For those unfortunate enough to have driven a vehicle without power steering, you’ll know how much of a struggle it is compared to a modern vehicle with a power steering system. Of course, there are those automotive enthusiasts that will argue power steering takes away from a “true” driving experience—but let’s be honest, very few would want to actually drive a vehicle daily without power steering. That’s why it’s extremely important to keep your power steering system in good condition, and that means using quality power steering fluid.
Hydraulic power steering systems need to be kept lubricated and that’s where power steering fluid comes in. Some formulas also contribute by conditioning and protecting the components of your power steering system by offering corrosion protection. You may also need to stop your system from leaking, and there are fluids specially designed to do just that by revitalizing the seals in your system.
There are several brands that offer high quality power steering fluids in today’s market. Naturally, you can go the OEM route and purchase power steering fluids manufactured by an automaker. This can be especially important for certain makes and models, especially vehicles from Honda and Acura. If you own a Honda or Acura, you will want to make sure the power steering fluid you’re purchasing is designed to work with your vehicle.
In this article, we’ll focus on power steering fluids from aftermarket brands, most of which will work with a variety of vehicles as a universal solution. But, as always, make sure that a particular product is compatible with your vehicle prior to purchasing.
For more information on the top 10 best power steering fluids, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
- 1. Editor's Pick: Royal Purple MAX EZ Power Steering Fluid
- 2. Prestone Power Steering Fluid
- 3. Lubegard Synthetic Power Steering Fluid
- 4. Lucas Oil Power Steering Fluid with Conditioners
- 5. Red Line Power Steering Fluid
- 6. ACDelco Power Steering Fluid
- 7. Johnsen's Power Steering Fluid
- 8. RAVENOL Power Steering Fluid
- 9. MAG1 Power Steering Fluid
- 10. STP Power Steering Fluid
1. Editor's Pick: Royal Purple MAX EZ Power Steering Fluid
You’ve likely heard of the Royal Purple brand, and the company offers one of the best power steering fluids on the market. It’s our pick as the top choice, featuring proprietary Synerlec additive technology. This advanced power steering fluid is designed to maximize the life and performance of all power steering units and can be mixed with conventional power steering fluids.
Royal Purple Max EZ is formulated with a blend of select synthetic base oils, along with Synerlec additive technology. According to Royal Purple, Synerlec is proven to make equipment run cooler, longer, quieter, and more efficiently. Along with providing greater wear protection, Max EZ keeps your power steering system clean and efficient, helping extend your power steering pump’s life. In addition, the non-foaming formula aids with rust and corrosion protection and is capable of performing in high temperatures.
- Blend of synthetic base oils with proprietary Synerlec additive technology
- Maximizes life and performance of all power steering units
- Can be mixed with conventional power steering fluids
- Offers greater wear protection and extended pump life
- Rust and corrosion protection
- Withstands high temperatures
2. Prestone Power Steering Fluid
Another recognizable brand, Prestone’s power steering fluid features anti-wear agents designed to protect your power steering pump’s components. This solution also offers seal conditioners to protect and rejuvenate seals, helping maintain smooth power steering operation. Anti-foam agents help with preventing pump cavitation and steering loss, while corrosion inhibitors protect metal components and pour point depressants contribute to good steering even in low temperatures. Prestone’s power steering fluid also uses antioxidants to prevent sludge formation.
Formulated with high quality oil and fortified with additives, this power steering fluid will also help to stop pump squealing. It’s compatible with factory fluids and it meets service requirements from many automakers, including Chrysler, Ford, and GM.
