When you are handling your car, you will find yourself in some dilemma. One of the questions you are likely to ask about yourself is whether brake fluid can be used in power steering.
And unless you have the answers, you can easily make some stupid mistake.
In this article, we will answer this question.
To give you a clear answer, we need first to understand brake fluid and how power steering works.
Let’s get started.
What is Brake Fluid?
Brake fluid is a glycol-based fluid. It performs one specific function – to absorb moisture from the braking system. The fluid also dispels heat from the system.
Brake fluid applies pressure to the brake rotors so it can stop your car.
Unlike most of the other fluids in your car, brake fluid is not a good lubricant. It’s specifically used for static brakes with cylinders both on the primary and secondary sides.
The fluid dissipates heat and maintains the same viscosity. It also has a high boiling point to ensure that the brakes do not fail or get spongy.
Brake fluid is also not compressible, which makes it perfect for maintaining brake pressure.
What is Power Steering Fluid?
Power steering fluid is a lubricant between two metal surfaces. It’s petroleum-based, and apart from lubrication, it also acts as a pressure transfer medium.
The power steering fluid is mainly designed for the dynamic steering – a steering wheel with a cylinder on the secondary side and a pump on the primary.
Can You Use Brake Fluid in Power Steering?
No. This is a simple answer to this question. If you want to get the best out of your car, you need to use the right fluid on the right components.
If it’s brake fluid, you need to use it on the brakes. And if it’s power steering fluid, use it on the power steering fluid.
This is because of one major reason – these fluids are not similar. Brake fluid and power steering fluid are designed to perform different tasks. Their composition is different, and when one is used in the place of the other, it won’t perform.
As we have previously seen, one of the roles of power steering fluid is to lubricate between two metallic surfaces. Unfortunately, brake fluid doesn’t have a lubrication property sufficient to lubricate your metallic steering components.
So, if you use brake fluid in the power steering wheel, it won’t function as intended.
In case you use the fluid accidentally, we recommend that you change it immediately. If you don’t, it will damage key components in your power steering.
The Only Time You Can Use Brake Fluid In Power Steering
It’s highly discouraged to use brake fluid in the power steering. However, you can use brake fluid in power steering only when in an emergency. Both are hydraulic fluids, and it will work. But once the emergency is sorted, remove the brake fluid immediately. Replace it with the right fluid before it causes a huge damage to the power steering system.
Difference Between Brake Fluid and Power Steering Fluid
Power steering and brake fluid may seem similar to each other because they operate the same. Both fluids use pressure properties. And this can easily mislead you to think that both fluids are similar.
The fact is that these fluids are different. They only work in their systems and cannot use them in place of each other.
Brake fluid is excellent in removing moisture, not compressing, dissipating heat, and lubricating. On the other hand, power steering fluid is excellent in giving excellent lubrication and viscosity under cold and hot temperatures.
Effects Of Putting Brake Fluid In The Power Steering
Putting brake fluid on the power steering comes with some effects. The following are some of the common effects of putting the brake fluid in the power steering.
– A bad smell is coming from the steering area.
– Swelled-up effect on steering rubber leading to fluid leakage
– It will damage your power steering system if it’s not replaced on time
– Brake fluid will cause permanent damage to your power steering since it can’t give enough lubrication.
– It will dissolve any paint on the power steering.
What Should You Do After Putting Brake Fluid on The Power Steering?
As soon as you notice you have added brake fluid on the power steering, flush all of it from the reservoir. Empty the reservoir.
You can easily do this by detaching a return line from power steering through the primary side of the pump. Put the line in a bucket until the reservoir is empty.
Alternatively, you can use a turkey baster to get rid of the brake fluid.
After you have fully emptied the entire pump, reconnect the system and refill the reservoir with power steering fluid. Lastly, turn your vehicle on and run it back and forth for some time to remove any air that could be stuck in the system.
Buy The Best Power Steering Fluid
There is no need to use brake fluid in power steering while you can easily get power steering fluid from Amazon. You can order it now, and it will be delivered to you.
However, if you wish to get the best out of the power steering fluid, you need to get quality fluid.
Prestone Pack of 1 AS261 Power Steering Fluid-32 oz is the best fluid you will find in the market. It will deliver;
– Smooth power steering operation
– Anti-wear for your steering components
– Protect your car
The fluid is available on Amazon. Click here to check the latest price and buy it from Amazon now.
Sometimes you can get tempted to put brake fluid in the power steering. Other times you might do it accidentally. And worst of all you might think they are all similar.
But the truth is these are two different fluids, and none should be used in place of the other.
If by accident, you add brake fluid in the power system, you need to flush it immediately before it damages the power steering system.