How To Bleed Power Steering Systems

It is not unnatural to suddenly discover that you have air in your car’s steering lines, especially due to some lapses in the process of doing a vehicle part replacement or fixing leaking power steering lines.

Not to worry, it is quite easy to understand how to bleed power steering; this will help you get rid of the air in the steering lines and be free from the difficulty in turning the wheel and the unpleasant noise that comes with it.

The subsequent section of this article provides a step-by-step guide on how to vacuum bleed power steering successfully. Follow the procedure carefully.

How To Bleed Power Steering Step By Step

Bleeding a car’s power steering is not as complex as cracking a rock; it involves a very straightforward step-by-step process that almost anyone can learn with patience. Kindly follow these steps on how to bleed power steering without a vacuum pump.

how to bleed power steering

Park safely: To begin bleeding power steering, you will have to park in a safe place on a plain surface that helps your car balance. Then, take a moment to allow the engine to cool down.

Check the fluid level: Next, open the hood of the car and locate the steering fluid reservoir. It is usually found near the coolant reservoir on the left side of the engine bay (on the passenger side) or on top of the power steering pump.

However, the location may differ from one vehicle to another. So, to be sure, you may have to check your car’s manufacturer’s manual.

Once you locate the reservoir, kindly check the fluid level to know whether you need to add some more fluid to top it off before you bleed the steering.

Add steering fluid: Ensure to top the fluid with the type of fluid strictly recommended by your vehicle manufacturer to avoid any complications.

Jerk up the vehicle: After topping off the fluid, get a strong floor jack and lift the wheels of the vehicle off the ground. Ensure to use a standard jack.

Start the vehicle: Next, go ahead and start the vehicle.

Turn the steering back and forth: Once you start the engine, slowly turn the car’s steering wheel back and forth (from left to right and vice versa).

Do this 8 to 10 times non-stop without hitting the locks or stops to prevent damaging the seal. By doing this, air will be forced into the steering fluid reservoir and out of the system.

Some people ask whether it is okay to bleed power steering with a cap on or off. It is important to note that you must keep the reservoir cap on to avoid bubbling fluid pouring out while bleeding the power steering. However, keep it slightly loose for a constant refill.

Monitor the fluid level: You may not be able to turn the steering wheel and check the fluid level simultaneously, so it would be helpful to have someone else monitor the fluid level so that it doesn’t go down and empty completely.

Add fluid (if necessary): If the fluid seems to go down, you may need to add some more fluid so that the reservoir doesn’t empty.

Go on with steps 6 and 7 some more: Turn the steering and check the fluid level some more until you can no longer see any more bubbles.

Turn off the engine: Once you are satisfied that the air bubbles are out completely, turn off the car’s engine. There you go; you’ve just completed the process. If the air doesn’t go out totally, you may have to consult your mechanic to find out why the power steering pump will not bleed air out of the system completely.

This process above is a generic approach. Some manufacturers recommend a specific method for their vehicle makes and models. The bleeding can be done once you identify the power steering bleeding valve location.

how to bleed power steering without vacuum pump


What happens if you don’t bleed power steering?

Once a power steering requires bleeding, it would be best to do it as soon as possible. Failure to bleed the steering can lead to serious implications that will affect a car severely.

A prolonged delay in bleeding a car’s power steering can make the steering harder. It can also make the steering pump noisy and lead to premature pump failure. These are air-in-power steering symptoms.

If you discover that your car’s steering needs to be bled, do not manage the car driving around in that situation.

Take the vehicle to the nearest auto mechanic and bleed the power steering. It would be cheaper if you could do it yourself. If you drive a Chevrolet, you may need to find out how to bleed the power steering pump in Chevy.

How long does it take to bleed your power steering?

It takes roughly an estimated time frame of about 20 to 50 minutes to bleed your car’s power steering. However, the time frame depends on whether you are replacing the steering pump or the steering gear or rack and pinion.

The process of bleeding a power steering requires care so that you can get the air out completely. The process also involves a consistent check of the fluid level while bleeding the steering. All of these take time.

If you need to bleed your car’s power steering, you may have to fix the job on a day when you don’t have very tight schedules to enable you to focus until the job is completely done.

Is power steering self-bleeding?

Yes, power steering has the ability to self bleed. The steering is equipped with a system that runs the pump; simultaneously, it can perform self-bleeding on the power steering.

The process will take a long time, but it will undoubtedly bleed the steering successfully. All you need to do is sit and turn the steering back and forth for like 8 to 10 times.

While you turn the steering, the system engages in self-bleeding the steering. The process will not take the whole day. However, the time frame depends on the amount of air in the steering.

Can power steering lines get clogged?

Of course, power steering lines can get clogged. The effect of a leak problem or a belt problem is similar to that of a clogged power steering line.

When a power steering hose gets clogged, it will harden the steering wheel and make it difficult to turn. Even when you manage to turn the steering wheel, it will produce a whining sound.

The clogs can either be in the hose or the gears and when this happens, it can lead to pump failure. If you discover that you have clogged gear, endeavor to consult an expert mechanic to fix the issue.

How much does it cost to bleed power steering?

Bleeding a power steering does not cost a fortune; however, the cost depends on the vehicle’s make, model, and year of manufacture.

A car’s power steering fluid costs around $4/qt to about $12 for European vehicles. If the power steering bleeding is done at an independent shop or a place where you can change oil, it will cost an estimated sum between $50 to $125 to flush out the power steering.

It doesn’t cost so much to bleed a power steering; so, if you find out that you need to bleed your car’s power steering, kindly do so as soon as possible to avoid more costly vehicle faults.

It is always more straightforward and cheaper to fix a fault at an infant stage compared to when it is allowed to degenerate into something very complicated.

Final Words

Having air in your car’s power steering shouldn’t bother you because you have just learned how to bleed power steering from the ten steps unveiled above in this article.

Obviously, the process is as easy as ABC; you only need to keep all of the cautions outlined in the process in kind. The step-by-step procedure above can also work for those asking how to bleed power steering in Honda Accord.

If you are a DIY enthusiast, you will most likely find the whole process rather interesting. For those who are skeptical about doing it personally, kindly consult a professional auto mechanic.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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