Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Leaking power steering oil

asked by on

Hi there, I got an oil change recently where when my car usually takes synthetic oil the mechanic accidently used non-synthetic. Now this may not be related at all but 2 days later my car starts to make a funny noise. I take it to the mechanic and he says my power steering is leaking as the fluid was low. We topped it up and I proceeded to check on it. A few hours later, the noise returns and i check the oil and its below minimum. However the I see no leaks under the car. I continue driving to the nearest gas station to buy power steering oil which was 8mins away and when i get there the fluid is totally empty! However dispite the empty oil the steering is fine and still working great but the noise is back. Questions: Where is the oil going? What could of caused this so abruptly? Is there a correlation btw wrong engine oil being used for oil change? Do you think its the power steering pump or hoses? or something else? How dangerous is it to be driving with no oil? Paulina

My car has 93 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

You do have a leaking power steering system and if you cannot locate the leak then it may be collecting in the inner tie rod boot and leaking from the rack and pinion side seal. If you’re unable to pinpoint it, have a certified mechanic, like one from YourMechanic, check the system for the power steering leak. You should not drive it while the power steering is leaking or you will damage the pump if it is ran dry of fluid.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My coolant reservoir is empty and coolant is splattered over my engine

Driving a car with "zero" coolant will destroy the engine within minutes. Even after a coolant leak, though, you have some coolant in the engine and water can sometimes be added to enable one to drive a "short" distance as...

Q: Where is my coolant going? My car keeps overheating and blowing cold air. The temperature rises when stopped and drops when accelerating.

Look everywhere around the engine and see if there is a split hose or loose hose clamp. If the hoses and clamps are in good shape and tight, then check the core plugs (freeze plugs) and see if there is...

Q: My car sputters and the Check Engine Light starts flashing after it rains.

When the Check Engine Light flashes, this can mean that the catalytic converter may be flooded with fuel and that a fire hazard exists. Because your car is sputtering, I believe this condition exists for you. When a car sputters...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...