Description: Power steering systems have two hoses; a high-pressure hose and a low-pressure hose. The high-pressure hose is made from a reinforced synthetic compound and the hose fittings are usually double-flared compression fittings. The low-pressure hose is similar in construction, but it may not use compression fittings due to the lower pressure in this hose.
Purpose: The high-pressure (supply) hose carries high-pressure oil from the power steering pump to the steering gear. The low-pressure (return) hose carries oil from the steering gear back to the pump or its reservoir.
Maintenance Tips/Suggestions: Check the power steering fluid level at every oil change and inspect the hoses regularly. When checking the hoses, look for leaks, rusted or corroded fittings, sponginess, stiffness, and cuts and abrasions. Hoses showing any of these conditions should be replaced. Refer to your car's owner's manual for specific recommendations on the type of power steering fluid to use. Fluids need to be compatible with hoses and seals and in some cases the recommended fluid may be automatic transmission fluids such as Type F or Dexron. It's possible to check the power steering fluid level when your car is cold, but it's usually recommended to check the fluid with the car warmed up. Many cars today use a semi-transparent reservoir for power steering fluid, so look for a fluid level mark on the outside. If the reservoir has no markings, open the reservoir's cap. There should be a small dipstick attached that provides the level reading. Use care not to run the system low on fluid; insufficient fluid level can damage the power steering pump.