Can I Use Brake Fluid For Power Steering Fluid? Yes Or No?

Written By: Terrence Hines
Category: Engine

Can I use brake fluid for power steering fluid? The short answer is no. Each part of a car’s engine needs a special fluid to help it move smoothly and do its job.

Brake fluid can actually damage some of the more delicate pieces in the power steering system, so it is only recommended to use a fluid approved by the manufacturer.

Can I Use Brake Fluid For Power Steering Fluid?

The straightforward answer to the question can I use brake fluid for power steering fluid? is a definite no.

Brake and power steering fluids are designed to work differently and serve different functions in vehicle systems, so they must remain separate.

Brake fluid is made with a blend of glycols which can be corrosive, while power steering fluid is typically mineral oil-based and less likely to cause harm to the engine if leaked onto surfaces.

Additionally, brake fluids can become hygroscopic over time, absorbing moisture from the air.

Can I Use Brake Fluid For Power Steering Fluid?

This can lead to clots that can affect the function of the brakes. However, other fluids remain unchanged by humidity.

Because of all this, it is better to avoid mixing any vehicle fluids and give each component what it needs for proper performance.

Risks Of Using Brake Fluid For Power Steering Fluid

Many people can relate to running low on power steering fluid and wondering if they can sub in some brake fluid instead.

While this can seem like a logical solution at first, it can be quite dangerous.

Brake fluid and power steering fluid are different. Do not use brake fluid for power steering. If you do, it will damage the car’s steering system over time.

Brake fluid is much thicker than power steering fluid, which can cause friction within the system when used with power steering components.

It can also compromise the system’s temperature range due to its lower boiling point.

Therefore, it is not recommended that you replace your car’s power steering fluid with brake fluids, as doing so can be potentially hazardous and a far costlier solution.

Differences Between Brake Fluid And Power Steering Fluid

When it comes to automotive maintenance, knowing the difference between brake fluid and power steering fluid can be confusing.

Although both fluids are essential for your vehicle’s proper functioning, understanding their unique properties can help keep your car running reliably.

Power steering and brake fluid may seem interchangeable, but they are quite different and serve very different purposes.

Differences Between Brake Fluid And Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid is typically thin, light, and clear in color. In contrast, brake fluid, on the other hand, tends to be thicker, darker in color, and usually characterized by an anti-transparent odor.

Brake fluid is a robust liquid that won’t corrode, and its hydraulic force capabilities allow it to create pressure up to 1000 PSI.

This high pressure enables the brakes their safe and effective functioning as the brake fluid transmits power from the master cylinder to your brakes.

Power steering fluid is a lubricant designed to keep your power steering system in peak condition, even during the coldest temperatures.

Therefore, it’s not advisable to use brake fluid as an alternative; while it might seem like a cost-saving short-term solution, you may end up with costly repairs further down the line.

Ensure you know what kind of fluids are in your car to ensure they remain at optimal performance.

When You Should Never Use Brake Fluid For Power Steering Fluid?

When the question of whether I can use brake fluid for power steering fluid comes up, many drivers are tempted to do it to save money.

However, using brake fluid for power steering fluid can be incredibly dangerous and cause immense damage to your steering system.

Despite the common misconception that these fluids can be used interchangeably, they serve different purposes and function differently.

Brake fluid ensures brakes can lock into place quickly and resists heat.

Power steering fluid must remain a lubricant so that the pump in your engine can run conveniently – brake fluid would not do this as well.

To avoid severely damaging your car and potentially endangering yourself on the roads, it is essential to use only power steering fluid when you need it!

Things To Do When Adding Brake Fluid For Power Steering Fluid

The answer can be a bit complex regarding whether I can use brake fluid for power steering fluid.

Can I Use Brake Fluid For Power Steering Fluid

Brake fluid can temporarily replace power steering fluid in some emergency scenarios, but only if no other option is available.

It should not be used as a permanent solution since both substances are completely different and can cause damage to the car’s system if not dealt with correctly.

