Who wouldn’t want butter-smooth maneuvers in their beloved Toyota at any speed? The power steering technology makes it happen. But do you know what the main element of this technology is? The power steering fluid is used to create the optimum hydraulic pressure.
To keep your Toyota steady and experience soft turns at any angle, you must keep track of different parameters of the power steering fluid. In this article, you’ll get to know all about the Toyota power steering fluids and how to maintain your vehicle’s steering quality.
Types of Power Steering Fluid For Toyota Vehicles
Toyota is one of the biggest and most renowned automobile industries in the entire world. It is common to see Toyota vehicles on roads in most countries.
The power steering technology of Toyota and its integrated components are quite different from others. Hence, you cannot use any power steering fluid in your Toyota. Let’s look at all power steering fluids officially compatible with Toyota vehicles.
|Types of Fluids For Toyota||Origin||Official Recommendation|
|Universal (Mostly ATF)||Aftermarket||Dexron II, Dexron III|
|OEM Specific||Toyota original||Toyota Genuine ATF & PSF|
Signs That Your Toyota Needs Power Steering Fluid
Power steering fluid creates the optimum hydraulic pressure required to steer the wheels with ease and no disruption. Factors such as aging, rough driving, physical damages, etc., may cause power steering fluid loss in the system reservoir.
Driving with a lower power steering fluid level may cause several issues while maneuvering your vehicle. Look at these signs to ensure that your Toyota needs a PSF refilling.
- Hard steering
- Difficulties in low-speed maneuvers
- Unbalanced handling at high speed
- Low level of power steering fluid in reservoir
- Leaking power steering fluid on the ground
- Illuminated warning light on the instrumental panel
How to Check the Power Steering Fluid Level in a Toyota?
If you find any of the above-mentioned signs in your Toyota, the power steering fluid level does not match the manufacturer’s specifications. To ensure, you must visually check the level so that further steps can be taken to solve the issue.
First, find a flat and smooth surface. Park the vehicle and turn off the engine. It is crucial to ensure that the car is parked on a level surface to get a precise and accurate reading of the power steering fluid level. Let the engine cool for a while.
Track Down PSF Reservoir
Next, you need to locate the reservoir that holds the power steering fluid. In most Toyota vehicles, it is located on the passenger side of the engine bay. You will see a yellow or transparent and faded container near the firewall. Usually, the reservoir is marked with a cap with the writing “power steering fluid.”
Inspect Power Steering Fluid Level
Now, rotate the reservoir cap counterclockwise to remove it. If the cap is sealed tight, you may need to use a pair of pliers or a wrench to loosen it.
After that, wipe the dipstick clean with a clean cloth or paper towel. It is important to ensure that the dipstick is clean before checking the reading. Otherwise, you may get a false reading.
Insert the dipstick back into the reservoir and make sure it is fully seated. Push the dipstick all the way down until it clicks into place.
Taking The Reading
Finally, remove the dipstick and check the fluid level on it. The level should be between the “low” and “full” marked area on the dipstick. If your Toyota has become hard to maneuver, the power steering fluid must be low inside the chamber.
Read Also: Toyota Camry Power Steering Fluid
Recommended Power Steering Fluid For Toyota
Using the correct variant of power steering fluid is very important for a nominal smooth steering experience. Although Toyota has its OEM variant of power steering fluid formulated to replace Dexron III with additives and chemicals making it also suitable to work as transmission fluid.
However, some aftermarket variants of fluids can also be used in Toyota incase users fails to retrieve Toyota genuine PSF from the dealers and service centers. For Toyota, some globally accepted aftermarket and manufacturer-recommended power steering fluids are as follows.
|Product Name||Type||Fluid Color||Price Range|
|Dexron II||ATF||Red||$14.5-$15 (1L)|
|Dexron III||ATF||Red||$23-$25 (1L)|
|Valvoline Maxlife||ATF||Amber||$6-$7 (1 Quart)|
|Prestone||PSF||Clear Amber||$4-$5 (12 oz)|
How To Change Toyota Power Steering Fluid?
