Q:

What happens if I overfill my power steering fluid?

A:

Overfilling the power steering fluid reservoir causes foaming of the hydraulic fluid, leading to premature wear of the system. Power steering fluid is hydraulic fluid that moves cylinders to reduce the force required to turn the wheels and provides lubrication. Foaming fluid provides less lubrication than normal, so the internal parts wear more quickly.

In the past, manufacturers used metal power steering fluid reservoirs that made overfilling common. The switch to translucent plastic reservoirs makes checking and filling the fluid easier. Many of these units are marked on the outside so the driver is able to check the fluid level with a glance instead of using a dipstick.

Take time to clean the reservoir before opening it to add more fluid. Contaminants in any hydraulic system cause problems with operation. Always use the fluid the vehicle manufacturer recommends for the car. Open the lid and slowly pour fluid to the maximum fill line. If the unit is overfilled, remove excess fluid, dropping the level to the maximum mark, to prevent further foaming.

If the power steering unit continues to lose fluid, it probably has a leak. Drivers may notice an oily spot on the driveway under the car when there is a leak. Leaks allow air in the system, which causes noise and affects steering. Unrepaired leaks lead to premature failure of the power steering unit.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How does a diaphragm carburetor work?

    A:

    In most ways, a diaphragm carburetor works exactly like other carburetors but with a unique mechanism for maintaining fuel levels inside the fuel chamber. Unlike a float chamber carburetor, which uses a simple inlet valve to maintain a constant reservoir of fuel, a diaphragm carburetor sequesters gasoline behind a diaphragm mounted to a needle valve. The advantage to this arrangement is that the fuel can be delivered regardless of orientation.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    How does a propane regulator work?

    A:

    Propane systems use pressure regulators to adjust the pressure of the propane from the tank to the appliance to prevent damage and accidents when using the appliance. These regulators are complex valves that automatically adjust the pressure of the propane gas down to a safe level for the appliance to use. Propane regulators are fitted in most standard propane gas systems, due to how important they are for the system.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    Where can I find my license plate number?

    A:

    In some states such as Pennsylvania, a car owner can find his license plate number on the vehicle registration card or on the invitation to renew the vehicle's registration. If neither of these options are available, the owner should contact the local Department of Motor Vehicles.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What are symptoms of a bad water pump?

    A:

    One of the most commonly seen symptoms that a car's water pump may be bad is puddling of water or coolant underneath the vehicle. An overheating engine may mean earlier signs were missed or ignored.

    Full Answer >

Explore