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What Color is Power Steering Fluid

March 20, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

The power steering fluid is essential for protecting the system’s moving components and aids in a smooth steering mechanism.

Like the brake and engine have special fluids, the steering system has an extraordinary power steering fluid.

Also, remember that power steering comes in two types –  hydraulic and electrical power steering – they both use automatic transmission fluid.

There’s another section that still allows for the power steering fluid, which shouldn’t be mistaken for it because if you don’t use it or use an impure power steering fluid, your car will run into issues.


This brings us back to the topic, “What color is the power steering fluid?” the answer is RED.

Continue reading to learn other colors associated with the power steering fluids.

Power Steering Fluid – Types

The type of power steering fluid you should introduce to your car depends on your model, although most modern vehicles use synthetic power steering fluid because of its smooth flow in low temperatures.

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If you’re confused about which type of power steering fluid to use on your car, you should check the vehicle manufacturer’s guide for assistance.

Here are the types of power steering fluid

1. Mineral Power Steering Fluids

Mineral steering fluids are made to improve the performance of the oil because of the presence of refined petroleum mixture and properties.

Some of the benefits include;

  • It has no impact on the rubber
  • Mineral steering fluids are cost-friendly compared to others

However, the fluid doesn’t serve for an extended period, and there’s a high probability of foaming.

2. Semi-Synthetic Power Steering Fluids

The semi-synthetic power steering fluid is a mixture of Mineral and synthetic properties.

Here are some advantages that come with using them

  • The reduced degree of viscosity
  • Excellent lubrication qualities
  • Don’t give off foam

However, this type of steering fluid is bound to cause damage to the rubber components in the steering wheel.

3. Synthetic Power Steering Fluids

Synthetic power steering fluids consist of polyesters, polyhydric alcohols, and a small portion of refined petroleum mixture.

It’s the ideal power steering fluid recommended by car manufacturers for use. They’re often high quality and check DN51 524T3 and ISO 7308 standards.

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Here are some advantages that come with using synthetic power steering fluids

  • Reduced impact on rubber companies
  • Flows smoothly at low temperatures
  • Low viscosity
  • Resistant to foam formation
  • Long life span
  • Ability to work under severe temperatures

Most European car manufacturers recommend synthetic power steering fluid.

4. Universal Power Steering Fluids

As the name implies, Universal can work on any power steering system. They’ve added advantages such as

  • Reduced stiffness and friction
  • Improved performance
  • The fast response of steering components
  • Corrosion prevention
  • Aids in reducing wear and tear
  • It helps in sealing off minor leaks

However, you should check and balance the viscosity and compatibility level with the power steering fluid that has been in use before now.

What Color is the Power Steering Fluid

As I said earlier, most hydraulic power steering comes with automatic transmission fluid, which can sometimes be confused with the power steering fluid.

You must know the color(s) that comes with a steering fluid for efficient changes.

The primary colors that come with the power steering fluids are RED, PINK, AMBER, and CLEAR.

Let’s discuss the colors your power steering fluid will turn to if they’re in good condition and when they get contaminated.

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Red Color Steering Fluid

Red or pink is the default color of a power steering fluid. If your steering fluid is either of the colors, you have nothing to bother about.

Foamy or Milky Steering Fluid

The presence of water or air in the power steering fluid will cause its color to turn milky or foamy. This will require you to flush and replace the power steering oil with a new one.

Yellow Power Steering Fluids

When coolant leaks into the steering fluid, it’ll turn yellow. Although this condition is rare, it’s bound to happen.

You should find and close the source of the leak and flush the oil immediately.

Brown or Black Power Steering Fluids

Once a power steering fluid turns black or brown, you should be ready to perform a system flush.

It denotes that the steering oil is old and needs replacement.


Q: Does the power steering fluid color matter?

If the power steering fluid isn’t red, yellow, or clear, you should desist from using it.

Any color asides from the above-listed show that the power steering fluid is either contaminated or too old to use.

Q: Is the power steering fluid supposed to be brown?

No, a brown power steering fluid denotes that the liquid is contaminated or due to change.

Q: What is the power steering fluid supposed to look like?

A power steering fluid is supposed to be red, pink, or clear in color.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.