- Anti-wear agents to protect pump
- Seal conditioners protect and rejuvenate seals
- Anti-foam agents prevent pump cavitation and steering loss
- Corrosion inhibitors protect metal components
- Pour point depressants deliver good steering in low temperatures
- Antioxidants to prevent sludge formation
- Formulated with high quality oil and fortified with additives
- Compatible with factory fluids
- Meets service requirements from many automakers
3. Lubegard Synthetic Power Steering Fluid
Lubegard’s Complete Synthetic Power Steering Fluid is designed for all types of vehicles, whether they’re American, Asian, or European. Designed to reduce friction while protecting seals and hoses, Lubegard’s option will help extend the life of your power steering system and is great for electric hydraulic systems. This power steering fluid also provides excellent cold and high temperature performance, eliminating “morning sickness” stiffness from your power steering system. You can also use this formula to clean and free sticky turbines and pumps.
This fluid is formulated with a superior base synthetic oil along with a proprietary additive package that includes 2 patented technologies: SynergolTMS and LXE (Liquid Wax Ester). According to Lubegard, SynergolTMS is the first non-active, phosphorous-free surface molecule composed solely of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. That means it contains no other toxic, corrosive, metallic, or polluting elements. LXE features a molecular structure that allows unsurpassed heat transfer to help make this power steering fluid one of the most stable around.
- Works with all types of vehicles
- Designed to reduce friction
- Protects seals and hoses
- Great for electric hydraulic systems
- Provides excellent cold and high temperature performance
- Cleans and frees sticky turbines and pumps
- Formulated with a superior base synthetic oil with a proprietary addictive package with 2 patented technologies
- SynergolTMS – non-active, phosphorus-free surface molecule composed solely of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen
- LXE – molecular structure that allows unsurpassed heat transfer
4. Lucas Oil Power Steering Fluid with Conditioners
Like Royal Purple, Lucas Oil is a popular and reputable brand among automotive enthusiasts and the company’s power steering fluid is one of the best on the market. Formulated with the finest base oil and Lucas additives, this power steering fluid is boosted with conditioners to extend your power steering system’s life. It’ll provide smooth, quiet operation while conditioning your system’s seals and preventing leaks.
This made in the U.S. power steering fluid is compatible with all power steering systems and fluids, petroleum or synthetic.
- Formulated with the finest base oil and Lucas additives
- Boosted with conditioners to extend power steering system’s life
- Provides smooth, quiet operation while conditioning seals and preventing leaks
- Compatible with all power steering systems and fluids (petroleum or synthetic)
- Made in the U.S.
5. Red Line Power Steering Fluid
Red Line’s power steering fluid offers improved wear protection and adds resistance to thermal breakdown, evaporation, and foaming. This lightweight power steering fluid is designed to avoid power loss and offers 50% greater high-temp viscosity and 1/5 of the high-temp evaporation. Greater heat resistance from this power steering fluid helps to prevent boil-over and high-temp steering fade, as well as difficult steering at low temps.
This power steering fluid is compatible with petroleums and synthetics and has 1/4 of the oxidation of petroleum power steering fluids. It’s suitable for most power steering units and will work to provide continued high pump output, while preventing leakage and squealing.
- Offers improved wear protection and adds resistance to thermal breakdown, evaporation, and foaming
- Designed to avoid power loss
- Offers 50% greater high-temp viscosity and 1/5 of the high-temp evaporation
- Helps prevent boil-over, high-temp steering fade, and hard effort steering at low temps
- Compatible with petroleums and synthetics
- 1/4 of the oxidation of petroleum power steering fluids
- Suitable for most power steering units
- Prevents leakage and squealing
6. ACDelco Power Steering Fluid
Another popular brand on our list, ACDelco’s power steering fluid is an amber-colored, light-bodied mineral oil with a specially developed additive. It’s one of the more affordable options on our list, formulated for automotive use in vehicles with a regular hydraulic power steering system. It has been designed to provide anti-corrosive and non-foaming qualities, while providing excellent lubrication for year-round use. It will also help reduce power steering noise and improve all-weather performance.
