What Power Steering Fluid for Subaru: A Comprehensive Guide

If you own a Subaru, you know that it’s a reliable vehicle that can last for many years. However, to keep your Subaru running smoothly, you need to make sure that you’re using the right power steering fluid. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of having the right type of fluid, the recommended types of fluid for different Subaru models, how to check the fluid levels, and how often to change the fluid.

Key Takeaways

  • Using the right power steering fluid is essential to keep your Subaru running smoothly.
  • Not all power steering fluids are created equal, so it’s important to use the recommended type for your specific Subaru model.
  • Checking your power steering fluid levels regularly and changing the fluid at the recommended intervals can help prevent damage to your power steering system.

Importance of Having the Right Type of Fluid

Power steering fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid that is used to assist in turning the wheels of your car. It works by using a pump to pressurize the fluid, which then helps to turn the steering wheel with less effort.

Using the wrong type of power steering fluid can lead to numerous problems, including:

  • Damage to the power steering pump and other components
  • Leaks in the power steering system
  • Reduced power steering performance
  • Increased wear on the power steering system
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To avoid these problems, it’s essential to use the right type of power steering fluid for your Subaru.

Recommended Types of Fluid for Different Subaru Models

The type of power steering fluid that you need for your Subaru will vary depending on the model and year of your vehicle. Here are the recommended types of fluid for some popular Subaru models:

  • Subaru Impreza (2005-2019): Subaru recommends using their own Subaru OEM Power Steering Fluid.
  • Subaru Legacy (1990-2019): Subaru recommends using their own Subaru OEM Power Steering Fluid or equivalent.
  • Subaru Outback (1995-2019): Subaru recommends using their own Subaru OEM Power Steering Fluid or equivalent.
  • Subaru Forester (1997-2019): Subaru recommends using their own Subaru OEM Power Steering Fluid or equivalent.

It’s important to note that not all aftermarket power steering fluids are created equal. Using a non-recommended fluid may cause damage to your power steering system and void your warranty. It’s always best to use the recommended fluid or equivalent.

How to Check the Fluid Levels

Checking your power steering fluid levels is a quick and easy process. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Park your car on a level surface and turn off the engine.
  2. Open the hood and locate the power steering fluid reservoir. It’s usually located near the front of the engine and has a cap that says "Power Steering Fluid."
  3. Remove the cap and wipe the dipstick clean with a rag or paper towel.
  4. Re-insert the dipstick and remove it again. Check the level of the fluid. It should be between the "MIN" and "MAX" marks on the dipstick.
  5. If the level is low, add the recommended power steering fluid until it reaches the "MAX" mark. Be careful not to overfill the reservoir.
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How Often to Change the Fluid

Subaru recommends changing the power steering fluid every 30,000 miles or 24 months, whichever comes first. However, if you frequently drive in extreme temperatures or conditions, you may need to change the fluid more often.

Changing the power steering fluid is a simple process that can be done at home or by a mechanic. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Park your car on a level surface and turn off the engine.
  2. Locate the power steering fluid reservoir and remove the cap.
  3. Place a drain pan under the reservoir and remove the drain plug to drain the old fluid.
  4. Replace the drain plug and fill the reservoir with the recommended power steering fluid until it reaches the "MAX" mark.
  5. Start the engine and turn the steering wheel all the way to the left and then to the right several times. This will help to circulate the new fluid throughout the system.
  6. Check the fluid level again and add more fluid if necessary.

FAQ

Q: Can I use any power steering fluid in my Subaru?

A: No, it’s important to use the recommended power steering fluid for your specific Subaru model. Using the wrong type of fluid can cause damage to your power steering system.

Q: How often should I check my power steering fluid levels?

A: Subaru recommends checking your power steering fluid levels at every oil change. However, it’s always a good idea to check your fluid levels more frequently if you suspect a problem.

Q: What are the signs that my power steering fluid needs to be changed?

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A: The signs that your power steering fluid needs to be changed include difficulty turning the steering wheel, low fluid levels, a whining or squealing noise coming from the power steering system, and a burning smell coming from the engine.

Conclusion

Using the right power steering fluid is essential to keep your Subaru running smoothly. By following the recommended types of fluid for your specific Subaru model, checking your fluid levels regularly, and changing the fluid at the recommended intervals, you can help prevent damage to your power steering system and keep your Subaru on the road for many more years to come.

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Peter Banks

With years of experience as a professional mechanic and Subaru specialist, Peter is one of the most respected members of our team. He's written several articles on Subaru maintenance and repair, and his advice and tips are always practical and helpful. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

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