Turkey Baster for Car RepairTo perform tasks like power steering fluid changes or brake fluid flushes, did you think you needed a specialized vacuum pump or evacuation device? Not at all! There is a $4 item that is available at almost any store that is invaluable for these tasks. The lowly turkey baster is ideal for either of these jobs and is asset to any toolbox.

Why Change Power Steering Fluid?

Few car owners ever think of changing their power steering fluid. But like any other oil, it deteriorates with time and its depletion can cause excessive wear and deposit formation. Changing to a good synthetic power steering fluid is an upgrade for any car or truck and can offer the following benefits:

  • Reduced friction for optimized efficiency
  • Lower wear, longer steering pump life
  • Fast oil flow in cold weather
  • Improved resistance to extreme heat
  • Makes pump seals more pliable for leak prevention

Items Needed To Change Power Steering Fluid

  • Turkey baster
  • 2 bottles of power steering fluid (450 to 473ml each, or so)
  • Used oil container such as an old margarine container
  • Paper towels or rags

Before Starting

Clean top of power steering fluid reservoir. Important: there is likely an accessory belt adjacent to the fluid reservoir. At each step of this process, prevent oil drips from defiling this belt by covering it with rags or paper towel. A small amount of oil can leak from the baster during the evacuation process.

How to Change Power Steering Fluid

  1. With the engine turned off, use the turkey baster to draw out old fluid until the reservoir is as empty as possible.
  2. Refill the reservoir with new fluid, replace reservoir cap and remove any rags or paper towels from engine area.
  3. Start engine and turn steering wheel back and forth to full stop several times. As an alternative, take the car for a good drive to make sure that the power steering fluid has circulated completely.
  4.  Stop engine and use baster to remove fluid again. Remember to cover accessory belt to protect from oil contamination.
  5. Repeat these steps until the reservoir has been emptied and refilled at least 3 to 4 times.

The reason that new oil is added, circulated in the power steering system and then removed is that this is the only practical way to remove most all of the old fluid. By the time the reservoir has been re-filled 4 times, there is mostly brand new fluid in the system. One can certainly perform this task a few more times for good measure, but be sure to have enough power steering fluid on hand.

In our next post, we will discuss the process for flushing brake fluid.