Q: I am the original owner of a 2005 Scion tc with almost 45,000 miles. It is serviced every 5,000 miles at the dealership. In 2007, I was told it was “cautionary” but that the power steering system needs to be flushed. Recently I was told it “failed” and the “fluid is dirty/contaminated”. The service advisor told me not to delay as the power steering may fail. Cost is about $110. I am a cautious driver and only drive on city streets or freeways. The steering is handling quite well with no problems. I believe I am being scammed as I have heard from others that the power steering fluid almost never needs to be replaced and cars that are 20 years old still have the original power steering fluid. Please advise. Thanks.
A: It’s a good question and actually a bit of a ‘hot topic’ in the auto repair world. Some people believe you never have to change any fluids in a car. My opinion is that any piece of equipment that has moving, wearable parts and is internally lubricated should be serviced in regular intervals. Change in fluid colors can be an indicator of a problem, because color change is often due to an internal breakdown from friction. Here’s my take: flushing a power steering system ranges from around $75 to $100 depending where you go to service your vehicle. Replacing a bad power steering pump can cost around $550, so flushing you power steering system every 50,000 miles is good, preventative maintenance and could potentially save you money down the road.