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Auto Repair in Mint Hill – Do I Need a Power Steering Flush?

The average vehicle on the road today weighs about 4,000 pounds. That’s two tons! Cars today weigh much more than their classic counterparts for two main reasons – more efficient engines and cabin comfort. To wheel such a beast is no easy task. Early cars were so hard to drive that when power steering first came out, it was almost overpowered – some companies advertised cars that could be steered with only a pinky finger. Today, we know how to balance power steering properly – not too much but not too little. Achieving such a balance requires a very accurate positioning and maintenance of the power steering system. One of the most important parts, the lifeblood, of most modern power steering is called power steering fluid.

Auto Repair in Mint Hill

A bottle of Power Steering Fluid.

What is power steering fluid?

Power steering fluid is essentially what makes power steering possible. When you steer, power steering fluid applies pressure to a system called the rack-and-pinion. For example, if you steer to the left, fluid is used to apply pressure to the left side of a piston, mounted to the rack. Think of it as a crane helping you lift something no human has the strength to lift – you are the brain, the input, the control center – the fluid is the brawn, the workhorse, the crane.

Auto Repair in Mint Hill

Power Steering system. Image courtesy of Buzzle.

Why do cars need their fluid flushed?

Power steering fluid, much like oil, will get dirty over time. Deteriorating rubber, bits and pieces of dirt and grime, and a slew of other things can get into the fluid. When the fluid has debris in it, it is harder to be pushed around to help you steer – causing premature wear.

Auto Repair in Mint Hill

A Power Steering Flush. Image courtesy of 2CarPros.

When should I get my power steering fluid flushed?

This is usually a case-to-case event. Some cars actually give out a certain milage when it should be replaced in the owner’s manual, while some cars do not. The most obvious of signs include having a harder time steering the car or if when you turn the steering wheel you hear noises.

Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill, LLC has the latest equipment and experienced technicians who can flush your power steering fluid with peak efficiency. If you feel its time to flush your power steering fluid, call us at 704-545-4597

Auto Repair Mint Hill; Preventative Maintenance

Auto Repair Mint Hill; Preventative Maintenance.   Time, Mileage or Condition which do you observe to maintain your car?  Some vehicle owners go by the owner’s manual, some the shop’s recommendation where they have their car serviced.  Which one is right for you?  The answer depends on how you drive your vehicle in conjunction with what  the the manufacturer recommends.  However, listed below are some guidelines that apply to the average driver and their car, no matter what make or model.

Oil Change Service:  This is by far the most cost effective service that has the biggest impact on prolonging the life of your car.  It is better to do this sooner than later.  Some vehicle manufacturers indicate you can go 5K-10K or more in between services.  The truth is with today’s technology the oil may last that long but it is likely the filter will not.   The filter is a vital component in making sure the oil that circulates through the engine is gunk and particle free.  In addition to that most drivers today are bad at remembering to perform this vital service in the first place, so that means that 5K interval in reality turns into 6k or 7k before you actually get it done.  To be on the safe side having your oil changed every 3,000 miles or 3 months is not a bad routine, especially if you drive your vehicle hard with lots of stopping and going are in an extremely hot or cold climate, tow a trailer etc.  If you follow this rule of thumb and go over, you most likely will have your vehicle serviced long before the 5,000 mile interval.  This is our shop’s standard recommendation for most vehicles.

Transmission Fluid Change:  This service too depends on what the manufacturer recommends and can vary based on the make and model.  Now days it is a cost effective measure to have your fluid tested first to determine if the service is actually needed.

Coolant Change:  Under most driving conditions coolant can last for a long time.  However it does not hurt to check it at the change of seasons since a variety of things can impact the condition and quality of the coolant.  If there is a deviation from the manufacturer’s specification in the coolant condition it can be easily corrected.

Brake Fluid Change:  Two different tests can be performed to determine the quality of your brake fluid.  One involves using an electrode to test the fluid, the other involves heat.  Either one of these methods is effective to determine the quality of the fluid and whether or not it needs to be changed.

Power Steering Fluid Change:  This is the easiest fluid to test and can be done with a coffee filter.  If debris is left behind in the filter it is time for a change.  The baseline for changing this fluid is usually 50,000 miles  but you can test it more regularly if you feel it is necessary.

Performing routine car maintenance is meant to prolong the life of your vehicle and hopefully avoid major problems that can leave you stuck on the side of the road.  Setting up a schedule with a reputable auto repair facility can take the headache out of remembering when to do what and keep you on track.  If you have concerns about  preventative maintenance, don’t hesitate to stop by and have Ken take a look at it.
If you are looking for top quality auto repair in Mint Hill or South Charlotte area, please stop by Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill or give us a call at 704-545-4597.