What Is Power Steering Fluid Color?


A smart and effective rule of learning a car fluid’s condition or effectiveness is to check out which color they are in a certain moment. If you know what color indicates which kind of effectiveness of the fluid, you can take immediate actions to either replace it or to continue with it anyway. 

In this regard, we have got the power steering fluid at this moment. And throughout today’s post, we will learn power steering fluid colors and what those different colors mean. 

Got some minutes to check it out? Let’s get going- 

What Colour is Power Steering Fluid Actually?

Before going into a detailed answer, let us phrase the answer in one word. The color of a power steering fluid is usually White wine color or pinkish color. 

The most recommended power steering fluid from our end is ATF +4 and the color of that one is dyed red. And whatever the initial colour is, it won’t sustain over time as your power steering fluid gets to be used over and over. 

That being said, there are a lot more to say about this topic. As you know, just like any car fluid, power steering fluid also changes its colors over different states of usage. 

In the section below, we will be showing the exact colors of power steering fluid and what do they mean in terms of effectiveness. 

Let’s start- 

Deep Red Colour of Power Steering Fluid

This is quite the basic color of a power steering fluid. Once you newly buy the power steering fluid, it will come up with a deep red or deep pinkish-red color. 

Now, at this stage, the effectiveness and work-ability of the power steering fluid will be at it’s best shape. Over time, the color will change of course. 

Milky Foam Colour of Power Steering Colour

The next color that you find in your power steering wheel is the milky foam color. It can also be labeled as the color of white wine(just as we said before). 

However, if you find your power steering color in this condition, it shows that some water contaminants are in the power steering fluid. 

However, if you have this color in your power steering fluid, it shows that it had reached the half-life of the liquid. As a consequence, some noise problems might take place in the engine. 

Once you get alarmed by such issues, you should get to solve it immediately. Otherwise, such kind of incidents might call up damages to the steering pump and the steering gearbox. 

The most effective solution to this problem is to flush the whole steering system. Hopefully, the noise problem will be gone. But at this stage, you don’t necessarily have to change the power steering wheel anyway. 

Step 1: Deep Brown or Black

The final type of color that your power steering fluid might take on is the black or deep brown. Although, some of the cases might not let you to differentiate between these two color stages. 

However, this stage of the color pattern shows that the lifetime of the power steering wheel had reached its end. Now, you don’t have any way left apart from changing that anyway. 

Here are some of the best recommendations from our end- 

  1. Prestone Pack of 1 AS261 Power Steering Fluid
  2. Genuine Honda Fluid 08206-9002 Power Steering Fluid
  3. Lubegard 23232 Complete Synthetic Power Steering Fluid
  4. Honda 08206-9002PE Power Steering Fluid Pack
  5. Lucas Oil 10442 Power Steering Fluid with Conditioners

What Causes the Colour Change in Power Steering Fluid?

As you have seen, several shifts take place in the color of the power steering fluid. But the obvious question that pops up in our mind is, why on earth does that take place? 

Here go the reasons behind the incident- 

Contamination with Aluminium

When the power steering fluid is assigned to its job, it gets into a contract with the rack and pinion system of the vehicle. And as you know, the rack and pinion are made of aluminum. 

Over regular contact, the aluminum gets into a powdery state. And that will be diluted into the power steering fluid. That’s what makes this liquid white wine color or white foam color anyway. 

Water Containment in the System

The steering system of the car is associated with a number of water containment. And when the water gets into the power steering fluid, it will decrease the effectiveness of the fluid itself. 

Also, this unwanted mixing up with water might bring on issues like oxidation and color change into the fluid itself. 

Fluid Degradation

If you have been aware of the function of the power steering fluid, you might know that it has to go through a load of pressure. In fact, pressure is one of the factors that it depends on to do its job. 

As a direct impact of the pressure, the fluid temperature rises by a significant extent. And this temperature raise breakdowns the chemical components of the power steering fluid. Eventually, it loses its power to work as a good quality power steering fluid. 

FAQ(Frequently Asked Questions)

Question: Did I intentionally put any water contaminants in the fluid? 

Answer: When you might notice a certain number of water percentage in the power steering wheel, mostly that’s unintentional. 

Question: What does a red power steering fluid color mean?

Answer: In general cases, the color red or brown color indicates a new and fresh condition of it. 

Question: What does the pure black condition indicate?

Answer: When the power steering fluid gets completely black, it shows that the effectiveness of is no more present. 

Bottom Line

These different color transitions from one stage to another might fluctuate a bit based on what brand of power steering fluid you are using. But generally, the life-cycle of power steering fluid color works in a general pattern. 


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