The power steering bleed valve, also known as the power steering bleeder, can be found near the steering box. It helps let out the air in the steering system. In addition, it may be used to drain bad power steering fluid from the system.
We’ve compiled a helpful guide about the power steering bleed valve, its location, how to bleed the fluid, and other essential questions about it.
Depending on the model of your vehicle, we recommend you consult the vehicle manual to locate the power steering bleed valve.
The power steering bleed valve location varies by car brand or model year. Usually, the bleed valve is with the power steering reservoir. You can see the reservoir close to the coolant reservoir on the passenger side of the engine bay. The valve is right on the power steering reservoir and can be cracked slightly to bleed the system.
How to Bleed Power Steering?
Before you know how to bleed power steering, you need to understand how to check the steering system for air. Doing this lets, you know when your vehicle needs a power steering flush or a power steering bleed.
Observing the steering, you can tell if you need to bleed power steering system. Usually, the steering moves effortlessly when driving, but when it becomes harder to move and noisier. Many factors, including air in the steering system and low power steering fluid, could cause it. If you top up the steering fluid and the problem continues, you might have air in the design and need to bleed power steering lines.
Now that you have figured out that the problem is that your steering is air in the system, you can then start the bleeding process. Below are steps to bleeding air from power steering.
Power steering bleeder tool
1. Drain pan or container
2. Clear hose or tube
Steps to bleed the steering
1. The first thing you should do while bleeding steering, is to check the level of the power steering fluid. If it is low, then top it up.
2. Locate the bleed valve and apply a penetrant to make the valve easier to turn the valve to create an opening.
3. Connect a clear hose or tubing to the bleeding hole. A clear tube will allow you to see the bubbles come out.
4. Link the other end of the tube to a drain pan or container, which will collect the old fluid.
5. Start the engine and crack open the bleeding valves a little
6. Proceed to the turning steering as often as possible, side to side.
7. Close the bleed valve, add more fluid, and continue the process until the fluid runs freely.
8. When carrying out this process, ensure that the fluid does not run out, or you will need to start the process from the beginning.
Once you can carry out this process successfully, you need to recheck the steering, turn it, observe for sounds, and check if it is still hard to steer. If the symptom is still there, then the problem with your steering is more than just with the power steering fluid. It would be best if you got the steering system checked.
How Long Does It Take To Bleed Power Steering?
Bleeding your vehicle’s steering is straight and does not require many steps requiring any special tools. It is something you could do by yourself within 5 minutes. The process will be short if you do not bleed all the fluid out during the process. If you bleed all the liquid out during the process, you will have air in the system and have to start from the beginning.
When there is air in the fluid, it comes with specific symptoms that reduce the driving experience. Some of the symptoms may include the following.
1. The steering will become hard to move from side to side. As the air in the steering increases, the steering movement becomes even more challenging.
2. You will hear noise anytime you turn the steering. It is due to the air in the system obstructing the movement of the power steering fluid. When this happens, the parts will not receive proper lubrication.
3. Driving with so much air in the steering system could damage the steering pump. The air in the system is compressed by the fluid, causing a certain amount of pressure that could force through the seals and cause the valve in the pump to jam open.
4. The air in the fluid could also cause fluid cavitation, which could damage the pump.
When you start noticing that your steering is making a whining sound and it is hard to move, stop driving the vehicle and fix the problem. If you continue to drive without bleeding the steering, it could lead to more severe issues.
If you have a damaged then, you may need to have it replaced because it could cause leaking power steering fluid. To replace the bleed valve, you will first have to locate it. The location of the bleed valve may be different depending on the type and brand of vehicle that you drive. In most vehicles, it sits on the passenger side of the engine bay close to the coolant reservoir.
Once you can find the valve, the rest is straightforward. Below are ways you could change the power steering bleed valve.
1. Depending on what type of valve your vehicle uses, lock the valve properly
2. Place a drain pan beneath the valve to collect the fluid that may come out after removing the valve
3. Proceed to remove the valve if it is a bleed screw. You may use a screwdriver to remove the valve. Do this as quickly as possible
4. Install the new valve and ensure that it is tightened properly
5. Reset the valve
6. Ensure that there is no leak coming from the valve or around the valve
Yes, you can bleed the power steering with the car on, allowing more effortless steering movement during the bleeding process. However, turning on the vehicle while bleeding the power steering is not compulsory. You could switch the key to ignition, which will also get you to turn the steering during the process better.
The steering can be very stiff and impossible to move when the engine is switched off, or it is not switched to ignition. It will make it impossible for you to bleed the steering properly because you cannot move the steering to create enough pressure to push the air out from the drain of the plug.
When your steering becomes stiff and makes noises, there could be air in the system, or the fluid is down. A more severe cause could be damage to the rack and pinion steering system. You can check the power steering fluid if it is down. If it is not the cause, you should proceed to have the system bled. Doing this will get all the air out of the system, and your steering can move more freely without disturbing noise.