- Amber-colored, light-bodied mineral oil
- Features specially developed additive
- For use in vehicles with a regular hydraulic power steering system
- Anti-corrosive and non-foaming
- Reduces power steering noise
- Improved all-weather performance
7. Johnsen's Power Steering Fluid
Johnsen’s offers four different power steering fluids: Original Formula, Universal, Leak Sealer & Conditioner, and Honda & Acura. We’ll focus on the Original Formula, which is a high quality power steering fluid and conditioner. It mixes with most factory power steering fluids, helping stop pump squealing while protecting seals and preventing unusual wear.
If you own a Honda or Acura, you can opt for Johnsen’s Honda & Acura power steering fluid, which is specially formulated for Honda and Acura vehicles. The company’s Leak Sealer & Conditioner variant adds conditioner and leak stopping additives to help maintain seals and o-rings. The Universal version is similar to the Original Formula but is designed to meet most domestic and import vehicle specifications.
- Four different variants available: Original Formula, Universal, Leak Sealer & Conditioner, and Honda & Acura
- High quality power steering fluid and conditioner
- Mixes with most factory power steering fluids
- Helps stop pump squealing
- Prevents unusual wear
8. RAVENOL Power Steering Fluid
It may not be as well known as brands such as Royal Purple and Lucas Oil, but Germany-based RAVENOL offers a quality power steering fluid that works with a variety of vehicles from popular automakers such as Audi, VW, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, GM, Ford, Porsche, Land Rover, Toyota, Hyundai, and Kia. RAVENOL’s power steering fluid boasts outstanding anti-foaming characteristics with an extremely low pour point, providing excellent corrosion protection and thermal stability. The result is reliable corrosive protection and a neutral behavior toward seal materials. It is a high performance synthetic mineral-based hydraulic fluid.
Helping maintain consistent viscosity in extreme operating temperatures (-40°C to over 130°C) is its excellent shear stability. This option is designed specifically for high tolerance hydraulic systems, so it can also be used on hydro-pneumatic suspension systems as well.
- High performance synthetic mineral-based hydraulic fluid
- Works with a variety of vehicles from popular automakers
- Anti-foaming characteristics
- Extremely low pour point
- Excellent corrosion protection and thermal stability
- Excellent shear stability to maintain consistent viscosity in extreme temperatures
- Designed specifically for high tolerance hydraulic systems
- Made in Germany
9. MAG1 Power Steering Fluid
MAG1’s power steering fluid is specially formulated to meet the needs of nearly all U.S. domestic and foreign automakers’ power steering systems. It features FMX (Friction Management for Xtreme Protection) technology, helping prevent wear and corrosion while controlling foaming tendency. This power steering fluid also assists in preventing slippage and resisting oxidation. It’ll work to ease steering operation and can even help stop annoying squeaks and squealing from your power steering system. It’s one of the more affordable power steering fluid options on our list.
- Meets the needs of nearly all U.S. domestic and foreign automakers’ power steering systems
- Features FMX technology
- Prevents wear and corrosion
- Controls foaming tendency
- Helps prevent slippage
- Resists oxidation
- Eases steering operation
- Stops annoying squeaks and squealing
10. STP Power Steering Fluid
The last option from our list comes from STP, a brand you’ve likely seen if you’ve stepped into any local auto parts store. This unique 2-in-1 formula protects against wear while revitalizing dried, hardened, and shrunken seals with a special conditioner. It will help fight further wear and pump breakdown and is compatible with all approved power steering fluids. You’ll want to choose this option if you’re looking to stop or reduce fluid loss that is caused by seals that leak from wear or shrinkage. STP advises not to use this with broken or scored seals, as it probably won’t do much to help you.
Use this power steering fluid as preventative maintenance, since the treatment will help stop most wear and shrinkage.
- Unique 2-in-1 formula
- Protects against wear
- Special conditioner revitalizes dried, hardened, and shrunken seals
- Helps prevent wear and pump breakdown
- Compatible with approved power steering fluids
- Great for preventative maintenance
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works.
Photo credit: Surakit Sawangchit / Shutterstock.com