Is my Car Leaking Power Steering Fluid?



power steering repair

Something is leaking. You aren’t sure what.  You conscientiously check all your fluid reservoirs and find that the power steering fluid is low.  What does this mean?  Is your car leaking power steering fluid?  Let’s take a look at the evidence and see what can be done. For superior power steering repair, make an appointment with Earnhardt Lexus service department. We handle all makes and models.  Our online scheduler gets you started.

What is power steering repair?

Before performing any power steering repair, your Earnhardt Lexus mechanic will perform an inspection to determine the extent of the problem. In best case scenarios, the fluid is refilled, and a power steering hose is replaced.  If the damage has gone on for a while, it becomes a matter of replacing such parts as the power steering pump, rack, cooler, or gear.  

How much does power steering repair cost?

The price range is wide.  Inexpensive items include a simple fluid flush or line replacement. It gets more expensive if the problem has gone on for a long time. This can lead to a full replacement of the power steering pump, even if the pump itself is viable.

If you are worried about power steering repair cost, please keep in mind that Earnhardt Lexus service department is very competitive.  Learn more about repair costs when you Dare to Compare.

What color is power steering fluid?

If you are looking for a leak, you want to know how to distinguish between power steering fluid and other car fluids.  New, it is light amber or clear.  Old, it becomes dark brown. This makes it hard to know the difference between power steering fluid and engine oil. So, you may find  yourself looking at where that fluid is leaking. 

Does power steering fluid have a smell

Fortunately for those trying to diagnose a leak, the smell of power steering fluid is different than the smell of oil.  You might take a whiff of your oil (pull up the dipstick).  Then check the leaking fluid.  Do they smell the same or does the leaky mess smell more like something burnt and perhaps sweet.  

What does bad power steering sound like?

While driving, you may hear a whiny noise.  This can indicate that the power steering pump is having trouble.  That can cause low or empty levels of fluid. 
This whine generally happens when you are turning. You hear a low whine as you take a curve or turn a corner.  This indicates a low level of fluid, and it needs to be addressed quickly.  

What happens when you drive without power steering fluid?

Without fluid, the system takes on metal particles. As these multiply, and there’s no lubrication to keep things moving, this endangers the steering rack. It also affects the related valves and gearbox. 

Where does power steering fluid leak?

The power steering line may be the culprit. If caught in time, there will be no need to replace the entire pump.  Instead your Phoenix AZ Lexus mechanic can just change the line. 

Pump seal leaks can really cause problems if they go undetected. The fluid tends to get trapped on both ends of the steering rack. This is because there are rubber boots on both ends that usually serve to catch road debris.  The fluid will make the boots swell up.  Eventually it leaks out.

When this happens, the repair may require a complete replacement for the steering rack. This is a great example of why regular maintenance with the same Lexus mechanics can keep your car running well without big repair costs.

Contact Earnhardt Lexus for consultation on your power steering, fluid levels or leaks.  We handle maintenance, repairs, and fluids for all makes and models.


800 E Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85014

Service & Parts: (833) 822-5593 | Hours