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What Happens If You Drive The Car With Low Power Steering Fluid?

Power steering fluid is what allows you to turn the steering wheel with one hand, relying on principles of hydraulics to work. Once the power steering fluid of your vehicle has gone astray, you will find it difficult to turn your car’s steering with the force needed. If you continue this practice for long, it may lead to worse driving conditions. So, if you are undergoing this problem, the reason may be low power steering fluid.

Is It Bad To Drive Without Power Steering Fluid?

The potential cause of low power steering fluid issue is the age and use of your vehicle. As your car becomes old or reaches high mileage, the fluid of the power steering pump gets used up completely. Consequently, your are left with no lubricating fluid for your vehicle. Also, the pump vanes produce heat lacking the lubrication and ultimately fuse down. In addition, the pump gets locked down and possibly damages the drive belt of the power steering. So, the shaft and rack seal also suffers injury due to the lack of steering fluid.

low power steering fluid
Is it bad to drive without power steering fluid. Source: Mobil

If you drive your car without this liquid, you can definitely steer it but a lot of force will be needed. In other words, the car’s wheels can still be turned, thanks to direct mechanical linkage still exits, but the feel of steering will be much heavier. You might have to put a great torque to the power steering wheel and can sense extra resistance in your hands. Moreover, lacking of this fluid also causes irretrievable harm to the steering pump. You can notice a strange voice coming out the pump. As a result, repairing the pump would be pricey.

Symptoms Of Low Power Steering Fluid

Here is five common symptoms of low power steering fluid you should pay your attention:

  • Noisy steering
  • Jerky or jumpy power steering
  • Hard to turn the steering wheel
  • Screeching steering
  • Puddle or stains under the vehicle
low power steering fluid
How to put power steering fluid in a car. Source: Nearsay


How To Put Power Steering Fluid In A Car

There are steps you can add power steering fluid yourself quickly and easily. Before you start, remember to check your owner’s manual to make sure that you use a right and suitable fluid. Additionally, you might jack the car because it just helps you get a little bit more fluid out. But this step is optional. Advisable items you will need to do this are catch can, turkey baster and tissue.

Step 1

Take the cap off of the power steering pump reservoir, then start siphoning the fluid out and get into the catch can. You can use paper towel so that fluid doesn’t drop to your engine.

Step 2

Start the engine, turn the steering from lock to lock, then lots of old fluid will come out. Make sure that the reservoir is completely empty to add new fluid.

Step 3

Get a funnel so you don’t spill it anywhere and keep your paper towel down there. Your owner’s manual will tell you how much fluid you could put in. Pay your attention in oder not to overfill it. Next, put the nice clean cap on.

low power steering fluid
Can low power steering fluid cause check engine light? Source: Gold Eagle Co

Step 4

Start the car real quick. You can see that the fluid level drops, so you will add a little bit more and put the car on the ground. In the following step, start it up and turn it from lock to lock to get all the air out and bleed the air out of the system. Then, go check to fluid again and fill it up if needed. So start the engine again, on your ride, make sure you have plenty of turns gonna take about ten minutes just drive around. Remember check your fluid in first two minutes to make sure your fluid levels are good.

Step 5

Let your car cool down because we’re going to flush the system. Since we didn’t do a flush, it is dirty again. That’s just extra old fluid that we couldn’t get out before. Siphon out this fluid and add some new more. Be careful because now the engine is hot. You can do this as many times as you want. The more you do it, the cleaner that fluid is going to be inside.

Low power steering fluid means increased heat and friction. Hence, it can rapidly cause a costly damage. So, unfortunately, the only solution left with you is to lubricate the power steering on time. For getting more information about buying the most effective steering fluid, you can refer some car maintenance tips by auto experts. In extreme situations, if you still require driving your vehicle with low power steering liquid, it’s advisable to prevent severe turns to the right or left, and restores the fluid regularly. If not, it can seriously result in worse, unpreventable crashes that will ultimately put your life in danger.

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Now, you might be aware of the causes that can take place if you drive the car with no power steering fluid. Don’t take this issue lightly as this simple and cheap fix can lead to an expensive repair. From next time, do not forget to lubricate the power steering of your car on the dot.

  1. William says

    How do you check fluid levels for Toyota premio

  2. William says

    How do you check fluid levels for Toyota premio.

  3. Carlos says

    “As your car becomes old or reaches high mileage, the fluid of the power steering pump gets used up completely” ???????? this is not correct at all,power steering fluid is technically a closed system, fluid doesn’t get used up completely, degrades is the proper word, it degrades to the point you need to change it every few years and put some nice clean fresh fluid in there just like a brake system, if its getting used up completely then you have a leak and it needs fixing promptly, not trying to correct you but when you say “used up completely” it sound like the system is drinking the fluid which doesn’t happen,lol

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