How to Replace Power Steering Fluid for Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Replacing the power steering fluid on your Vehicles is an inexpensive and relatively easy repair that you can handle on your own. As a Vehicles rule of thumb, power steering does not need to be completely changed out as regularly as other fluids in your Vehicles such as oil. Replace the power steering fluid in your Vehicles once a year. You can tell when your power steering fluid needs to be filled or changed if it becomes harder than usual to make sharp turns with your steering wheel.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace Power Steering Fluid for 2000 Buick Century

Pop the hood of your Buick Century and locate the power steering reservoir tank, which is located on the driver's side of your engine, near the oil stick.

Unscrew the lid from the power steering fluid reservoir tank and set it aside.

Place the tip of the turkey baster into the power steering fluid reservoir tank with the bubble end depressed. Once the tip of the baster is inside the liquid, release the bubble end and allow the old steering fluid to be drawn up into the baster.

Empty the old fluid inside the baster into the old container.

Continue to repeat this process until the reservoir tank is completely empty.

Add the container of power steering fluid, but be careful not to overfill it. Monitor the fluid level by using the small plastic end that protrudes from the bottom of your power steering cap.

Replace the power steering cap and close your Century's hood.

Items you will need

  • Turkey baster

  • Old container

  • Container of power steering fluid

 How to Replace the Power Steering Fluid in My Subaru Impreza

Replacing power steering fluid.

Park your Subaru Impreza on a flat, level surface. Turn off the engine. Open the hood.

Locate the power steering fluid reservoir while standing in front of the vehicle on the left side of the engine compartment, halfway between the windshield and the headlight.

Look at the side of the power steering fluid reservoir. There are four lines, each indicating a level of steering fluid. The four lines read "hot min/max" and "cold min/max." Depending on whether you are changing the fluid after running the engine (hot) or before turning on the engine (cold), decide the if the power steering level is lower than the corresponding minimum.

Fill the power steering reservoir with automatic transmission fluid until it falls between the minimum and maximum lines. After running the engine, recheck the level and add fluid as necessary.

Items you will need

  • Subaru automatic transmission fluid

 How to Replace the Power Steering Fluid on a Dodge Grand Caravan

Turn the front wheels on the van so they face forward. Shut the engine off and give it and the fluid enough time to cool.

Locate the reservoir for the power steering fluid. It should be close to the center of the engine compartment. Look for the white, cylindrical-shaped reservoir with a black cap and the words "Fill Range" and "Add" printed on the side.

Open the cap and siphon the power steering fluid out of the reservoir. Use a turkey baster or other siphon tool that will only be used for this type of task.

Deposit the old fluid into a safe container, holding a rag against the tip of the turkey baster to prevent fluid from dripping onto the paint or any other surface. Make sure you know your local ordinances for disposing of such fluids.

Fill the reservoir with power steering conditioner/cleaner, then start the van and let the engine run for a few minutes to pump the cleaner through the system. Siphon all but an inch of the cleaner out, add more cleaner and run the engine again. Repeat until the cleaning fluid runs clear--this should take at least four times--then remove all the cleaner.

Refill the reservoir to the Add level with fresh power steering fluid--use Mopar ATF +4 fluid or equivalent. Use a funnel when pouring the fluid and pour it slowly to avoid spilling. Siphon the fluid back out of the reservoir (to remove any residual cleaner) and add more fluid. Repeat four times then fill the reservoir to the Fill Range level.

Items you will need

  • Turkey baster

  • Rag

  • Power steering conditioner/cleaner

  • Power steering fluid

  • Funnel

 How to Change the Power Steering Fluid in a KIA

Place the big cup under the power steering pump. This will catch the power steering fluid when you start to drain the pump.

Loosen the nut that is connecting the hose to the bottom of the power steering pump with the pliers. Pull the power steering hose away from the power steering pump and let the power steering pump drain into the big cup.

Replace the power steering hose to the power steering pump. Tighten the power steering pump hose nut with the pliers.

Pour new power steering fluid into the power steering pump until the fluid reached the "Full" line. Turn on the KIA and turn the steering wheel a few times.

