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

in Ownership
Honda Civic bumper

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With many auto parts and car products out there that you may eventually need to buy, the excessive number of options available can be highly confusing. To the untrained eye, they all look the same and seem like they work the same way, with the only main difference being price.

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. You must purchase a power steering fluid that’s optimized for your vehicle; Hondas are actually some of the pickiest makes out there in this regard. Getting the suitable Honda power steering fluid requires some specific knowledge, which is why CoPilot is here to help!

Why You Need the Right Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid is an essential component of any working steering system. Cars require fresh, quality power steering fluid so that you can drive safely. This fluid is what keeps the wheels turning easily and accurately when you turn the steering wheel, keeping your car moving the way it’s supposed to. All power steering fluids are not made equal, however. Different fluids will have different chemical makeups attuned to specific kinds of vehicles, so you can’t use just any power steering fluid in your car.

It’s essential that you use one specified by your manufacturer or at least one that clearly states its compatibility with your vehicle’s make. Using the wrong power steering fluid can cause excessive damage to your car by locking up your steering system and causing loud noises, corroding the seals that keep fluid in the car, and destroying your pump. Therefore, it’s important to avoid using incompatible power steering fluid. 

Signs of Low Power Steering Fluid

Below are the common symptoms you’ll likely experience with your Honda when you’re low on power steering fluid:

  • Steering troubles - Obviously, you’ll run into steering issues if you’re low on this fluid. You’ll find the wheel becomes stiff and difficult to turn. The steering wheel may also feel heavier at low speeds, and maneuvering becomes cumbersome.
  • Jerking wheel - When turning the wheel, you’ll feel some jerky and not-so-smooth movements. For instance, when turning right, the wheel might jerk back to the left and back again. Not a good thing because you’ll be prone to accidents.
  • Wheel locking - Few things are more nerve-racking than experiencing a wheel lock while driving. When you’re low on fluid, the steering system goes through reduced pressure to lock the wheel. Fortunately, this symptom is more likely to happen at low speeds and not when cruising through an interstate – but it’s dangerous, nonetheless.
  • Visible leaks - Low power steering fluid might be a sign of a leak. Power steering fluids are usually reddish, get darker over time and turn into a maroon hue. Make it a habit to look underneath your Honda and check for puddles of fluids.


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

While a large number of carmakers can use many types of power steering fluids, Honda is a bit different. It’s never advisable to use a power steering fluid for any car that isn’t compatible. Still, the recommended power steering fluids list for Honda is relatively small. This is because Honda has implemented a robust and complicated OEM power steering system in its cars that requires specific kinds of fluid with a higher viscosity than most have.

Many of the options you’ll find topping the lists of best power steering fluids aren’t ideal for Honda cars, either causing them to function below the optimal level, or worse, actually causing damage to their systems. For this reason, we won’t be able to recommend a lot of power steering fluids for Honda, but the ones we will recommend are readily available and relatively inexpensive. Now that we’ve established that, let’s move on to the best Honda power steering fluids:

  1. Genuine Honda Power Steering Fluid. The manufacturer’s top recommended power steering fluid for Honda vehicles is straight from the source. This fluid was designed to work specifically for Hondas, and it shows. If you spring for this, you can expect not only an excellent maintenance job for your car but reduced wear and tear and more accurate steering as well. We highly recommend purchasing Honda’s own power steering fluid because it isn’t that much more expensive than aftermarket alternatives, and it’s the safest bet if you want outstanding performance.
  2. Idemitsu PSF Universal Power Steering Fluid. If you don’t want to buy the Genuine Honda Power Steering Fluid, Idemitsu makes a decent alternative. This is one of the very few power steering fluids that work okay with Honda cars. Idemitsu has done a solid job simulating Honda’s power steering fluid here, making this a worthy substitute if need be. This option is cheaper than the Genuine Honda fluid and is known for helping reduce noise in the steering system and maintaining lubrication well.
  3. Autozone Honda Power Steering Fluid. Autozone has constructed a power steering fluid meant to satisfy the requirements of Honda steering systems. It works almost as well, but we can’t recommend it very highly because it’s no less expensive. In fact, compared to the price of Honda’s fluid on their direct parts website, it’s more costly. This means that it’s a suitable option if you must buy it, but there isn’t any reason to.

This list may seem small, but we really can’t emphasize enough how important it is that you use a power steering fluid that complements your Honda’s sophisticated steering system. The options are unfortunately few and far between. Some good news is that the two previously mentioned fluids will work for all Honda models, so you don’t have to worry about getting one tailored to your specific Honda vehicle.


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Where Can You Buy the Right Honda Power Steering Fluid?

While the power steering fluid options might seem intimidating, you can thankfully get most of them at the same places. You should first check out Honda’s direct parts website for the Genuine Honda fluid. You can order online at a pretty low price here, making it a great place to buy a Honda power steering fluid.

Another surefire way to buy power steering fluid is always stopping by any reputable auto parts center, such as Autozone or O’Reilly Auto Parts. These places sell most kinds of power steering fluid, along with a variety of other car maintenance products. You can also purchase most types of power steering fluid from major retailers like Walmart or Amazon, including all of the ones we’ve mentioned above.


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Other Things You Should Know about Honda Power Steering Fluid

It is a bit of an inconvenience that you have so few options for buying a Honda power steering fluid, but it’s for a good reason. This make is known for its superior steering feel from the OEM power steering system used in its models, requiring a specific chemical concoction to keep it working right. You’ll find that it was worth seeking out the correct power steering fluid when you feel the effect it has on your Honda’s very technical internal systems, allowing you to drive with better accuracy and precision.

And as we always recommend, checking with a trusted expert can only do good! In this case, you should read your Honda owner’s manual and see what they have to say about the proper power steering fluid to use. They’ll likely have the same recommendations, but it’s usually worth a look.

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