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Power Steering Oil Cooler

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Power Steering Oil Cooler

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What is a Power Steering Oil Cooler and where is it Located?

The power steering oil cooler helps to keep the power steering fluid from overheating. That prevents damage to the other parts of the power steering system. The cooler is connected by hoses to the power steering pump and the power steering fluid reservoir. The cooler is mounted to the radiator support where air can flow over it through the grille. 

The power steering cooler works more or less like a radiator. The power steering fluid gets heated up as it is pressurized and gets pumped back and forth from the steering rack or box. When the fluid returns to the reservoir, it passes through the cooler. The hot fluid gives off its heat to the tubes and fins of the cooler, just like the coolant does in the radiator. The cooler fins radiate the heat away as cool air is passed over it. 

Not all cars come with a power steering cooler. They are commonly found on trucks and SUVs whose power steering systems get worked extra hard in towing or off-road situations.

How do I Know if my Power Steering Oil Cooler Needs to be Replaced?

A power steering cooler can fail in the same ways that a radiator can. It might become damaged, say in a fender bender, and start to leak. You may find that you frequently have to refill the power steering fluid reservoir or that leaking fluid is visible under the vehicle’s front end. Without enough fluid, the power steering assist might feel weak, making it hard to steer your vehicle.  

Damaged cooler fins will make the cooler less efficient at cooling. Hot fluid will put additional strain on the power steering pump which might cause the pump to make a whining noise.

The cooler can also become clogged with old fluid or foreign material that has made its way into the reservoir. A clogged cooler will be worse at cooling and will impede the flow of fluid. That will put strain on the pump and make your power steering weak. 

One way to test that the cooler is the source of your power steering problems is to try bypassing it. Connect the inlet and outlet hoses for the pump to each other. If your power steering symptoms go away, then you know it was the cooler that was causing them.

Can I Replace a Power Steering Oil Cooler Myself?

Replacing the power steering cooler is pretty straightforward. You will want to drain the system of fluid before you begin. Then you can disconnect the cooler hoses and unbolt the cooler from the radiator support. Then, bolt on the new one and connect it. Once it’s connected, you’ll want to refill the reservoir with power steering fluid. Start the engine and turn the steering wheel all the way from one side to the other and back again repeatedly to circulate fluid. Then check the fluid level again, and refill as necessary.  

Need a Power Steering Oil Cooler Replacement?

Has your power steering oil cooler failed or been damaged? If so, you can find a replacement right here at 1A Auto! We carry a large selection of aftermarket power steering oil coolers for many makes and models, and at great prices. They are built to replace your original exactly, so you can have peace of mind that it will fit just like your old one; it is just what you need to bring back the safety and integrity of your vehicle's steering!

At 1A Auto, we make shopping for a replacement power steering oil cooler for your car, truck, van or SVU easy - we're here to help you select the right part for your vehicle! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about our power steering fluid coolers, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online.

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