The objective of this procedure is to show you how to flush & bleed a power steering system. When circulating the fluid allow the engine to run for 10 to 15 minutes, turning the steering wheel from lock to lock several times to remove any air trapped in the system and circulate fluid through all parts of the system.
Part 1. Preparation and safety
- Flush & bleed a power steering system.
Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:
- Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear
- Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks
- Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs
- Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream
- Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators
If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.
- Be aware of moving drive belts and accessories when the engine is running.
- Power steering fluid can become very hot in operation. Take precautions to avoid burns.
- Power steering systems can reach a working pressure of over 1,000 pounds per square inch or 6,700Kpa during operation. Always follow manufacturers or equipment manufacturers procedure when working on the system.
- Power steering fluid is flammable. Always keep it away from hot exhaust manifolds, pipes, or catalytic converters.
- Clean up any spills immediately.
- Wear appropriate heat proof chemical gloves when the system is hot.
- Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure of what these are, ask your supervisor.
Points to note
- Dispose of discarded fluid properly.
- Use only the specified power steering fluid for the vehicle.
- When the service is complete, check for leaks, check operation by turning the steering wheels to full lock in either direction and back to the center, and check the fluid level.
Part 2: Step-by-step instruction
- Prepare the vehicle
Safely raise the vehicle to make sure the front wheels are off the ground and locate the catch tray under the power steering system.
- Drain the system
Disconnect the low-pressure hose from the steering pump at its lowest point and allow the system to drain. Reconnect the hose.
- Refill the system
Unscrew the power steering reservoir cap, and pour recommended fluid into the reservoir until it is at the correct level. Replace the cap.
- Circulate the fluid
Start the engine and turn the steering wheel from lock to lock. If you hear a ‘buzzing’ sound as you turn the steering wheel there is air trapped in the system. Allow the engine to run for 10 to 15 minutes, turning the steering wheel from lock to lock several times to remove any air trapped in the system and circulate fluid through all parts of the system. Turn off the engine and allow the system to rest for a few minutes.
- Flush the system
Disconnect the low pressure hose and allow the system to drain. Reconnect the hose, and pour recommended fluid into the reservoir until it is at the correct level.
- Bleed the system
Start the engine and turn the steering wheel from lock to lock several times to purge air from the system. Turn off the engine. Top up the power steering reservoir if necessary. Lower the vehicle. Start the engine, and turn the steering wheel from lock to lock to check the system is working correctly with the vehicle load on the tires. Dispose of the waste power steering fluid in an environmentally approved way.