by yourself

You can change your power steering fluid without a helper by following the above procedure with one modification. Instead of running the engine constantly, start the engine and immediately shut it off. Refill the power steering reservoir and repeat the procedure until the power steering fluid starts to run clean. Yes, this is a pain. But you never want the power steering pump to run dry. That introduces air into the system and it you let it run dry long enough, you can damage the power steering pump.

©, 2016 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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