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You can tell right away if your fluid needs to be replaced by look at the colour. New power steering fluid is clear with a pink tone & a mild smell. If the colour is dark, this indicates oxidation and the fluid should be replaced. Bubbles in the fluid can mean that there is water or air in the steering lines, while metallic flakes usually indicate a failing pump.

You are watching: Can you drive a car without power steering


Yes, you can drive without power steering, however, that does not mean you should!

You may notice your steering still works, but soon you’ll regret not going to the gym regularly because the steering wheel will be very hard to turn. Driving without power steering for a long time can also damage your pump which be a lot more expensive to repair.

Driving without power steering means parking and quick steering become extremely difficult. This makes driving without power steering very dangerous and potentially illegal – so don’t do it!

Not only are you severely limiting the performance of your car, but there is also liability involved. Say you get into an accident while you had a power steering leak. If this was discovered you have a very good chance of getting sued for negligence. On top of that, your insurance company won’t cover any damages.


The power steering fluid in your vehicle is not meant to leak. That means if you find a leak, it’s the start of a potentially much larger problem. A small power steering leak isn’t the end of the world, but once the leak starts it usually gets worse over time. For example, if a leak is due to a little crack in your hose, if the crack gets bigger, you’ll lose all of your power steering fluid quickly.


While most older vehicles don’t have power steering, it’s not the same as driving a car that has power steering but no fluid. When your power steering fluid is leaking you’ll notice your steering wheel will feel stiffer and harder to turn. This is exaggerated when you’re driving at low speeds and can make turning extremely difficult.


While a power steering fluid leak isn’t going to leave you deserted on the side of the road, once the level drops, your power steering pump runs dry. This can quickly lead to an expensive repair due to the increased friction and heat. If you absolutely need to drive your car with no power steering fluid, make sure you avoid any sharp left or right turns.


Don’t panic. If you’re on a busy road turn on your hazards to let other drivers know there is a problem.

This will probably be very difficult but carefully move your car over to the side of the road.

Once you’re in a safe spot, pop the hood and check the level of your power steering fluid. If it’s low, you’ll be able to make it back home. If it’s full, then that’s bad news. Call a tow truck and wait for help to arrive.


Power steering is arguably one of the best innovations in cars (besides the tire). It allows us to accurately and efficiently control our vehicles. However, it is not immune to failing.

Thankfully, the system is designed to work even if the power steering fails, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to continue driving.

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Driving without power steering is a hazard to you, civilians and your bank account. It’s important to get your power steering fixed before the damages get beyond repair.