Most cars built within the past 30-40 years have some form of power steering. It really makes driving the car much easier and it has proven to be one of the great inventions in the automotive industry. In recent years, the power steering system has evolved even more with the development of electric power steering (EPS) as opposed to the traditional hydraulic-powered steering set-up.
Consult your owner's manual to see which type of power steering you have in your vehicle.
Electric Power Steering System Maintenance
The nice thing about electric power steering systems is that they do require less maintenance because there is no power steering fluid that needs to be replaced. That does not mean that they can't have problems that will necessitate maintenance or repairs, especially earlier systems that are less refined than those used in current models. If your power steering isn't working correctly, you will be able to feel it. The steering wheel may tighten up or loosen up more than normal, or the vehicle may start drifting or pulling hard to one side or the other. Those can also be signs of poor wheel alignment or suspension issues, all of which are worth getting checked out by an auto repair expert.
Hydraulic Power Steering System Maintenance
The key element of hydraulic power steering maintenance is the power steering fluid. How often you should change your power steering fluid is a common source of debate in the automotive industry. Some might say it should be done anywhere between every 25,000 miles and every 100,000 miles. In most cases, it comes down to a visual inspection. There are any number of reasons why the power steering fluid in your car might get dirty or gunky over time. When it does reach a certain point, it is a good idea to have the system flushed and the fluid changed.
A power steering fluid inspection is generally part of any standard maintenance visit at your auto shop. When you get an oil change and a "however-many-point inspection" is included, a power steering fluid check is going to be one of those points. If you are an at-home mechanic, you can check your own power steering fluid using the designated dipstick under your hood. It may come in different colors including red, pink and clear, and it should be bright and translucent. If it is dark and thick, then you know it is time to change it out.
Simi Valley Power Steering Experts
For all your power steering system maintenance and repair needs, turn to the Simi Valley auto repair specialists at Bill's Quality Auto Care. Call us today at (805) 387-9418 or schedule your next service appointment online.