Table of Contents
- 1 What Color is Power Steering Fluid Supposed to be?
- 2 What Color is Power Steering Fluid When It Leaks?
- 2.1 Light Brown to Black
- 2.2 Light Yellow to Dark Brown
- 2.3 Red (Or Reddish)
- 2.4 Orange
- 2.5 Yellow, Green or Pink
- 2.6 Clear
- 2.7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 3 Final Words
Power Steering Fluid is a necessity for the power steering system of any car. It is a kind of hydraulic fluid that plays the role of a pass-through for the power to be transferred from the steering wheel to the steering mechanism of the car.
This fluid helps to keep the mechanism of steering smooth by protecting the moving parts of the steering system.
Moreover, if you don’t use this fluid for your car, you are likely to face serious problems with your steering pump or the entire mechanism.
But you must be wondering, what color is power steering fluid?
Don’t worry, this piece of writing will help you know about the colors of power steering fluids and also clarify on leakage detection of such and other types of fluids.
What Color is Power Steering Fluid Supposed to be?
You may wonder, is the color of your power fluid alright? Should you be worried because it’s of a different hue from what you’ve seen in other cars? Or, because the color has changed since the time you bought it first?
This confusion strikes a lot of people when they are new to handling a car. The definitive answer to such confusion is that the color of power fluid varies from one manufacturer to another. But mostly, it is pink, red or clear.
Sometimes, as the vehicle is driven, the color may change into black or dark brown. This may indicate that the fluid has become dirty or contaminated. If the fluid is being used for very long, it’s advisable to replace it with fresh fluid.
What Color is Power Steering Fluid When It Leaks?
Have you ever stomped before the car to find out fluid leaking from your car, and then wondered where it is leaking from? The fluid can be leaking from power steering or anywhere else! How can you tell it apart?
Well, as mentioned before, most of the manufacturers traditionally dye their power steering fluid to be red or pink, so that it is distinguishable from other fluids when it leaks.
Some of the famous brands also produce it clear, without any color. Clear fluids may turn slightly yellow with use. So, if the fluid you see leaking is reddish, pink, clear, dark brown, or black, there is a high chance that it is from power steering.
Let’s take a look at how different colors of leaked fluid can indicate different conditions. It will help you to identify your issue quickly and act on it.
Light Brown to Black
If you ever see fluid of light brown to black color leaking from your car, it may not always be from the power steering.
There are other locations with the fluid of a similar hue. Generally, you can find motor oil to be between light brown to deep black, depending on the period it’s been used for. This kind of fluid leaks can be normally seen around the center of the car.
Another possibility is that the fluid can be lube oil, especially if it’s light brown and smells like a rotten egg. This sort of leaks can be found at the center or rear axle.
Light Yellow to Dark Brown
Most of the brake fluids are manufactured yellow. Therefore, noticing a leak of fluid that looks between light yellow to dark brown may hint that your brake fluid is leaking!
Now, it may confuse you on whether or not leakage of brown fluid is of brake or motor oil. You can easily judge that by examining with your fingers. If the fluid feels slippery when you touch and rub it, it is brake fluid because motor oil is thicker than brake fluid.
And remember that leakage of your brake fluid is a serious issue and should be addressed immediately. Don’t wait over acting upon it because driving with brake fluid leaking is not safe.
Red (Or Reddish)
If the fluid is red, the possible occurrence is that your power steering fluid is leaking. As said earlier, power steering fluids are made red or pink to be distinguishable from other ones. But how to know for sure?
Firstly, inspect where the fluid is leaking off from. Most of the time, if it is power steering fluid, you will find it under the front part of your car.
You can also find fluid smeared over the power steering pump or down below the reservoir. Touch the fluid and rub it within your fingers; if it’s thin and slippery, then be sure it’s power steering fluid.
What if the leaked fluid looks orange? Where is it coming from? The reason behind orange-colored fluid dripping can be leakage of transmission fluid. Mostly, the transmission fluid looks somewhere between light orange to thick orange or reddish-brown.
And transmission fluid leaks from the center of your car. There is another possibility, as well. Sometimes antifreeze leak mixing up with rust may also look orange.
However, rust mixed antifreeze should be thin in texture, and it may leak from any location around your car. If you feel so confused about it, it’s better to head to a car repair shop and let the professional handle it.
Yellow, Green or Pink
Fluids of bright colors like yellow, green, and pink are for the water-cooling system most of the time. While the pink color refers to power steering fluid, it may also be of a coolant. You can tell them apart by watching for leaks at the water-pump bearings and from the pump gasket.
However, bear in mind that it depends on your car’s age, whether or not to worry about your coolant leaking. If your car is old, it normally leaks drops of water from the coolant system when it gets hot. But if your car is new, coolant leaking should be investigated.
If you see clear fluid dropping off from your car, then there are two possibilities. It can be either power steering fluid or just normal water. Sometimes your air conditioner can pop out some water because of excess condensation. In that case, there’s nothing to worry about.
But it could be your power steering fluid as well. How to tell the two apart? It’s very simple. Just touch it. You know how the water feels, right? On the other hand, if it is power steering fluid, it will be a little sticky. Also, you can smell it to know which one it is, because water has no smell, but power steering fluid does.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have some of the most commonly asked queries regarding the color of power steering fluid:
#1. What color is Brake Fluid?
Answer: Read this brake fluid color guide to know the detail.
#2. What color is Honda Power Steering Fluid?
Answer: Now, while most of the power steering fluids are dyed red, pink, or clear, there are always some exceptions. Some manufacturers dye it in different colors for a variety of reasons, such as the Honda. Honda dyes its power steering fluid (paid-link) to be golden, like oil.
#3. What kind of color is Maxlife Valvoline Power Steering Fluid?
Answer: Maxlife Valvoline power steering fluids are mostly of amber color. They come with a stop-leak feature, which helps prevent leakage from the power steering fluid reservoir or anywhere else. By the way, this power steering fluid is not usable for Honda vehicles.
#4. What color is Dexron II Power Steering Fluid?
Answer: Some manufacturers produce fluids that are usable both as power steering fluids or Auto Transmission Fluids, such as the Dexron series. Dexron II ATF is of red color. There are other grades of Dexron fluids as well that you can use according to your needs.
Like all the types of fluids your car has, power steering fluid is important for your car. To keep your car running smooth, you should check your power steering fluid regularly and replace it from time to time. It is recommended that the power steering fluid be changed every four to five years, or after driving it for around 50,000 miles.
Again, if you notice your fluid to be dirty, turning brown or black, don’t wait too long. Drain the old fluid out and replace it with fresh fluid as early as you can. Try to use fluids of good brands with stop leak feature, because those are likely to save your cost by preventing the leakage.