Fluids and lubricants are very important while you are driving any vehicle. It is very important to have a regular check on the level of fluids so that you don’t run out and cause damage or harm to any part of your car. But what if you get low on any fluid and don’t have the reserve available suddenly? Can you interchange it with any other fluid or not?

As many people ask this question, what can they use instead of power steering fluid? In this article, we will be covering what you are looking for! Let us have a look.

Also Read: How Engine Oil Cooler Works?

What Can I Use Instead Of Power Steering Fluid?

The best alternative of power steering fluid is ATF, an Automatic Transmission Fluid. Before moving forward to other fluids that you can use instead of power steering fluids and other specifications, let us first understand what power steering fluid is.

What Is Power Steering Fluid?

All of us are aware that for the last 7-10 years, every car comes with a power steering system, and before this, the drivers used to face difficulty in driving as steering used to be heavy. But now the power steering system has resolved this problem.

Power steering fluid is that lubricant that helps in the smooth turning of steering. It is a hydraulic fluid that helps to reduce the effort of turning the steering wheel.

Also Read: How To Get Water Out Of Engine Oil?

Now, what if you suddenly get low on power steering fluid and don’t have any refill? Let’s look at what you can use instead of power steering fluid.

Best Alternatives of Power Steering Fluid

There are various options available that you can use instead of power steering fluid. Let us have a look at some of the best alternatives.

Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF)

This fluid is specifically known to provide better performance to auto transmission. Many manufacturers even recommend using ATF instead of power steering fluid. The thing that makes Automatic Transmission Fluid suitable for use instead of power steering fluid is that both the fluids are hydraulic fluids. 

You must keep in mind not to use ATF interchangeably with power steering fluid as a detergent in ATF takes away the dirt present in the Power Steering Pump and can choke or cause damage to the pump if used regularly.

Synthetic Fluids

Synthetic fluids are the ones that have smoothing lubricants. A power steering system requires fluids offering smooth flow, so much effort is not required to turn the steering wheel. You can use synthetic fluids instead of power steering fluids only in an emergency.


Dexron is another type of auto transmission fluid that can be used instead of power steering fluids if you get stuck in a situation where you don’t have any power steering fluid reservoir. 

There are different variants of Dexron available in the market. Still, before purchasing any, we recommend you go through the owner’s manual and look for what is suitable and what is not.


Mercon is almost the same as Dexron and can be used as a substitute. If you are low on power steering fluid, you can also use Mercon for the time being but make sure not to use it for too long.

Now that we have had a look at what you can use instead of power steering fluid, it is equally important to see what you should avoid or try not to use instead of power steering fluid until in case of a dire emergency.

Also Read: How To Open Engine Oil Cap?

What Should You Not Use Instead Of Power Steering Fluid?

Vegetable oil or common oil

Never use vegetable oil or common oil instead of power steering fluid as it can cause severe harm to your car’s power steering pump.

Brake Fluid 

Although some people advise that you can use brake fluid instead of power steering fluid, that’s not true. Power steering fluid needs a lot of lubricants, but that is not present in the brake fluid. Although brake fluid is heat resistant, it will be useless in this case. You can just mix a bit of it with power steering fluid if there’s an emergency.

Engine Oil

Engine oil has a much higher viscosity than present in power steering fluid. So it is advised not to use, and in case of an uncontrollable emergency, you can just mix a little of it with natural power steering fluid.


Our car has different kinds of fluids, such as power steering fluid, transmission fluid, axle fluid, hydraulic fluid, etc. It is important to keep a timely check on them to avoid damage. 

In the article above, we mentioned some fluids you can use instead of power steering fluid in an emergency.

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