The power steering fluid reservoir holds the fluid that powers the steering system in your vehicle. The power steering helps you turn your vehicle more easily and works when the vehicle is running. As soon as you turn the steering wheel, the power steering pump pushes fluid into the steering gear. The gear applies pressure that then turns the tires and allows you to take a corner effortlessly. Power steering is an essential part of your vehicle, so keep an eye out for these signs that your fluid reservoir may be going bad:
1. Leaking power steering fluid
One of the main symptoms your fluid reservoir is going bad is your vehicle is leaking power steering fluid. This fluid may be seen on the ground beneath your vehicle. It is clear in color to an amber color. In addition, it has a distinct smell, kind of like burnt marshmallow. Power steering fluid is flammable, so if you do have a leak, contact a professional mechanic to have your power steering fluid reservoir inspected and replaced. Furthermore, any power steering that is on the floor should be cleaned up right away because it hazardous.
2. Lack of steering
If you notice it is becoming more difficult to steer or your vehicle does not seem as responsive, this is a sign the leak in your reservoir has gotten worse. In addition, the fluid level will also be low or empty in the power steering fluid reservoir. It is important to fill up the reservoir and have the problem repaired as soon as possible. If the vehicle has a lack of power assist, it should not be driven until repairs are made. The vehicle will be difficult to turn without the assist.
3. Noises While Turning
Another sign of a failing power steering fluid reservoir is noises while turning a corner or when using your steering wheel. This can be caused by a drop in pressure due to air getting in the system because the fluid reservoir is low. Air and the low fluid level cause the pump to whine and not function properly. The way to repair this is replace the fluid and find out the reason the fluid runs low. It could be a leak or crack in the reservoir. If repairs are not done properly then the power steering system can become damaged and the pump can fail.
As soon as you notice your vehicle is leaking power steering fluid, lacks steering, or it makes noises while turning, a mechanic can inspect the power steering fluid reservoir as well as the components attached to it. After your vehicle is serviced, they will test drive it to ensure everything is in safe and great working condition. YourMechanic makes getting repairs to your power steering fluid reservoir easy by coming to your home or office to diagnose or fix issues. You can book a service online 24/7. YourMechanic’s qualified technicians are also available for any questions that may arise.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Power Steering Fluid Reservoir and was authored by Spencer Clayton.