Power steering system

I have a 2000 Jaguar XK8 with 55,000 miles. My mechanic says that the power steering system is clogging up and that the reservoir should be replaced and the system flushed w/ synthetic p.s. fluid. The owner’s manual never mentions any maintenance on power steering fluid–is the mechanic suggesting something bogus?

This question often comes up. At 55,000 miles your power steering system could indeed be clogged up. However, if 1) the steering behaves totally normal and 2) there is no noise or vibration from the power steering pump, everything could be OK.

Unfortunately Jaguars have an above average number of problems and thorough maintenance might prevent some of these problems from developing.

In short, I don’t believe the mechanic if the steering is behaving totally normal, but if I owned a Jag I would definitely have the fluid changed at 55,000. You should ask around for different quotes. Synthetic fluid is not an absolute requirement (the fluid spec is in your manual) but it would be agood idea.

Owners who plan to keep their cars a very long time perform a number of pro-active maintenance tasks (not necessarily listed in the manual) such as changing P.S. fluid.

In any case, ask to see the “clogging up” since he is referring to the reservoir, not the fluid lines!!

No he’s not.

As with all the other fluids in a vehicle, the power steering fluid becomes oxidized from heat cycles. This breaks the fluid down to where it no longer protects the the power steering components or the component seals.

Even though the owners manual makes no mention of this, regular power steering fluid service reduces the chance of failure with the power steering pump and/or the rack & pinion assembly. And neither of these are cheap to replace.