GM Power Steering Fluid: What To Buy & Where To Find It

in Ownership
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Power steering fluid is one of the most vital components of any operable steering system in a car, but most people don’t know how to find the right one for their vehicle. Different makes require different fluids, and GM is no exception.

We want your GM to drive like a dream whenever and wherever you want, without safety ever being a concern. CoPilot is here to help navigate you to the best GM power steering fluids available!

Why You Need the Right Power Steering Fluid

Though highly important to the operation of a vehicle, power steering fluid is often overlooked when shopping for auto parts. All cars need high-quality power steering fluid so that you can drive safely and comfortably. When you turn the steering wheel, the car’s tires are supposed to move according to your movements, and this fluid is what makes it happen.

Not all power steering fluids are made equal, however. Different fluids will have different chemical makeups optimized for specific vehicles, so the same power steering fluid that works great for one car may not work for another. You must use one specified by your manufacturer or at least one that says it’s compatible with your vehicle’s make.

If you use the wrong kind of power steering fluid, you could risk messing with your car’s steering system and destroying the pump, costing you hundreds of dollars and presenting a possible road hazard until the problem is fixed. For this reason, it’s best to go with the proper GM power steering fluid.


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What Kind of Power Steering Fluid Is Best for Your GM?

Several kinds of power steering fluid will work in your GM vehicle, but some are better than others. If you want to save money, you can go for one of the cheaper options on this list, but the best fluids recommended by GM will always service your vehicle better. With that being said, here are the best GM power steering fluids:

  1. GM/AC Delco Power Steering Fluid. This is GM’s power steering fluid, which is almost always your safest bet for any make or model of car. The manufacturer explicitly recommends this one, and although that’s partly because they developed it, they made it that way for a reason. This fluid is excellent at noise reduction, consistent lubrication, and keeping your steering system from corroding or foaming. The AC Delco power steering fluid also has an additive instilled in it that enhances your car’s performance, making it the best GM power steering fluid. 
  2. Royal Purple MAX EZ Power Steering Fluid. The Royal Purple MAX EZ is the finest aftermarket power steering fluid you can get for your GM car. While it isn’t as well-tuned to the specifications GM asks for and is a little expensive, it can be an excellent way to beef up your steering system’s protection against general wear and tear and corrosion. You even have the choice of using this by itself or adding it to the fluid you’re already using.
  3. Prestone AS261 Power Steering Fluid. Another solid choice for GM power steering fluid is Prestone, an inexpensive product highly regarded due to its ability to extend a power steering rack’s life more than most competitors. Additional benefits are renowned noise reduction in your power steering system.

We suggest getting the GM/AC Delco Power Steering Fluid as it’s the option most approved by the manufacturer, but the other two options in this list should suit you well. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for any fluid restrictions specific to your model, but as long as nothing alarming is listed there, you should be good to go with any of the above fluids!


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Where Can You Buy the Right GM Power Steering Fluid?

If you’re worried about where to buy GM power steering fluid, don’t fret! It’s straightforward to find the power steering fluid options we’ve mentioned. You can go to any auto parts center in your area for these products, including places like Autozone, Pepboys, and O’Reilly Auto Parts. Many major retailers such as Walmart and Amazon also carry these power steering fluids, so they aren’t challenging to find. 

Other Things You Should Know about GM Power Steering Fluid

It’s often said that you should replace your power steering fluid every 50,000 miles or every five years you drive your car, and this is true, but only if you don’t know what the manufacturer of your vehicle recommends. This can often vary by make and model, so you should look in your owner’s manual to see if you need to replace it earlier. Even without a suggested time period, there are a few ways you can tell if your power steering fluid needs to be replaced.

Since its primary function is to keep your steering system functioning so that your wheels can turn, an obvious sign of trouble is that you can’t quickly move the steering wheel. The sound your car makes as you steer can be another litmus test. Your vehicle shouldn’t be making loud screeching or grinding noises when you turn, so if it is, you should get it checked out right away.


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Another symptom of low or bad fluid is the steering wheel itself shaking violently. If any of these problems occur in your car, take a look at the power steering fluid reservoir. You’ll likely find the fluid is low or leaked out, indicating an immediate need for replacement before you get back on the road.

We also recommend checking your GM owner’s manual to find the proper specifications for the power steering fluid prescribed by your manufacturer. They should be able to tell you the exact requirements your GM model needs from the power steering fluid, and while our recommendations will work great, it never hurts to check the manual.

GM Power Steering Fluid FAQs

Power steering is cheaper than costly repairs caused by old power steering fluid. While it’s not as urgent as mechanical repairs and oil changes, changing the power steering fluid is also essential. Thus, it’s always best to change your vehicle’s power steering fluid as recommended in the manual.

Can you still drive without power steering fluid?

The lack of power steering fluid won’t physically stop you from driving your vehicle. However, driving without ample amounts of fluid will damage the pump. Without enough lubrication in the pump, friction and heat will increase and result in expensive repairs. Also, the feel of steering will be much heavier, and more force will be required.

What are the common symptoms of low power steering fluid?

Here are some of the most common symptoms of low levels of power steering fluid:

  • Noise from steering – With less fluid and more air in the pump, you’ll hear noises generated from the pump.
  • Uneven power steering – If you feel jumpy or shaky whenever you steer, check your fluid levels asap.
  • Puddle under the vehicle – Look for the reddish liquid underneath your car as you may have a power steering leak.

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