Is it safe to drive a vehicle without power steering fluid?

 

Power steering fluid allows you to turn the steering wheel with ease, providing hydraulic assistance for the steering system. When there is no power steering fluid in your vehicle, it will become very difficult to turn your car’s steering wheel. 

The question is – can you drive a vehicle without power steering fluid? The simple answer is yes; however, it could lead to worse driving conditions and irreversible damage to your car that will need a costly repair at your local Calgary mechanic shop

Is driving without power steering fluid safe
Is driving without power steering fluid safe

What happens when you drive a vehicle without power steering fluid?

The steering of your car will be much heavier, and you’ll need to exert more force when turning the wheel. When driving without power steering fluid is prolonged, damage to the steering pump is inevitable.

As a result, the pump vanes that produce heat is left with no lubrication, fuses down, and increases the risk of damaging the drive belt. With no power steering fluid, the shaft and rack seal will also break down. 

What is a power steering fluid?

Power-steering fluid is a hydraulic fluid that shifts power in modern vehicles with power steering. The replacement of this fluid typically does not come with an oil change and maintenance service. Refer to your owner’s manual for a recommended time frame or kilometres to have your power steering fluid flushed and replaced.

If you suspect that you need to replace your power steering fluid, make a service appointment with a SE Calgary mechanic shop as soon as possible and watch for the following signs. 

What are the symptoms of low power steering fluid?

  • Noisy steering – A whining or squealing noise when turning the steering wheel signifies impending power steering failure. Clucking noises under the hood is also an indication that the steering pump is in bad shape.

 

  • Vibration – If you’re experiencing vibration while the car is idling or appears out of the blue, it can indicate that the drive belt is loose or damaged. This issue calls for service as soon as possible.

 

  • Resistance in steering – When there is an inadequate level of power steering fluid, you’ll need to exert more effort to steer. However, this could also be an issue with tire pressure or wheel alignment. In any case, a SE Calgary mechanic shop has the right tools to diagnose the problem. 

 

  • Leaking fluid under the vehicle – With power steering fluid, you want to look for a red fluid with a strange smell. The old fluid will appear dark grey. 

Key takeaways

Any service checks on your power steering fluid are left to your discretion. If you’re experiencing steering issues, be sure to bring this up at your next oil change service. As always, it’s in your best interest to get your vehicle checked by a professional if you notice even the slightest bit of change. It could prevent a costly replacement down the road.