Skip to content
Home » Can you use brake fluid for power steering fluid?

Can you use brake fluid for power steering fluid?

    Can you use brake fluid for power steering fluid

    Have you already done it, or are you just thinking of using the brake fluid instead of the power steering fluid? If you haven’t, then stop and first know can you use brake fluid for power steering fluid? If yes, then how, and if no, then why? 

    You should never use the brake fluid for power steering fluid as both are different, and their composition is different. If you use it, then your power steering pump can get damaged. On the other hand, using a power steering fluid for brake fluid will result in damage to the seals used in the brakes. 

    So, never ever use these fluids in each other’s place. Let’s get to know their reasons in detail!

    Can you use brake fluid for power steering fluid?

    Despite the fact that they are both hydraulic fluids, power steering and brake oil have significantly distinct chemical compositions. The two fluids can’t be used interchangeably since they’ll wreak havoc on the power steering pump, the master cylinder, and other high-priced parts if they’re mixed.

    The main reason why we can’t use brake fluid in place of power steering fluid is their chemical composition and lubrication. On the one hand, brake fluid is glycol-ether-based and has 5% to 30% lubrication properties. On the other hand, the power steering fluid is petroleum-based and has 85% to 90% lubrication properties. So it is obvious that they cannot replace each other for their work. 

    In fact, placing brake fluid in the power steering reservoir will result in more than just a loss of efficiency. It will cause significant damage. You risk causing severe damage to your vehicle’s whole power steering system, resulting in sky-high repair costs.

    What are the differences between Brake Fluid & Power Steering Fluid?

    In order to understand in detail why we can’t use them in each other’s place, we need to know the differences between them. Let’s have a look at them:

    Brake FluidPower Steering Fluid
    Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid that controls your car’s hydraulic brake and clutch. Brake fluid lubricates and prevents rust in cars, trucks, and bicycles.Low-viscosity hydraulic fluid used in your car’s power steering system. It increases pump pressure to improve the power steering system.
    Composition: 60%-90% solvent, 5%-30% lubricant, 2%-5% additivesComposition: 85%-90% lubricant, 10%-15% additives
    Abrasive, it will remove the paint from your vehicle.Caustic-free
    Compression is lowLower compressibility than brake fluid
    Not a suitable lubricantA good lubricant

    The power steering pump requires a lubricant concentration of 85-90 percent in the power steering fluid. But, brake fluid, with only 5% to 30% lubricant, would be ineffective as a lubricant for the power steering pump. 

    Also, as brake fluid is caustic, it would inflict permanent damage to the power steering system’s rubber seals, gaskets, and hoses. Either they will enlarge and leak, or portions of them will entirely dissolve.

    What can happen if you use brake fluid for power steering fluid?

    When you add brake fluid to your power steering system, you’ll notice a number of issues, including:

    • It is quite difficult to remove brake fluid from the system once it has circulated through it.
    • It will smell unpleasant, and your steering may also be hampered by it.
    • If the rubber seals swell, it can cause leakage.
    • Your power steering system may fail even if everything appears to be in order.
    • It could be quite expensive if you don’t remove the brake fluid from the system.
    • Considering that a new power steering pump can cost anywhere between $300 and $800, the long-term consequences are quite significant.
    • By substituting brake fluid, the power steering pump will suffer from inadequate lubrication and premature failure due to premature wear.

    What can I use instead of power steering fluid?

    The transmission can be damaged if the improper type is used. As a result, automatic transmission fluid is the most popular alternative for power steering fluid (ATF). Instead of power steering fluid, some automakers utilize ATF (Automotive Transfer Fluid). The composition of ATF is:

    • 85-90% base oil
    • 10-15% additives

    However, you should consult a mechanic if you want to use an alternative place of Power steering fluid. Using a power steering fluid is always the best option. 

    Can you mix brake fluid with power steering fluid?

    No, mixing brake fluid with power steering is not advisable. You should use both of them in their respective places. Exchanging or using them in each other’s place will only do harm to the car’s system. 

    The hoses, rubber gaskets, and seals in the power steering system will swell to far greater sizes than they should if there is braking fluid present. On the other hand, the brake system will most likely lock up if you use power steering fluid instead.

    Bottom Line

    Now you got the answer to can you use brake fluid for power steering fluid. So, never ever try to use it in place of power steering fluid. It will only cause harm to the power steering pump, and you have to incur such high costs to remove it and repair the system. Moreover, also not use power steering fluid in the braking system. 

    We hope this article was helpful & informative. Please leave your valuable thoughts & suggestions in the comments below!

    Thank you for reading!

    More Amazing Articles for You

    How to stop rodents from chewing car wires?

    What metal is in a catalytic converter?