Power Steering Fluid Color – How to Replace Steering Fluid


Power Steering Fluid Color? What is it all about? In this write-up, you will find out everything you need to know about fluid colours, including the meaning of different types of fluid colours. So stay back and explore this write-up to the end.

Power Steering Fluid Color

However, If you drive a manual car, you probably use a power steering fluid. It is mostly used in modern cars with power steering. Though you might see new cars coming out with an electrical power steering system, a lot of cars from the past decade have a hydraulic power steering system.

When you use a hydraulic steering system, it requires power steering fluid to work properly. The question here is, what is power steering fluid? What are the power steering fluid colours and what do they mean? To find out, continue reading.

Power Steering Fluid Color

Power Steering Fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid that plays the role of a pass-through for the power to transmit from the steering wheel to the steering mechanism of the car.

The fluid helps to keep the mechanism of steering smooth by protecting the moving parts of the steering system. So, if you don’t use this fluid for your car, you might face serious problems with your steering pump or the entire mechanism.

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Types Of Power Steering Fluid

There are various types of power steering fluids on the market. Most manufacturers recommend what type of power steering fluid you should be using on your car. Below is a list of commonly used power steering fluids;

Mineral Power Steering Fluid

Mineral fluids are embedded with a fraction of petroleum and a few other additives, and it is especially great for rubber components. It reduces the wear on them and increases the life span of the steering system. It is cheaper compared to others.

The major downside is that the fluid runs out fast and you would have to regularly replace it.

Semi-Synthetic Power Steering Fluid

This type is a mixture of synthetic fluid and more natural mineral fluid. Thus, it forms a colour that is a mix of both synthetic and mineral fluid. However, it is a better lubricant than most other fluids on the market. So, while it is good for metal components, it creates more wear to rubber components.

Synthetic Power Steering Fluid

This is the most widely used power steering fluid today. It is artificially engineered to provide the best possible effects to the power steering system. Most car manufacturers recommend the use of this particular type of fluid.

However, this particular Fluid is made of petroleum and a bunch of special polymers. Thus, other additives are used to reduce the deterioration of the rubber. It is durable and offers great results in terms of lubrication. Also, the low viscosity of the fluid makes it effective in low temperatures.

Universal Fluid

The universal fluid is compatible with a lot of different steering systems. It is also a type of synthetic fluid as it is artificially engineered.

However, the special additives in this fluid help reduce stiffness while increasing the lubrication properties. Some are made to provide superior defence against corrosion and wear. However, it can also seal small leaks. The downside is that it has a varying viscosity.

Power Steering Fluid Colors And Their Meaning

There are different kinds of fluids in a car (engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, coolant, and steering fluid). And it’s very important to know the colour of fluids in your car.  Should in case a liquid is dripping down your car, by knowing the colour you will be able to identify the fluid. With this, you should be able to figure out what is wrong with your car.

Red Or Pink

Read or Pink is the standard colour for power steering fluid. Most of the steering fluids are dyed red. While there are some which look more like pink. However, if you see a red colour liquid leaking from the car, there are chances that it is the power steering fluid. To be more sure, locate the spot that is leaking.

So, If it is in the front of the car and a bit towards the driver seat it is probably the power steering fluid. If the red or pink fluid in your driveway is leaking, you need to get it sorted out immediately.


Naturally, the fluid is clear. Some manufacturers decide to keep it exactly the way it is as they believe dying the liquid could change its chemical composition. So there is a good chance that your steering fluid can be clear.

Dark Brown Or Black

Steering fluid is not made in dark brown or black colour. This particular colour is assigned to the engine oil. Engine oil begins as a brown liquid, and as it collects dust and debris in your engine, it changes colour to black.

The same happens with steering fluid. After pouring red colour fluid into the reservoir, with time it will acquire a lot of dirt and debris and eventually change its colour to brown or black. If you see your steering fluid is brown or black colour, you should change it immediately.

Yellow Power Steering Fluid

If your power steering fluid turns yellow, The most probable cause is that the coolant might be mixed up with the power steering fluid. This won’t affect the power steering a lot. Unless the ratio of coolant to power steering fluid shifts drastically in the direction of the coolant, it will not affect the power steering system in a harmful way.

However, if the coolant is leaking, you might run out of coolant. So endeavour to get it fixed.

Milky Power Steering Fluid

If your fluid is milky or foamy, it simply means that air is trapped in the fluid. Apart from being slippery, you might find your steering fluid to be slimy. If this is the case, you need to take immediate action, by draining the fluid as soon as possible and replacing it.

The moment it turns milky or foamy, it is no longer favourable inside your steering system. It might lead to knocking sounds from your steering and steering will take more effort than usual.

How to Replace Steering Fluid

To replace a power Steering Fluid, do the following;

Locate the Most Compactible Steering Fluid For your Car

Different manufacturers recommend different types of steering fluids. The right fluid is usually mentioned in the owner’s manual. If you cannot find the owner’s manual, you should be able to check it out over the internet.

Drain The Old Fluid

After you get the correct product, kindly locate the steering fluid reservoir in the car. Open the hood. You should be able to distinguish the reservoir easily.

Then use a jack to lift the front end of your car so that you can crawl under. Next, take a container to empty the old fluid onto. Go under the car, and drain the old liquid out. To completely get all the liquid out, turn the steering wheel to either side.

Add The New Fluid

Get a funnel, the new fluid and then refill the reservoir with the new fluid. Make sure to pour it until it reaches the proper level.

Check If the Car is Working Smoothly

Take away the jack and get back to ground level. Start the engine and let it run for a few seconds. Then, try to turn the steering wheel left and right to check if it works smoothly. You can also go for a short drive to be sure It’s working fine.

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