You must be careful when adding brake fluid to your power steering reservoir.

You need to know the color and texture of the fluid. You also need to release any air pressure before adding more fluid.

Lastly, you must check the levels often and flush the system with fresh new fluid afterward.

This way, you can maximize engine longevity and keep your vehicle running for many years.

Substitutes For Power Steering Fluid

Many drivers may ask if I can use brake fluid for power steering fluid, but the answer is no.

The recommended substitutes for power steering fluid include plain motor oil, transmission fluid, and light-duty ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid).

When choosing which substitute to use in place of power steering fluid, you must consider the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.

Substitutes For Power Steering Fluid

Be sure to check your owner’s manual before making any substitutions, as you can cause damage to your system by using the wrong product.

Additionally, only a small quantity should be used instead of power steering fluid, as increased quantities can decrease performance and cause premature failure.

It is best to stick with genuine power steering fluid when possible to ensure optimal performance.


In conclusion, can you use brake fluid as a substitute for power steering fluid? Unfortunately no, it is not advisable to do so.

Power steering can be ruined if brake fluid seeps into it, resulting in costly repairs. Furthermore, this spillage will lower your vehicle’s performance and may even lead to a total breakdown.

Investing time and money now on maintenance could save you from running into trouble later down the line!

It is best to use only the power steering fluid that is made for your car. This will help your car last longer and be easier to steer.

Frequently Asked Questions

With so many fluids used in cars, it can be hard to keep up with which can be used where. O

One of the most frequently asked questions is whether brake fluid can be used instead of power steering fluid.

The answer to this depends on the make and model of your car, as some makes or models can use either, while others require specialized fluids.

An easy way to find out is to check your owner’s manual, which should tell you which oils or fluid types can be used. Alternatively, your nearest automotive technician can help advise you further.

Q1. What If I Use Engine Oil In My Power Steering?

If you’re considering using engine oil to replace your power steering fluid, don’t.

Engine oil can be used in some cases, like with hydraulics and transmissions. But it is very thick, so it might cause damage to your power steering system if you use it there.

In addition, engine oil can gum up or change the viscosity of the existing fluid, leading to clogs and possible contamination.

For best results, use the correct type of power steering fluid for your vehicle, as this is specifically designed for your power steering system’s needs.

If you are unsure which type of oil is best for your car, you can ask an expert or look in your car’s manual.

It is also a good idea to keep track of when you need to check and change the fluids in your car, such as power steering and brake fluid.

Remember that can I use brake fluid for power steering fluid can be a no-go; make sure to double-check before attempting anything with your vehicle.

Q2. What Type Of Oil Should You Use For Power Steering Fluid?

Choosing the right power steering fluid for your vehicle can be overwhelming, as many different types and brands are available on the market.

While motor oil can be safely and effectively used in some vehicles, it is important to note that it can also damage some engines.

Therefore, it is always best to check with a trusted mechanic to confirm the type of power steering fluid recommended for your particular make and model of car.

Some recent model cars require synthetic or specialized power steering fluids rather than regular motor oil.

When choosing a power steering system fluid, make sure not to use brake fluids. Brake fluids can cause harm to your car’s power steering mechanism.

Although the two liquids may appear comparable, they are quite different.

Q3. Can Transmission Fluid Be Used In Place Of Power Steering Fluid?

While transmission fluid can be substituted in place of power steering fluid in some circumstances, it is not recommended as a long-term solution for most vehicles.

Can I use brake fluid for power steering fluid? Most of the time, it is not a good idea to mix different types of brake fluid.

This is because they usually have different compounds and additives that can harm your car. For example, they can cause damage or make your car rust over time.

Even though hydraulic power steering systems can use different types of oils, using fluids that are not approved is not recommended.

Keeping up with maintenance and repairs can lead to costly consequences, like voiding your warranty or having parts break sooner than anticipated.

When trying to figure out what oil or lubricant to use, it is important to look at the vehicle owner’s manual. This will help you avoid having problems with the system.


Terrence Hines

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