How to check the level of power steering fluid

Power steering is often seen as a luxury feature – particularly in older vehicles – and its proper maintenance is just as important as checking brake fluid levels and tyre pressure. Should it fail unexpectedly, your car will become much harder to control, potentially putting you in a hazardous situation. Here's a guide to checking there's enough fluid in the system.

First, you'll need to open the bonnet and locate the power steering fluid reservoir, which should be marked 'steering' or have a steering wheel icon. If the capsule is see-through, wipe any dirt away so you can clearly see whether a top up is needed.

If the reservoir isn't clear, you will need to unscrew the cap and check the level using a dipstick, in the same way you would check oil levels. Before removing the cap, clear away any dirt or dust to ensure it doesn't end up in the capsule, as debris can irritate the system.

Locate and remove the dipstick, wipe it clear and then reinsert it before checking the level. If you do need to top up the fluid, slowly pour in the solution up to the maximum mark. The container is usually small, so be careful not to overflow it and spill fluid on the engine's other components. While under the bonnet, it would also be worthwhile to check around the power steering fluid reservoir for leaks.

Should you require assistance with any vehicle maintenance, and for your next service or MOT, contact your local Lookers dealership today.