Have you ever tried to drive a car that doesn’t have power steering? If so, you’ll know how crucial this system is for modern-day driving.
It goes without saying that power-assisted steering makes your driving experience better, easier and safer for those inside the car and on the road.
This system will inevitably experience wear and tear and potential damage if not maintained correctly.
So, how often should you change your Honda’s power steering fluid? And how will you know when the fluid is dirty? Is it really necessary to have the fluid flushed?
These are important questions to ask, and we have all the answers below!
How to determine when you need to change power steering fluid in a Honda
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. Experts recommend changing your power steering fluid every 80,000 to 100,000 miles or every 2 to 3 years. However, it depends on your car and the way you drive it.
But there’s no need to guess! Below are some valuable methods to help determine how often to change your Honda’s power steering fluid.
Refer to the owner’s manual
You can find all the information you need on taking care of your car in the owner’s manual. This includes how often it needs a power steering fluid change.
There’s a good chance it will also put forward formulation recommendations for optimal performance.
Inspect the fluid
The fluid’s colour and consistency can indicate whether it’s time for a change. To inspect the fluid, you’ll need to do the following:
- Run your car for a few minutes.
- Open the bonnet and pull out the dipstick.
- Check the fluid colour. Golden fluid is a good sign, whereas a darker colour signifies damaged old fluid, especially if it has a burnt smell. Dirty coloured fluid can result in poor performance or even prevent the power steering from working altogether.
- Take a look at the fluid in the reservoir. Small particles in the fluid indicate contaminants and sludge in the system.
If you notice any of these signs, you should flush out the used oil and replace it with new power steering fluid.
Power steering pump
Do you hear loud or strange noises coming from the power-assisted steering area? It probably means that your fluid is contaminated, making it harder for the pump to run smoothly.
Fresh fluid should stop any strange noises and help to avoid any hassle down the line.
Difficulties with steering
Struggling to turn the steering wheel is a significant warning sign of a problem with your power steering fluid.
Common issues that cause this include the fluid being too low, old or contaminated.
If you don’t fix the problem as soon as possible, you risk significant damage to your system, which could ultimately lead to a road accident.
The importance of changing your power steering fluid
If you understand how your car’s steering pumps function, you’ll know exactly why a change of fluid is so important.
These pumps are hydraulic pumps that multiply the force applied by the driver through the steering wheel. Power steering fluid is essentially a type of hydraulic fluid, and for the power steering to run smoothly, the fluid needs to be clean.
It’s normal for fluid to become dirty and contaminated over time, especially if you use your car multiple times a day. Contaminated fluids create significant friction and eventually start to act as an abrasive. If ignored, this can damage the seals in the pump or steering rack, which is not cheap to replace.
Do modern cars utilise power steering fluid?
These days many modern vehicles are made without hydraulic pumps. In its place, steering is controlled with an electric power-assisted steering motor.
These high-tech cars don’t use any power steering fluid at all.
Do Honda cars require special power steering fluid?
It’s essential that you only use genuine Honda fluid in your Honda vehicle. Using non-Honda fluid can cause deterioration and reduce the life of the system.
Using a legitimate product, like our Genuine Honda PSF-S Power Steering Fluid, will ensure optimal vehicle performance and peace of mind.
What else can you do to keep your power steering system in good condition?
Make sure you always use a proven high-quality product, as there are hundreds of options on the market, and not all of them are effective. You can find the best chemical additives and genuine Honda oils and fluids on our website.
What happens if you don’t change your power steering fluid?
If you don’t remove dirty fluid and replace it when necessary, it can lead to issues in other parts of your car. It’s common for pieces of your car’s system to wear down, leaving debris and sludge moving around in parts of your vehicle.
This friction can cause parts like O rings, seals and other internal power steering components to wear down and leak. A leak in your system can lead to severe damage, especially to the steering pump.
As mentioned above, a reservoir with too little fluid will make it difficult to steer your car, and you may hear a strange noise when turning corners.
If you continue to ignore draining and replacing the fluid regularly, your car might break down while on the road, which is the last thing you want to happen when you’re driving.
How long does a power steering flush take?
If you do it yourself, it should take you between 1 to 2 hours, depending on the fluid condition.
You will need to take the following steps:
- Lift the front of your vehicle using a car jack.
- Drain the fluid reservoir.
- Disconnect the power steering fluid return hose by removing the clamps.
- Allow the fluid to drain while turning the steering wheel from left to right until it stops dripping.
- Flush out the system with fresh fluid by filling the reservoir halfway and running your engine. Continue turning the wheel from side to side.
- Turn off the engine when the fluid coming out is the same colour as the fluid you are pouring in; the system is clean.
- Reconnect the fluid return line and fill up the reservoir.
Is Honda power steering fluid synthetic?
Yes, genuine Honda power steering fluid is synthetic. Synthetic fluid flows more smoothly at low temperatures, which enhances the lubrication of the pump and increases the system’s lifespan.
Can dirty power steering fluid cause problems?
Absolutely. Dirty or contaminated fluid can cause severe damage to your vehicle’s system if left untreated. Dirty fluid is corrosive, which means that it can cause parts to wear down, leading to broken seals and fluid leaks.
If left without replacing it for too long, it can cause problems with your car’s steering, making it difficult to manoeuvre the vehicle. Worst case scenario, it can cause total system failure, causing your vehicle to break down and become inoperable.
Find the right power steering fluid for your Honda
While cleaning your vehicle’s power steering fluid may seem like a hassle or an unnecessary expense, it is essential.
Avoiding replacing old fluid will save you some money on mechanic fees or products, but it would cost you much more to replace your car’s steering pump, rack, or other parts later down the line. Not to mention the increased risk of having a car accident or breaking down on the road.
Your vehicle needs proper care and the right products to ensure that it’s always performing optimally.
You can find more helpful Honda oils & fluids information on our website, where you can also buy genuine Honda parts. If you need any help finding the correct part or fluid for your model, get in contact with our team.
Read our other guides to discover more, including our guide on how to know which Honda car engine your vehicle has.