Power Steering Fluid
The majority of cars on the U.S. market have power steering standard. Just like how your brakes need fluid to work your power steering also needs fluid to perform. The power steering uses power steering fluid and pump to aid the driver in turning the steering wheel. Power steering enables the driver to turn the steering wheel with one finger if so desired. Power steering is not necessary to the operation of a vehicle, but power steering offers a driver more control over their vehicle. If power steering fluid gets too low or completely runs out, steering the vehicle could become next to impossible.
In order to better understand how to take care of such a useful system you must know where the power steering reservoir is located on your engine. The power steering reservoir on the Honda Accord is located on the left-hand side directly next to the wiper fluid reservoir. The power steering fluid reservoir will be labeled and just like the brake fluid reservoir it will be see-through with markers on the side of the reservoir to indicate proper fill level. The location of the power steering fluid reservoir is different on different models of vehicles and you can locate the reservoir by referencing your owner's manual.
Steve Nelson recommends checking the power steering fluid level as often as the oil and brake fluid, every time you gas up. Checking the level is simple, just look at the side of the reservoir and match up the level of the fluid with the markers on the side of the reservoir. To add power steering fluid, Nelson said to make sure the engine is off, as is with all fluid checks.
Types of Power Steering Fluids
As with brake fluid, there are many different brands of power steering fluid and each one is made for a different model of vehicle. It is vital that you consult your owner's manual to make sure you add the right type of fluid. Below are two different types of power steering fluid made by the same company. The one on the right is an example of a type made for a specific type of car, in this case Honda and Acura vehicles.
Changing Power Steering Fluid
Steve Nelson said power steering fluid should be changed and the system should be flushed out every 45,000-50,000 miles. A power steering fluid flush is something I recommend you leave up to a certified mechanic as you are dealing with a sensitive system and harmful chemicals that need to be disposed of properly according to city and state regulations, as is with brake fluid flushes.