How long can you drive without a power steering fluid

How Long Can You Drive Without Power Steering Fluid? Easy Guide for 2023

Power steering is one of the most crucial materials of any car, which need to be set in a proper way. The noteworthy matter is- the working systems of a power steering depend on the principles of hydraulics.

These principles have been followed; thus, drivers thus they can move the wheel with minimum effort and turn their steering effortlessly and easily.

But if there is an absence of enough power steering fluid, what will you do then? Obviously, this situation will throw you in great trouble. So today, we are going to discuss- how long you can drive without a power steering fluid. – in detail.

About power steering and power steering fluid!

About power steering and power steering fluid

In a nutshell, power steering is an upgraded steering system that is a combination of hydraulic and electric assistance used for increasing effortless driving. Though at the initial point, power steering was not that much available, nowadays, it is used very randomly in modern vehicles.

Now the person who sits in the driving seat needs a substance or support to turn the steering wheel easily with one hand, and this moving support for steering is called power steering fluid. This entire system depends on the hydraulic principles that we have mentioned before. You can read about Is a Brake Fluid Flush Really Necessary?

In between our today’s discussion, let’s get some knowledge about Hydraulics Principles-

Principles of Hydraulic

Principles of Hydraulic

The basic principle of Hydraulic is also known as Pascal’s Law. It refers that when any part of a fluid substance has received force, it has been spread equally in all directions of the surface.

From the perspective of the system of power steering fluid of a car, the person who has sat in the driving seat might be faced difficulties without this required advancement. At the end of the day, this entire practice will make your driving skill worse! You also check our guide for Brake Fluid change vs. Flush?

How can one get the symptoms of a defective or failing power steering fluid?

How can one get the symptoms of a defective or failing power steering fluid

Here has been mentioned some indication of a defective or failing power steering and power steering fluid system-

  • The very common notice will be its leak or loss of control of the stiffness of the steering fluid. It ultimately creates malfunctions in the car’s steering system.
  • There remains a substance in the car called Hum– a system that diagnoses and tracks the specific vehicle. It basically provides live support, maintenance reminders, roadside assistance, and so on.

If the power steering fluid is not worked actively, the Hum might not be visible at the time of controlling the car. Moreover, the car might be turned warm up because of becoming a less active situation of the fluid function of the power steering.

  • The tank might have a very little level of liquid or none at all, and thus the Hum may not work properly, and the steering wheel has become very stiff and face difficulties while moving. At that time, the driver should stop and check the entire oil level.
  • Other common signs are- the steering wheel of the car may start to shake while driving and may become noisy because of low power steering fluid.

Cost of fixing

As there are problems, there will be solutions. In the case of the absence of a power steering fluid, we can replace the steering after noticing its defect level. On average, the cost might be about $200- $350 only for the steering. It will be increased to almost $400 – $800 if one wants to change the steering, including new particles. You may also like some of the How long can a car run without transmission fluid?

How Long Can You Drive Without Power Steering Fluid?

Can you drive without a power steering fluid

The duration of driving without power steering fluid depends on the quality of the entire system. But it does not mean that you should do it!

Firstly, we should know the time of expiration of the steering fluid. Generally, power steering fluid does expire within 3- 5 years. Over time, the elements of the car’s power engine reduced its effectiveness. Hence to avoid any unnecessary hassles, it should be better to read the expiration date before purchasing hydraulic fluid for your car.

Normally, one can pass almost a mile without enough power steering liquid in his/ her vehicle. But when the fluid tank is totally empty, the situation will get worse, and it has no doubt then!

So the problem might have been arising while the tank of fluid will be empty – we may be able to drive a maximum of 5 minutes. If we attempt to drive without refilling steering fluid, the pump seal and gasket will have the chance to be damaged. Moreover, it also causes premature wear of the pump of the car. Thus you should refill the steering fluid before facing any type of malfunction.

Consequences of driving without power steering fluid?

Consequences of driving without power steering fluid

Driving without steering fluid may be possible, but for a very short time, and as a result, it will create many problems for your car. These consequences can be told as risks of driving a car without power steering fluid-

  • Less or without power steering, liquid driving will affect the drivability of your vehicle; the steering of your vehicle will be at low speed and face difficulties while moving the steering. For the kind information, your vehicle’s manual will provide the dangers of driving when there is no steering fluid.
  • Driving your car without power steering liquid for a long time may damage the pump. This almost empty liquid phase may increase friction and heat and be the reason for the quick damage.


Here we have mentioned two frequently asked FAQs in our discussion:

  • What happens if one overfills my power steering fluid?

Answer: Firstly, overfilling will NOT create any issue of overpressure, foaming, or blow seals of your car. A properly operated power steering system is fully ventilated and therefore full of fluid also. Though there is nowhere to go out extra liquid but has space to take up extra space in the reservoir- it is not that much concerning the matter.

But you should note that the power steering fluid heats up because expansion and overflow of steering fluid can cause chaos in your engine. Even if it might arise any kind of permanent destroy prematurely. Sometimes converter can be fired for overfilling of fluid.

For this reason, try to maintain a normal level of steering fluid in your reservoir.

  • What happens if one puts the WRONG power steering fluid in the car?

Answer: it generally depends on the type of one’s car. Such as-, if you have Honda or Acura, then put ordinary steering fluid.

In sum, either the WRONG steering liquid may not lubricate your pump or steering box properly and may remain air in the line, or the maximum, it will destroy the pump.

  • Can low-power steering fluid cause a car to stall?

Answer: Not at all.

The here mentionable thing is- the main responsibility of the power steering fluid is to help you turn your direction through the wheel. That will not be possible at the time of low steering fluid- at that moment, your car will not be stopped. In fact, that opposite could stall it.

  • If a car runs out of power steering fluid, what will what damage will happen?

Answer: The maximum loss can be happened by losing control and hitting something.

  • If power steering is making noise, but the fluid level is not low. What could it be?

Answer: It happens because of Cavitation– a situation when air bubbles are mixed with the steering fluid. When this substance hits the pump impeller, it makes a loud noise.

Bottom Line

Hopefully, all of you can understand the importance of having ample power steering fluid in your vehicle- as it relates to the performance and ultimate life of your vehicle. Maybe while you will drive without steering, fluid will not leave you in the middle of the road, but at the same time, you may not control it on time.

As a result, driving without power steering fluid at all may be the cause of any kind of expensive repair of your car. So do not take this issue lightly like other problems of your car, which can be fixed simply and at a cheap cost. Try to refill your fluid pump chamber properly before driving, especially before any long-distance journey. Happy driving!