How Do You Check a Vehicle's Power-Steering Fluid?

To check the power-steering fluid level, unscrew the cap from the engine reservoir, and check the dipstick. Clean off the cap and reservoir before removing. You need a rag and power-steering fluid if the level is low.

  1. Turn off the engine

    You can leave the engine hot or cold, but make sure it is turned off.

  2. Locate the power-steering reservoir

    Open the hood of your car. Look near the passenger's side, or the driver's side in some cars, for a label or icon that indicates the reservoir for power-steering fluid.

  3. Clean the cap

    To avoid damaging the system, use a rag to wipe away excess dirt on and around the cap.

  4. Clean the dipstick

    Unscrew the cap, and remove it. Use a clean part of the rag to wipe off fluid on the dipstick attached to the cap. Return the cap to the reservoir.

  5. Check the fluid level

    Remove the cap, and check the level. Read the cold markings on the dipstick if the engine is cold or the hot markings if the engine is hot.

  6. Check for leaks

    If the fluid level is low, check the components around the reservoir for leaks. Deal with leaks accordingly.

  7. Fill the reservoir

    Fill the reservoir slowly to the fill line that matches the engine state. Return the cap, and screw it tightly into position.