Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Power Steering Fluid Reservoir

power steering fluid reservoir

Bad or Failing Power Steering Fluid Reservoir Inspection

by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office

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:

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get an $80 diagnostic
by a top-rated mechanic at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

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.

HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CAR TROUBLE?
Get your car fixed at your home or office.

Get a quote · Book an Appointment · Our expert mechanics come to you.

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...


Related questions

Q: Loose steering column - 1993 Saab 9000

There are 2 or more bolts which keep the steering column attached to the body structure under the dash. Possibly, these are loose, or worse, might have fallen out. This should be checked by a professional mechanic, like YourMechanic, before...

Q: Leaking power steering fluid

If your vehicle is hard to turn and you are positive you are leaking power steering fluid, the leak is the cause of this issue. The power steering system is a hydraulic system that relies on a specific amount of...

Q: Every now and then my steering gets hard to steer mostly when it's cold just for a second or so then right back to normal

If you have power steering, a possible cause of this is a momentary loss of pressure in the system due to the pump slowing dramatically under load. That circumstance will be worsened if the fluid is cold. The slowing of...