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Tech Tip: Look and Listen to Spot Power Steering Fluid Leaks 

Know the symptoms and you’re on your way to a quick, effective and easy solution

Like any fluid under the hood, power steering fluid should be at the right level to function properly, prevent damage to the pump and other components, and maintain safe vehicle operation.

You can save big repair bills and stay safer on the road by knowing a few common symptoms of a power steering fluid leak:

  1. Noisy steering. If the power steering is making a lot of noise, especially when the vehicle is moving slowly, like in a parking lot, it’s time to check the fluid level in the power steering reservoir. Older cars are especially susceptible to ‘power steering squeal’ when the fluid level gets low. The noise can vary from an occasional chirp to a shrill or shriek, especially during low-speed maneuvers. Other times, it could be more of a dull whine when the steering wheel is turned extreme left or right.
  2. Difficult steering. Drivers might not notice much steering performance difference on the highway, but at lower speeds, they’ll have to put in a lot more effort to turn the steering wheel. As power steering systems lose fluid, they work less efficiently. Eventually, drivers will start to feel the difference on the steering wheel end, making it much harder to turn the wheel than it normally is. This is a sign that the fluid is getting low, which could signal a leak.
  3. Leaking fluid. It’s easy to ignore just a few drops of any kind of fluid under the car. If it’s not a puddle, most people don’t even think twice about it. But it’s important to investigate any fluid before it becomes a bigger issue. Wipe down the power steering reservoir and lines and look closely to determine if it’s coming from the power steering circuit or not.

Once it’s determined that a vehicle has a power steering fluid leak, it’s important that you take immediate action. A small leak can quickly become large enough to cause the pump to run dry and result in expensive damage. Moving quickly is key.

When treated early, the leak can be stopped easily and inexpensively with a proven chemical repair like our Bar’s Leaks One Seal Stop Leak (p/n 1334), Power Steering Repair (p/n 1600) or Power Steering Stop Leak Concentrate (p/n 1630).

Power steering fluid leaks sometimes evolve slowly over a long period and you may not notice the leak until it becomes a big problem. At the first sign of a leak, you should take action. Almost immediately, our proven solutions (we’ve sold hundreds of thousands of bottles) will stop the leak and prevent further issues, while extending the life of your power steering system.

Again, the key is taking action immediately after you notice a leak. Time is of the essence.

If you have questions about your leak or situation, hit us up on Facebook, or contact us and we’ll be happy to help you out.

And the Winner of the Keep My Ride Alive $10,000 Sweepstakes Is…

Illinois man wins big after sharing how products kept 1983 Mercury Lynx going

Bar’s Leaks customers from all over America responded to our $10,000 question last year as part of the Bar’s Leaks “Keep My Ride Alive” $10,000 sweepstakes. One of the more than 570,000 entries came from Mark S. from Waterloo, IL, who will begin the new year with a little extra money in his pocket after being selected as the contest winner.

We recently presented  Mark with a $10,000 check at the Waterloo, IL O’Reilly Auto Parts store where he purchases his Bar’s Leaks products. Check out a video of the presentation — which didn’t go quite the way Bobby J, our brand ambassador and technical support specialist, expected it to.

(Dinner then lunch, anyone?)

We asked our customers to share their stories, photos and videos about the importance of keeping their ride alive. Mark is a long-time Bar’s Leaks and Rislone customer, having used both products in a number of vehicles through the years, including his 1983 Mercury Lynx and a Ford Ranger made in the 1980s.

This sweepstakes, supported by PowerNation TV, reached tens of millions do-it-yourself car enthusiasts who regularly tune in to PowerNation TV shows such as “Engine Power,” “XOR – Xtreme Off-Road,” “Truck Tech” and “Detroit Muscle.”

For all who entered, thank you for your interest. We can’t tell you how much we appreciate it. And since Bobby J didn’t get the day he was planning with Mark, maybe one of you can help him out. He’s really into this “dinner then lunch” thing, if it’s even a thing. He swears it is, but we’re not so sure.

Common Causes for an Overheating Vehicle

Anyone who has ever suffered an overheating vehicle knows what a hassle it is. Not only can an overheating car, truck, van or SUV leave you stranded, but the tow and repair bills can add up quickly. There are several potential reasons for an overheating engine, and in many cases, you can have several of these problems at the same time:

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The Environmental Consequences of Automated Fluid Leaks

When you have an automotive fluid leak, you’re likely aware of the problems it causes to your vehicle. Low fluid levels — be it engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid or any other fluid — can create major problems and force your vehicle off the road (and put some hurt on your wallet). If these fluid levels are low because of leaks in your lines, gaskets and fittings, there’s another problem to worry about: environmental damage.

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Four Things Every Driver Should Know About Motor Oil

Many of us hop in our cars in the morning, start them up and drive off without giving much thought to our motor oil. However, oil plays a critical function in lubricating your engine to avoid mechanical damage and wear. There are four things every driver should know about their motor oil, which will help you appreciate just how important it is to check it regularly and perform regular oil changes. You don’t need to have a lubrication engineer’s knowledge, but some basic groundwork information goes a long way.

Why You Need to Be Concerned With Your Motor Oil

Keep these four motor oil points in mind:

  1. Not all oils are created equal: There is a big difference in the quality of different engine oils. It really is a case of “you get what you pay for.” Any money you save buying cheap motor oil is thrown out the window the moment you have abnormal engine wear or suffer any sort of lubrication-related failure. Ditto for hard driving or harsh conditions – you don’t want to take chances with subpar oil.
  2. Synthetic versus conventional oils: Synthetic motor oils are engineered to give the best flow, lubrication and wear properties across a wide range of temperatures and typically deliver better performance and fuel economy than standard conventional oils. Some engines are designed to only run on synthetic oils or synthetic blends, so consult your owners’ manual. With some modern cars, failure to use the proper grade of oil as recommended by the manufacturer could lead to warranty problems. Be careful with this and know what was installed in your car from the factory.
  3. The importance of viscosity: The viscosity, or thickness, of your oil is indicated for regular and winter driving. For example, you might see “10W-40” on the bottle – the W means “winter” and is not that important when talking about today’s multigrade oils. The numbers in the moniker is the weight designation – 10W-40 is thicker than 10W-30, and 30 is thicker than 20, and so on. Thicker oil can help seal and lubricate worn engine components, while thinner oil flows better, especially in colder temperatures.
  4. Skimping on oil changes doesn’t pay: Trying to extend the intervals of your oil changes is never a good idea. Manufacturers base oil change mileage and time guidelines based on testing and experience, and pushing your oil changes out beyond their recommendations can cause increased wear and reduced fuel economy as the oil breaks down. it’s not worth the risk.

In addition to maintaining your engine oil, keep an eye on oil leaks as they appear. At the first sign, a bottle of our Bar’s Leaks engine stop leak product can keep you on the road at a very low cost and without having to get sidelined at a shop or dealership. Use our online store locator to find a distributor near you or fill out our contact form to obtain more information on our range of Bar’s Leaks products. We’re always happy to help.