Power Steering Fluid



My car has recently been making a grinding noise when you turn the wheel, my boyfriend checked my power steering fluid and it was brown. We put some new fluid in, and the noise quit for about 4 days. It started grinding again this morning, and my boyfriend is out of town for 3 weeks…I checked the fluid and it is all brown. Is it supposed to be brown? If not, what could be the cause?


Most PS fluid is very light amber in color; if it is coffee brown (no cream)you could have a problem. Suggest you go to a good shop and have the unit checked out. It could be that the pump is on its last legs. Also check for a kinked hose, which would allow excessive pressure build-up.

You did not state your make and model of car, but some makes, like Honda, Volkswagen, and a few others specify their own fluid. Make sure you put in is comaptible and approved by the manufacturer.

Good Luck!


Brown is normal. You can’t blame the noise on the fluid’s color.

We can’t pinpoint the noise on your brief description. It might come from the belt, pump, rack, steering column, or even the suspension. Maybe you can lift the hood and try to determine the origin of the noise.


Were you able to determine if the fluid is at the proper level? You may well have a leak and the fluid level has dropped below a critical point in 4 days of driving. Make the fluid is full, using only the proper fluid for your car. If there IS a leak and you let the fluid level continue to drop, you face possible sudden loss of power steering as well as expensive damage.


What kind of car is this?


1993 Pontiac Grand AM


I did check it when it started making the noise again this morning to see if maybe there was a leak and I had lost a lot of fluid. But it was at the appropriate level.