What Is the Purpose of Power Steering Fluid?

by Jason Medina

Power steering fluid is an integral component of a vehicle's power steering pump operation. Power steering fluid is housed in the power steering pump reservoir, and it performs a variety of functions.

Lubricate Power Steering Pump

One of the main purposes of power steering fluid is to lubricate the power steering pump unit, the housing reservoir that stores a vehicle's power steering fluid. It also serves to pressurize power steering fluid and propel it through the entire power steering system.

Lubricate Power Steering Gear Unit

Along with lubricating a vehicle's power steering pump unit, power steering fluid performs another vital power steering system function: lubricating the power steering gear unit. The power steering gear unit is the part of a power steering system that meshes with the vehicle steering rod mechanism that ultimately moves a vehicle's front tires.

Provide Hydraulic Pressure

Power steering fluid, after being pressurized and pumped by the power steering pump, flows throughout a vehicle's power steering system, providing the hydraulic, or fluid, pressure necessary to operate the mechanical components of a power steering system.

Reduce Power Steering System Friction

Power steering fluid serves to lubricate and oil the mechanical parts of a power steering system. Like any other mechanical system with numerous meshing parts, a power steering system has many linking parts that work together and ultimately cause friction. Power steering fluid helps to minimize this friction, which in turn lessens power steering system wear.

Reduce Power Steering System Temperature

Along with lubricating a power steering system, power steering fluid serves to reduce the operating temperatures of the power steering gear unit and power steering pump, two of the more critical, heat-producing parts of a power steering system.

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