If you like doing your own work on your vehicle, you may have replaced the power steering fluid.
When working on your car, it is always essential to ensure you maintain the proper levels of any type of fluid.
When you spill or overfill something while working on a car, you can potentially have a mess on your hands.
Here is some helpful information about what to do if you overfill your power steering fluid.
What Happens If You Overfill Power Steering Fluid?
When you first put too much power steering fluid in, you will very likely not notice much of a problem.
The excess power steering fluid will sit in the reservoir, and it may or may not be a problem for the car owner.
As a car heats up, the power steering fluid will heat up, and it will expand.
As the steering fluid expands, you will notice that the fluid may be leaking all over the entire engine compartment.
When this happens, you will, of course, be dealing with a rather large mess.
Steering fluid all over your engine compartment can cause some bad problems.
If the steering fluid gets on your belts, it could cause them to slip.
When a belt slips, it can very often be destroyed well before it should have been.
When you notice you have overfilled the power steering fluid, there are some things you can do to make sure you don’t suffer any further damage.
What Should You Do if You’ve Overfilled Your Power Steering Fluid?
You will notice there is a reservoir around the area where you place the power steering fluid.
The reservoir is in place to make sure it catches any of the excess power steering fluid.
This reservoir can be very helpful because it gives you an area to remove the excess fluid before it spills throughout the engine compartment.
If you have a tiny amount of power steering fluid in the reservoir, chances are you won’t have to worry very much about it.
You can most likely leave this without it ever causing a problem.
However, if there is quite a bit of power steering fluid that has leaked, you need to get it out before it heats up and expands.
The best way to do this is to use a syringe or a turkey baster to get the extra fluid out.
This is a tedious process and will take some time, but it will be well worth it when you consider the alternative.
Always add power steering fluid slowly and carefully so that the cleanup part of the project does not take you all that long.
Can Overfilling Power Steering Fluid Start A Fire?
In rare instances, overfilling power steering fluid can cause a fire in your engine.
Most modern power steering systems will have a way for excess pressure to leave.
Usually, a vent will allow the extra pressure to come out and put less strain on the car.
If your car does not have this system, pressure can build up, and it will have to be released in some areas.
When the power steering fluid releases and distributes itself over the engine’s parts, it can cause a fire.
This usually requires a fairly large spill.
This is not a common problem seen with cars, but it can happen.
What Is Power Steering Fluid Used For?
With all this talk about power steering fluid and why it is so important to install it properly, it only makes sense to understand what power steering fluid is and what it is used for.
Power steering fluid is the hydraulic fluid which helps transmit power in your vehicle’s steering system.
Your car needs pressure to push on the rack-mounted piston inside the steering column.
This pressure will help you turn the car wheel without too much effort.
Today, most cars are built with power steering because it helps make steering smoother and easier for the average driver.
It’s easiest to think of the power steering fluid as your car’s system to make steering much more manageable.
Do I Need to Change My Car’s Power Steering Fluid?
As a car owner, you need to think about lots of things when it comes to maintenance.
Ensuring your oil is changed and your tire pressure is sufficient are two of the significant issues.
The power steering fluid is not a significant concern, but it should be thought of at least periodically.
The power steering fluid usually does not have a recommendation that it needs to be changed at any set interval.
The timing may be every few years or every few months, depending on other issues and factors in your car.
Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for your car to see if you should be changing your power steering fluid more often.
One of the best ways to ensure your power steering system is functioning correctly is to refresh the fluid without completely changing it.
This process is not very difficult to do, and it could keep your car functioning at a higher level.
One of the best ways to complete this process is to find a turkey baster that will fit inside the reservoir of your car’s power steering system.
When you find the baster, use it to drain as much of the old fluid as you can.
When you drain the old fluid, you won’t get all of it, but you will get a substantial amount.
Then you can pour new fluid in to refresh the power steering fluid.
When it is filled with new fluid, you should notice the steering system is functioning a bit better in your car.
As long as you are completing this process fairly often, chances are you will be mostly replacing all of the old fluid left in the reservoir.
How Often Should I Check My Power Steering System?
Each month, you should check on your power steering fluid reservoir to ensure it is not leaking.
You should also check to see there is enough fluid in the reservoir.
If the fluid looks low, you can top it off.
If you see that fluid is leaking, you probably need to look for any seals that may be deteriorating and causing that leak.
Of course, if you have just recently filled your power steering fluid, you may notice there is excess fluid just from that.
If it has been a while and you see the steering fluid inside the engine compartment, then chances are you have a leak somewhere in the power steering system.
As we have mentioned, these types of leaks can cause severe damage and should be handled very early on.
One of the first signs you will notice is that your car is extremely difficult to steer.
A car with a faulty power steering system will be more difficult to steer than one with no power steering at all.
When you notice this difficulty, be sure to take a look inside the engine and see what is going on.
Another key indicator is that sometimes your car will make a whining noise when you are turning.
If you notice either of these problems, make sure you have your car looked at right away.