Well I have created this post after I was monitoring the search terms used to come to this blog.
Checking the power steering fluid is very easy on an Audi A3 but I have included a few extra checks just to make sure that everything is working as it should.
Firstly open up the bonnet on your car and as you are looking at the car you should spot (normally on the left hand side) a green gap with a large slot across the top.
Open this carefully ensuring that you don’t have the engine running! You will find attached to the bottom of the cap a little dip stick. This normally has a hot and a cold reading on it so locate the appropriate one and wipe clean the dip stick with a rag.
Carefully reinsert the dip stick and pull it back out cleanly. This will then show the level. It should sit between the min and max mark. It is very important that it is not over the max mark as this will not allow for expansion when the fluid becomes hot.
If the level is ok, take a clean sheet of white paper and put a tiny drop on it to check the colour of the power steering fluid. Check according to your manual the correct colour for the car. I used a Febi in my car as I got it from GSF but I understand that for most VW and Audi’s its green BUT PLEASE CHECK YOUR VEHICLE FIRST!!
If it is not the correct fluid it could be damaging your power steering rack pump and all of the other components such as pipes. My best recommendation is to then flush the power steering system which is not difficult.
Alternatively if it is the correct colour top up if necessary. If it is necessary to top up do not do it more than twice in 12 months. Power steering fluid is not meant to be used up like oil. It is a sealed system and if you are using it, it means you have a problem such as a leak. (Read my other post for more info on power steering problems).
Checking your power steering levels regularly and especially when there is a whining noise when turning the steering wheel can save hundreds of pounds in the long run!