Items you will need

  • Cup

  • Pliers

 How to Change the Power Steering Fluid for a 2004 Ford Explorer

Open the hood and remove the cap from the power steering reservoir. It’s located on the front, top of the engine, directly behind the power steering pulley.

Insert the hose of the suction gun down into the reservoir and use the gun to draw out as much fluid as the gun will hold. Eject the fluid into the drain pan and repeat until you have sucked out as much fluid as possible. You can purchase a fluid suction gun at most auto-parts stores.

Fill the power-steering reservoir with fresh fluid until it reaches the full mark on the dipstick, which is located on the underside of the reservoir cap. Close the cap.

Start the engine and turn the steering wheel completely to the right and then completely to the left. Repeat this twice more, then center the steering wheel and shut the Explorer off.

Remove the power-steering reservoir cap and repeat steps two through four twice more.

Check to make sure the power-steering fluid is at the full mark and that the fluid is nice and clean. If not, repeat steps two through four again until the fluid remains clean after turning the wheel back and forth.

Items you will need

  • Fluid suction gun

  • Drain pan

  • 4 quarts power steering fluid

 How to Change the Power Steering Fluid on a Honda CRV

Locate the power steering reservoir under the hood of your CRV. It is located on the firewall of the driver's side of the vehicle and is a white ABS plastic reservoir.

Unscrew the cap of the reservoir and then slide the fluid removal tool into the reservoir and squeeze the bulb at the top to fill the tool with used fluid. Dispose of the fluid into a container by squeezing the bulb again. Continue transferring fluid from the reservoir to a container until the reservoir is empty.

Pour new power steering fluid into the reservoir and then screw the cap back on. Drive the CRV as normal for a week and then repeat the process of removing the old power steering fluid from the reservoir the next weekend. Do this for a course of 2 to 3 weekends to fully exchange all of the old fluid from your system with new.

Items you will need

  • Fluid removal tool

  • Manufacturer specified power steering fluid

 How to Change the Power Steering Fluid in a RAV4

Park the car with the wheels facing forward (not turned). Turn off the car and detach the cable on the negative battery terminal. You may need to use the wrench to loosen the bolt.

Insert a large syringe into the power steering fluid reservoir and suck out as much of the fluid as you can.

Unplug the electrical connector, and unscrew the pressure line-to-pump union bolt. Detach the line and let it drain. Reattach the line, making sure the sealing washers are in place.

Detach the return hose; let it drain and reattach it.

Plug the electrical connector back in. Fill the fluid reservoir with power steering fluid. Toyota recommends using Dexron III. Check that the fluid has reached the “cold” mark.

Start your RAV4. Let it idle and check the fluid again, adding more if necessary to reach the cold mark.

Turn the steering wheel to the left and then to the right. You need to turn the wheel most of the way without turning it to the point it to the stop point.

Let the vehicle idle for 4 to 5 minutes and turn it off.

Test your RAV4 by driving it in a safe place free from traffic, making sure the steering system functions the way it should.

Check the fluid level once more to make sure it is on the "Hot" mark after driving.

Items you will need

  • Power steering fluid

  • Large syringe

  • Wrench

 How to Change the Power Steering Fluid in a Honda Civic

Raise the power steering reservoir. It is located on the front left (passenger) side of the engine. A link to a picture of the reservoir is included below in the Resources section.

Disconnect the black return hose from the side of the reservoir. This is also sometimes referred to as a return line.

Connect a new hose to the disconnected return hose, placing the end in a container appropriate for collecting the old fluid. The new hose should be slightly larger than the return hose so it can fit snugly around it. The actual diameter may vary.

Turn on the car and let it idle.

Move the steering wheel from side-to-side, or from lock position to lock position, until no more fluid is coming out of the hose.

Turn off the engine.

Empty the container.

Reconnect the return hose to the reservoir.

Pour new fluid in the reservoir, filling to the upper line.

Repeat Steps 4 and 5 to get excess air out of the system.

Check the reservoir and add more fluid if necessary.

Items you will need

  • Hose

  • Container

  • Honda power steering fluid

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.