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What does steering wheel fluid do and do I really ever have to have it changed or added? Every time I go to 'business name removed' to get an oil change the attendant always says my steering wheel fluid is low...this has been since I bought it (used May 2010)and had my first oil change in around August, 2010. Every time I return(I usually use the same location) the guy mentions the steering wheel fluid being low. Is it an excuse to sell me something or does he have a legitimate concern? And how do I know he is telling the truth, can I check it myself? THANK YOU for your advice!!!!!!

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Audra Fordin, Owner at Great Bear Auto Shop Hello J. Mosely, Take a look at the power steering resovior. Look at it when the car is cold. Watch it to see if you can notice and fluid level dropage. Before you go to the shop for the next service, take a look at your power steering fluid level. Of course, it would be clear to see if you have an external power steering leak. Sometimes, the leak is not very easy to see if it is internal. There are testers made to check for these, internal leaks that occur within the power steering system. If your fluid is low on a regular basis, easy enough to ask for it to be tested, and to have the results shown to you. Mechanically yours, Audra

Lori Johnson, Owner and Instructor at Ladies Start Your Engines Dear J Mosely, Look in your owner's manual to see if they recommend changing it. I have a 1988 Toyota and I don't think I've ever changed it. If you open the hood and look for a plastic reservoir bottle that says power steering or has a symbol indicating this, you can see if the fluid is up to the fill line. It should be easy enough to do. Usually if fluid is low you get a noise while turning when you're driving slow. This probably indicates that you have a leak and then you'll need to get this fixed. Power steering is a high pressure system, so don't attempt to do any of the work yourself unless you know how. The reservoir bottle is usually not under pressure and you can check that yourself. Again, if you have any questions refer to your owner's manual. You can also ask the technician to show you what they're talking about. This will prove if they're right or not. Always use the manufacturers recommended power steering fluid. Lori Johnson

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