These days there are only a handful of cars available that don’t have power steering. This addition was once a luxury but has become standard in basically every vehicle.
So much so, that many drivers don’t even know it exists and just think the steering wheel is meant to move so easily.
They’ll quickly learn that’s not the case when they start having issues with their power steering fluid levels. Keeping the fluid at the correct level is not only critical for making it easy to drive the car, but it’s also important for your safety. Here are the top seven signs you need power steering fluid so you never run out!
1. Steering Wheel Sticks
The whole reason that power steering is added to cars is to make it easier to turn the wheels and change the direction of motion. Before its invention, it was extremely difficult to move the steering wheel and would require great force. It wouldn’t be possible in some of the cars that are on the road today.
An easy way to know if there is a problem with your power steering is if the wheel sticks while you’re trying to turn in.
A functioning power steering system will easily glide from one side to the other with little effort on your part. This is because the fluid is lubricating it enough for motion. If you’re running low, you’ll find sticking points that are harder to move past as you’re driving.
2. Hard to Turn All the Time
On occasion, there may be something caught in the system that makes it difficult to turn the steering wheel’s direction. These usually resolve themselves quickly on their own.
When that difficulty doesn’t go away and spreads to every direction, no matter when you’re trying to turn the wheel, you know there is a problem. The most likely culprit is that the system has run out of fluid and, therefore, can’t function properly. Letting it go too long without power steering fluid can lead to further damage to the parts that you want to avoid.
3. Loud Noises When Turning
Another of the power steering fluid benefits is that it reduces the amount of noise coming from the car while you’re driving. Since the system is doing most of the hard work for you, there is very little sound that comes compared to what it was like before.
But sometimes you’ll hear the problem with your power steering before you’ll feel it. This happens when the lack of fluid creates air pockets in the system. These noises will get louder the more fluid leaks out or the harder you turn the wheel. Luckily, those noises will resolve themselves as soon as more fluid is added.
4. Missed Regular Maintenance Appointments
Every vehicle that’s being driven (and even if it’s not!) should undergo regular maintenance to make sure that it’s running as smoothly as possible. This is a great way to find issues before they become so large that they disrupt the vehicle’s ability to function.
An important step in any vehicle upkeep is checking the power steering fluid levels and adding to it when it’s too low.
Companies like https://www.tekmetric.com/ can help you and your mechanic keep your car on track. You’ll never have to worry about missing a maintenance task again!
5. Leak in the System
There are a lot of fluids that are required to make an engine work and run the way it’s supposed to. Without them, there is too much friction, which causes parts to break down and the whole thing to overheat.
Fluid levels can decrease in the engine for a few reasons; evaporation during use or a leak in the system is the most common.
If you notice excess fluid underneath your car, first check the oil since that’s the most common leak. Next on your checklist should be the power steering receptacle. You’ll want to clean up any spill and fill it up as quickly as you can to avoid damage.
6. Strong Shaking While Driving
Not very many things are as disconcerting as a constant shake from your steering wheel while driving down the road. It gives off the feeling of instability, especially when traveling at higher speeds.
While there are a lot of reasons that the car could be shaking, if it’s more localized to the steering wheel it’s a good chance that the power steering fluid is too low. This jerky sensation is because there isn’t consistent lubrication to the system so it’s trying to work through the difficult spots.
7. Hard to Control Movements
Overall, the power steering system is designed to make driving a much easier task. It’s supposed to help you control the vehicle with simple movements that don’t require strength or agility. When the system isn’t meeting that goal, it’s likely a sign you need power steering fluid.
It’s easy enough to fill the tank when you notice things getting out of control with the steering wheel.
But it’s important to take the vehicle in for further inspection to make sure you don’t continue to have this issue. A professional mechanic will be able to figure out why the fluid was low and if there are any repairs necessary.
Signs Your Car Needs More Power Steering Fluid
Failing to keep up on your car’s maintenance will always lead to very serious negative consequences. You’ll be left without a way to get around where you need to go if you’re not careful.
One of the most forgotten aspects of this routine is checking the power steering fluid. We often take it for granted as we easily maneuver our car wherever we want it to go without a second thought. Losing the ability to have power steering can lead you to get in an accident or not be able to move your car at all, it’s key to keep the fluid topped off to avoid any issues.
If you’re interested in learning more about cars and the best maintenance practices, check out our other articles today!