milky power steering fluid

Milky Power Steering Fluid [Foam Causes & Fix]

In this article, I am going to explain to you why your power steering fluid looks milky and how to fix it. without wasting any more time, let’s get to it. 

What Colour Should the Power Steering Fluid Be?

But before I get into the nitty-gritty details of what is causing your power steering fluid to look milky and foamy,

Let’s take a look at the color of the normal power-steering fluid.

Depending on your car’s make and model, your power-steering fluid can be either amber, pink, red, or clear in color.

Either way, it shouldn’t be milky or foamy. If it’s any color other than red or orange, there’s is an issue somewhere in the power steering system.

What Makes a Power Steering Fluid Look Milky?

Now, that you know the normal color a power steering fluid should be, let’s look at what makes it look milky/Foamy.

In short, a Milky power steering fluid is usually air bubbles/ water that has managed to get into your power steering system, due to leaks and damaged seals.

What Causes Power Steering Fluid to turn Milky?

From my personal experience, There are a few things that can cause your power steering fluid to turn milky.

Here are the main ones:

1. Leaking Pipe in the System:

If you have a leak, air can get into your power steering system through the pipe. This will cause the fluid to become milky, as well as reduce its ability to lubricate properly.

2. Bad Seal:

If there is a bad seal in your power steering system that leaks, it will allow air and water into the system.

Doing so will cause the fluid to turn milky/foamy and make it harder for your car to move around corners smoothly.

3. Cracked Powersteering Reservoir Cap

Another thing, I have seen is a cracked power steering reservoir cap.

Since the reservoir cap is cracked or damaged air and water will enter into the steering system and cause the fluid to turn milky/foamy (especially if you live where it rains a lot).

4. Power steering Pump Going Bad

A power steering pump plays a critical role in a vehicle’s power steering system.

It operates by generating hydraulic pressure, which is then transmitted to the steering gear to make turning the steering wheel easier for the driver, particularly at low speeds.

The amount of hydraulic fluid flow from the pump is proportional to the speed of the car and is regulated by a rotary valve.

From my experience as a mechanic, foamy or milky power steering fluid can be caused by a power steering pump on its way out.

Symptoms You Might Experience If Your Power Steering Fluid Looks Milky

Now, that I have explained the main causes of milky steering fluid, let us look at some of the symptoms you might experience if your fluid looks milky.

Steering Feels Harder to Turn

If your power steering fluid looks milky, it can make it harder to turn the wheel.

This is because the air bubbles in the fluid reduce its capacity to transmit hydraulic pressure. The result is that you need more effort than normal to turn the wheel.

Strange Whining Noise:

Another thing you can experience is a loud winning noise coming from the front of the engine.

This is usually a sign of a low power steering fluid, but since the water/air has caused the fluid to be thicker than it should be, it can also cause a whining noise.

This is because the thicker fluid makes it harder for your power steering pump to move fluid around.

How to Fix a Milky Powersteering Fluid

Lastly, let’s talk about how you can fix a milky power steering fluid.

Here is what I recommend

1. Check All Hoses for Leaks:

The first thing you should do is check all the hoses (connected to the steering) for leaks. If you find a leak, replace it.

2. Drain All the Milky Fluid:

Now that you know which hose is leaking, you need to drain the milky fluid from your power steering system.

You either disconnect the hose connected to the reservoir or use an oil suction pump to remove all the fluid from your power steering system.

3. Add Steering Fluid:

After you replaced the leaking hose/seals then you will need to refill your power steering system with fresh fluid. Make sure you use the recommended type for the model and make.

4. Bleed the Power Steering:

Finally, before turning on your engine, you need to bleed the power steering system. This step ensures that air bubbles are removed from your system so that you don’t get any more leaks or problems.

In order to bleed the air out of the steering system do the following things:

Raise the front of your vehicle and turn the key to unlock the steering wheel.

Tilt the steering wheel back and forth while feeling for any signs of fluid in your power-steering system. Keep turning the steering for all the way to the left and all the way to the right for about 5 min.

When all this is done you are ready to drive your car!

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