Power steering is an important system in every vehicle, as it helps drivers turn the wheel quickly and easily. Replacing the fluid in this system is a great idea, as it can ultimately save you a bundle of money in the long run.
The fluid used in this system is very inexpensive, writes Cars.com, but the parts that make up power steering are not. Pretty much every aspect of power steering is based upon the fluid, so it's a good idea to replace it every now and then.
Small pieces of the car, like seals and O-rings, will eventually break down and contaminate your fluid. This is why it needs replacing. As these tiny chunks become lodged in the fluid, it becomes far less efficient and steering can become more difficult. If you're not careful, bad fluid can damage other parts of your power steering - and you'll then be on the hook for much more than the cost of just the fluid.
The key part to watch out for is the power steering pump. You can head this off at the pass if you pay attention to your vehicle. Typically, the pump will let you know just before it's about to fail. You should hear a whining or moaning noise every time you turn the wheel, according to Cars.com. If this sounds like your vehicle, it's probably a good time to check out that fluid.