What happens if I overfill my power steering reservoir? Answered

Overfilling Power Steering Reservoir

Overfilling your power steering reservoir can lead to all sorts of trouble, ranging from minor inconveniences like having a hard time steering to something more serious like your engine catching on fire.

That sounds drastic, right? You overfill something and, suddenly, your engine is a tad warmer than it should be, engulfed in flames.

It can happen, though. You need to learn about steering fluid to understand why.

Why does too much power steering fluid matter?

All right, all right. I won’t get too technical. You need to know this: under certain conditions, the steering fluid can expand.

So, you overfill your power steering reservoir, and it spills. When your engine starts to raise the temperature under the hood of your car, the steering fluid starts to expand.

At first, this causes no trouble.

As time goes on, the liquid will get in a lot of places you don’t want it to be. Your engine belts, for example. Before you know it, they either slip or break, and your engine is out of commission.

In a complete disaster scenario, the liquid will expand, start trouble in your engine, and the engine will overwork itself until it catches on fire.

Long story short, it’d be better if you don’t overfill the power steering reservoir.

Will too much power steering fluid make it hard to turn?

Using too much steering fluid can hinder the movement of your steering wheel. The fluid has to spill out of the reservoir, expand, and damage the engine for that to happen, though.

With that being said, not enough steering fluid can also make it harder for you to steer.

Don’t think that you overdid it with this fluid if you have a hard time turning – because it may be the other way around.

On that note, you need to remember that most car trouble works on a case-by-case basis.

Sure, too much steering liquid could cause an explosion – but it probably won’t.

In fact, most spillages cause no trouble, so you don’t have to be checking things out every day before you drive.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t mind the issues in your car. All I’m saying is, wait for the symptoms to appear – then treat the problem.

For example, let’s say you have a hard time steering after filling your power steering reservoir.

There’s no doubt you overdid it, right? Wrong. You could have a leak wasting most of your fluid and putting you back in square one all the time!

Cars are tricky. That makes them interesting. So don’t jump to conclusions and test things out before you make a decision.

So, yes, too much steering fluid can make it hard for you to drive – but so can plenty of other things.

What should I do if I overfill my power steering compartment?

There’s not much to worry about if you add a little more steering fluid than usual into your car. Things can get a little problematic if you overdo it so much it spills out of the compartment, though.

Alright, it’s time for me to pay attention to a silly detail. I took it for granted above, but you may be trying to figure out where the power steering compartment and power steering reservoir are.

Well, stop looking – because they are the same thing!

Now that you and I have solved that mystery together, I’ll tell you what to do when you overfill the compartment/reservoir.

There are two possible scenarios here: one, there’s a little spillage; two, you went overboard and there’s more than a fair amount of spillage.

You shouldn’t worry too much about it in scenario number one. Sure, clean stuff up when you have the chance – but don’t worry too much about it.

In scenario number two, you need to grab a syringe or something similar and remove the excess. It may take you quite some time to do so, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Why is my power steering reservoir overflowing?

You may have a steering fluid spillage going on for more than one reason. The obvious one is overfilling the reservoir – but it can also happen to you if you hit a pothole, have a clogged pump, or use the contaminated steering liquid.

I have covered what happens when you put too much liquid in the reservoir. It overflows. The logic is sound there.

What if you’re noticing what seems to be a spillage – but you’re certain you haven’t used too much liquid?

Well, sometimes, the liquid can come out of the reservoir after a car accident or hitting a big enough pothole for things to go crazy under the hood. I highly recommend going to a mechanic to check if something broke after something like that happens.

Other than that, you may have a clogged pump. Clogging will happen after driving your car for a long time or after using contaminated liquid.

The first one is a game of chance, and it may or may not happen to you. The second one will happen if you buy cheap steering liquid.

How do I know if my power steering liquid is leaking?

You will quickly realize when there’s a steering liquid leak happening in your car. Depending on how serious the leak is, you may have a hard time steering your car, hear noises when you turn, or end up overheating your engine.

First thing first: you will probably realize you have a leak when you’re constantly out of steering liquid. Or, the levels fall below reasonable numbers soon after putting more liquid in your car.

Other issues that may arise will obviously come from your steering wheel – because the steering liquid makes it easier for you to steer.

So, when that liquid starts to leak, you’ll start having a hard time steering. Or that difficulty may be hardly noticeable – but you’ll definitely notice the sounds that are coming from your car when you try to steer.

In extreme scenarios, the leak could cause major issues in your engine (as I’ve discussed above) that could cause your engine to overheat.

You should see a mechanic if these issues persist.

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