What are The Power Steering Fluid Substitutes?

You may have set for a long drive, and unfortunately, you notice the unwanted sound and poor rotating system; checking the fluid level, suddenly you find out that power steering fluid has been finished. At this emergency moment, what will you do? Do you know about power steering substitutes?

We have covered the best power steering substitute so that you can safeguard yourself in such an emergency.

What Is Power Steering Fluid Made Of?

Power steering fluid is an essential element that helps to reduce friction and provides corrosion protection. It ensures your vehicle’s power steering works effectively and keeps the system lubricated.

Power steering fluid is made of hydraulic fluid that is usually either silicone or mineral oil-based with additives; again, vegetable oils are found in the fluid. This kind of hydraulic fluid transfers power in modern vehicles with power steering and a vital part of your steering system; it allows drivers to easily turn the steering wheel.

What Are The Power Steering Fluid Types?

There are some different types of power steering fluid as vehicle applications are also different. Here, we have listed two types of power steering fluids:

Synthetic fluid: It is a good choice given for your vehicle because it flows smoothly at a low temperature. Moreover, it reduces friction in the pump by improving the lubrication. The steering parts in the system last for a long time due to such a smooth operation.

Universal fluid: Some power steering fluids are universal. And these types of fluids contain special additives that provide various benefits like it reduces the friction and stiffness of the steering systems and improves the system’s responsiveness and performance. Again, they have properties for sealing small leaks and also prevents corrosion.

What Is The Best Power Steering Fluid Substitute?

As a car owner, you may know that your car may be out of power steering fluid at any worst moment. Do you know what you will do in such a position, or do you know any power steering fluid alternative? If no, you have to look for such an acceptable substitute for power steering fluid that can smooth your car journey.

There are many types of power steering fluid replacement like engine oil, transmission oil, brake oil, power steering oil, and axle oil. You can use them as an alternative but be careful which substitute suits your vehicle because the wrong substitute can cause plenty of damage and can attack the rubber seals, rubber parts, or plastic.

So, we answer some questions for your convenience that you can choose the best power steering fluid substitute for your car and do not get confused to use alternatives.

Can You Substitute Motor Oil For Power Steering Fluid?

Yes, you can use motor oil, but in a little amount, as motor oil has many hydraulic oil properties with a higher viscosity, it can induce cavitation in the pump and have poor steering assistance. But using little amount can cause no harm to power steering systems.

Can I Mix Power Steering Fluid With Transmission Fluid?

As they are both hydraulic fluids, technically, there should not be a problem. But as there are some differences between power steering fluid and transmission fluid, mixing them can harm the steering wheel. As PSF has oil and ATF doesn’t, it may end up damaging the power steering pump. Now ask the question that can I use transmission fluid as a substitute for power steering fluid?

Yes, you can use transmission oil like Dexron III, Marcon, type F, as an alternative if your car model recommends using ATF for power steering. Nevertheless, you should use ATF in place of power steering fluid only in emergencies as automatic transmission fluids come with friction modifiers that are not there in steering fluid.

Can I Use Hydraulic Fluid For Power Steering?

Yes, you can use Hydraulic fluid for power steering. Before using, you have to sure about the specification of the fluid by the vehicle manufacturer.

Can I Mix Synthetic And Regular Power Steering Fluid?

We will not recommend mixing synthetic and regular power steering fluid. But if it gets mixed, don’t worry because a small amount of Amsoil in some organic oil can prolong small engines’ lives. And use the synthetic fluid as a power steering system if the only manufacturer recommends it.


Is power steering fluid the same as ATF?

No, there are some differences. ATF contains detergent and a friction modifier, again the power steering fluid has oil in it, but ATF doesn’t. Moreover, power steering fluid is used for lubrication while ATF is for cleaning the tranny.

What happens when you don’t have power steering fluid?

If you don’t have power steering fluid, your car’s pump runs dry. Then friction and heat will increase, which can cause damage to the pump.

Does it matter what power steering fluid I use?

Of course, it matters. You can’t use any kind of fluid in your vehicle as every vehicle has a particular fluid recommendation.

Is power steering fluid universal?

Not for all applications because universal power steering fluid may be satisfactory for many applications, but some vehicles require additives.

How long can I drive without power steering fluid?

You can drive without power steering fluid in a very short period because, after one or two minutes, the pump may start getting damaged.

Can I use palm oil as a substitute for power steering fluid?

As palm oil produces enough pressure on the steering wheel, and if you become trapped by ATF, you can use palm oil, for instance.


Now you know all alternatives for the replacement of power steering fluids. At the last moment, we want to advise you that before using any power steering fluid types, check out first which type is recommended for your vehicle.