I’ve recently engaged in a lively discussion about whether it’s ever acceptable to use a substitute for power steering fluid. My friend insists only power steering fluid should be used, while my grandfather mentioned an alternative. I’m seeking clarity on what substitutes, if any, can be temporarily used for power steering fluid and the potential risks involved.
The debate you’re having is quite common, and indeed, both sides have merit. In situations where power steering fluid is unavailable, you can temporarily use automatic transmission fluid (ATF). This is because your car’s power steering system and transmission both operate hydraulically, making the fluids somewhat interchangeable. However, this should only be a short-term fix.
It’s essential to replace the ATF with the correct power steering fluid as soon as possible. Using ATF for an extended period can risk damaging your power steering pump and other components due to differences in fluid properties like viscosity and additives designed for specific systems.
Remember, while a temporary substitute can get you out of a tight spot, the long-term health of your vehicle relies on using products specifically designed for their respective systems. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to consult with a professional.
The Car Middle East Troubleshooting Team