The purpose of a power steering cooler is to reduce the temperature of the power steering fluid by transferring heat from the fluid to the fins on the cooler by way of convection. This heat reduction is crucial to maintaining proper temperature. When power steering fluid exceeds its operating temperature, it no longer performs its intended purpose of lubricating and cooling the mechanical parts of the power steering system. When the mechanical parts fail to have proper lubrication and heat reduction, they will fail.
The best power steering coolers are coolers designed to the OEM specifications, and require little to no modification of mounting points and hose routing. This is because they have been tested to perform their responsibilities by the OEM prior to production. Do I need a power steering cooler? If your vehicle came equipped with one from the OEM than yes you should always replace a power steering cooler and never bypass it. If your power steering system experiences more heat than the OEM intended you will want to add a power steering cooler to your system. To learn more on power steering, check out our Ask the Experts forum.
Why is a Power Steering Cooler Important
You want to know why a power steering cooler is important – we hear you. Let’s start with some background info on the purpose of a power steering cooler. Power steering systems generate heat through friction produced in both the power steering pump and either the steering gear or rack and pinion unit. In addition to the heat generated through the power steering system, heat is also generated due to its close proximity to the vehicles engine, which will operate at a much higher temperature than a power steering system. Keeping the temperature of the power steering fluid within specifications is crucial to maintaining proper power steering system function.