Flushing and refilling power steering fluid in a Toyota is a relatively simple task that you can do using basic tools. The following steps would walk you through the entire process.
Step 01: Initial Preparation
First, gather your tools and park the vehicle in a flat and smooth area such as the driveway. You will need a socket wrench, a drain pan, a funnel, etc.
Step 02: Drain Existing Fluid
Pop up the hood of your Toyota and locate the power steering fluid reservoir. You’ll find it located near the engine on the passenger’s side with a cap that says “Power Steering Fluid” on it.
Remove the cap from the reservoir. Now pull off as much fluid as possible from the top of the reservoir. To do this you can use a suction pump or other DIY techniques. After that use the socket wrench to loosen the clamp holding the hose to the power steering pump.
Step 03: Refilling With New Fluid
Steer the wheels to left and right until it hits the locked position. This will force the remaining fluids to drain out from the hoses. At the same time, pour new fluid into the reservoir. To complete this step easily you can jack up your car so that the front wheels can be easily turned.
After completely draining the old fluid, reclamp the hoses and fill up the reservoir to the mark. Lastly, steer the wheels again to remove all the air bubbles followed by refilling the gap created by overflown fluid.
Now, turn ON the engine again and rotate the steering wheel all the way to the left and then all the way to the right a few times to help distribute the new fluid throughout the system. Inspect the power steering fluid level again and add more if necessary.
Benefits of Using Toyota Power Steering Fluid
Using OEM or manufacturer-specific power steering fluid not only avoids destroying the original brand warranty but also helps keep the vehicle’s steering technology healthy. These are the benefits you can enjoy using recommended Toyota power steering fluids
Smooth & Responsive Maneuvers
Toyota power steering fluid is formulated with enhanced additives with the accurate grade of blended synthetic oil for your Toyota. Hence, it provides smooth, balanced, and responsive steering, ensuring that you can easily control your vehicle, especially at low speeds.
Lower Labour & Improved Handling
With the power steering fluid working nominally you need not provide extra physical effort to turn the wheels. The steering wheel becomes soft and highly rotative in any direction. Thus, you will have total control over your Toyota running at any speed.
Internal Wearing and Corrosion Protection
The additives blended with the Toyota Power steering fluid helps to lubricate and protect the internal components of your power steering system. As a result, it helps reduce wear and tear on your vehicle’s metals inside the steering system.
Toyota power steering fluid is formulated in such a way that it resists leaks, preventing damage to your power steering system. Moreover, the seals inside the system are safe from the chemicals of the fluid. That is why it helps to prolong the lifespan of your vehicle’s maneuvering system.
DIY Vs Professional Power Steering Fluid Change
Changing the power steering fluid is not a big deal. Taking your Toyota to an authorized service center or a dealership can cost you a lot to change the fluid but it is guaranteed that your job would be done error-free.
For a DIY fluid change, the biggest challenge is to drain the fluid. Since the opening of the reservoir faces upwards it becomes tough to get rid of all degraded fluid from inside. You can do it using an empty plastic bottle with a narrow opening to suck up the fluids.
However, the professional mechanic uses a fluid-extracting pump to get all of the existing fluid from the reservoir. Another advantage of getting your fluid change from an expert is that they would do a quick leak and fitting check.
Besides, they’ll perform a complete flush of the system using sophisticated equipment. That is why it is always recommended to get the power steering fluid changed from a certified workshop, even though it requires some expenditure.
If you have any further queries related to Toyota power steering fluids, the following answered questions would be helpful.
When should I replace my Toyota power steering fluid?
It is better to follow the user’s manual that comes with the fluid itself to know the exact estimation. However, in general, you must change the Toyota power steering fluid every 50000 miles.
Is Toyota steering fluid synthetic?
The OEM power steering fluid from Toyota is a fully synthetic fluid. Power steering fluids from other brands that are officially suggested for Toyota vehicles are also fully synthetic fluids.
Can you use ATF in Toyota Power Steering?
The officially recommended power steering fluids for Toyota such as Dexron II and III are originally automatic transmission fluids. But the formulation and chemical additives of these fluids are equivalent to the OEM fluid. Hence, you can use ATF in Toyota.