The Peugeot 208 GTi is an excellent performance hatch with top notch steering and responsiveness. It makes excellent sense to protect your investment and schedule some regular servicing to make sure your car is working as intended by Peugeot. During a service, the technician will check your power steering fluid to ensure that it’s at the optimal level. However, it can dip in-between services, and it’s a good idea to keep it (and other fluids) topped up. Let’s take a closer look at why and when you should check and top up your power steering fluid.
How Does a Hydraulic Power Steering System Work?
Certain new cars that are coming onto the market now have an electrical power steering system, but many still use a hydraulic power steering method. The power steering fluid in these systems needs to be clean and free from particulates that can make it less effective. Even though this is a sealed system, over time particles will get in, and they can result in damage to the rack and pinion seals. If the fluid begins to leak out of the power steering fluid reservoir, the steering pump will be working without adequate lubricant. Eventually, the steering pump will fail entirely, and you will not be able to steer the car.
What is Power Steering Fluid?
In order to make steering easier, the power steering system is filled with an oil based fluid, such as synthetic oil, mineral oil or a silicon based fluid. These fluids are available for a wide variety of different cars, and it’s advisable to get one that’s suitable for your needs. The power steering fluid must be kept at the optimal level that you can see on the side of the power steering reservoir. The fluid should be periodically checked to make sure that it hasn’t dipped below the minimum level. Over time the power steering fluid level will go down, if this happens quickly, there could be a leak in the reservoir, but usually, this is a far more gradual process.
A Lack of Power Steering Fluid
As we mentioned earlier, the power steering fluid is needed to steer the car, but when the level drops you will get some warning if you know what to look out for. The steering will gradually start to feel much heavier, cornering will be a real chore, and your arm muscles may get a workout. This is a serious situation, and your car steering will only get worse over time if you ignore the problem. Check the power steering fluid reservoir to confirm that a lack of steering fluid is the problem and if necessary top it up. Power steering fluid may not be as critical as oil or coolant, but it is important, and each time you lift your bonnet it’s worth checking the reservoir to make sure there is enough fluid in the steering system.