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Q: Noisy power steering wheel, regular fluid used

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Hi. I put regular power steering fluid in the power steering reservoir even though it said to use transmission fluid. After about 45 days, some problems started happening with the steering wheel. These issues are happening all the time now. While I'm driving and turning the steering wheel, it gets to be very noisy. Is this caused by using regular fluid? What should I do? I appreciate your help.

A: Hello there. It really depends on what type...

Hello there. It really depends on what type of regular power steering fluid was put into the vehicle. BMW calls for the standard use of Dexron III fluid which is commonly seen. Most over-the-counter regular power steering fluid are basically automatic transmission fluid with different additives. Other vehicles require special power steering fluid. If one of the special fluids were put in it, this could cause the issue. If the wrong fluid is used, it can cause various power steering system seals and O-ring(s) to fail, which can cause the noise you are describing. If you want to have this looked at, a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, will be able to diagnose your steering wheel noise and perform a power steering fluid service for you if needed.

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