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Can You Use Transmission Fluid For Power Steering Fluid

Can You Use Transmission Fluid For Power Steering Fluid?

Transmission fluid is a special oil that lubricates the gears in your transmission. There is quite a bit of confusion about whether or not you can use transmission fluid for power steering fluid.

Transmission fluid is designed to lubricate gears within a gearbox. Power-steering fluid is designed to lubricate hydraulic valves used in power steering systems. While these fluids share some properties, they are different enough that it may be difficult for your car to function properly if you use one in place of the other.

While transmission fluid can be used for power steering fluid, many mechanics will caution against this practice.

What Is A Transmission?

A vehicle transmission is a complex component of your car that serves as a gearbox and allows you to set the engine’s speed. A transmission can be manual or automatic, and both types come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Manual transmissions typically allow for more control over the operation of a vehicle, as they allow you to change gears as you see fit. Manual transmissions are also generally less expensive than automatic ones, though they require more maintenance.

Automatic transmissions are likely the more popular option, as they are much easier to use and don’t require any effort on your part when it comes to changing gears. They also tend to last longer than manual transmissions. However, they cost more money upfront and can cause some problems if you don’t properly maintain them.

What Is Transmission Fluid?

Transmission fluid is a lubricant used to keep your car’s gears from grinding against each other and causing damage. It is also used to keep the gears from heating up, which can cause even more damage. By providing protection and keeping the gears cool, transmission fluid allows for continuous operation of your car’s transmission system.

Over time, transmission fluid can get dirty or break down, at which point it needs to be replaced. You should replace your car’s transmission fluid every 30,000 miles (at most). If you drive in extreme conditions, such as in stop-and-go traffic or on dirt roads, you may have to change your transmission fluid more often.

How Do You Know When To Change Your Transmission Fluid?

Your car’s manual will tell you at what mileage intervals you should change your oil and other fluids. However, some signs indicate that you need to change your transmission fluid immediately. If you notice any of these symptoms while driving, go ahead and make an appointment with a mechanic:

  • Increased engine noise and vibration when in “drive” or “reverse.”
  • Delayed shifting or difficulty when changing gears.
  • A burning smell coming from underneath the hood.

What Is Power Steering Fluid?

Power steering fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid. As the name suggests, it is used in automobiles with power steering systems. It can also lubricate other vehicle parts and is often applied when performing tune-ups and other maintenance.

The device that assists with steering in vehicles is the power steering pump. This pump is located on the front of the engine, typically near the alternator and water pump. It uses hoses to connect to the steering rack or steering box, and it contains a reservoir that holds the fluid. The fluid moves through the hoses when a driver turns the wheel, providing additional force to help turn the wheels in response to a driver’s movements.

What Are the Various Types Of Transmission Fluids?


Mercon transmission fluid is a type of lubricant used in automatic transmissions, and if it is not replaced regularly, it can cause damage to your vehicle.

Most manufacturers recommend changing Mercon transmission fluid every 30,000 miles or two years, whichever comes first.

If you have never changed the fluid before, it is important to know what type of transmission you have to use the correct type of fluid for that model.

HFM Fluids

HFM fluids are a special kind of fluid used to lubricate and cool the transmissions in various types of heavy machinery. There are multiple categories of HFM fluids, including HFM-D, HFM-N, HFM-P, and so on. Each one has a different set of properties that make it ideal for different machinery.

Motor Oil

Motor oil is a combination of base stock and additives. The base stock comprises hydrocarbons, and the additives can be either organic or inorganic. Base stocks are produced by distilling crude oil and then further processing it.

Synthetic Fluids

Synthetic fluids are a category of chemical compounds that are used in place of natural fluids such as oil. While synthetic fluids were first developed as lubricants and hydraulic fluids, they’re now used across many different industries, including the manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, and agriculture industries.

Hypoid Gear Oil

Hypoid gear oil is a type of lubricant meant to be used with hypoid gears, which are typically found in car rear axles. Hypoid gears are a type of spiral bevel gear with teeth that are not parallel to the axis of rotation.

Difference Between Power Steering And Transmission Fluid

Power steering fluid is used for lubrication in the power steering system; it prevents metal-on-metal contact, reducing wear and tear on the car’s components. These fluids are dyed a distinct color or have a translucent appearance, so they are easily distinguishable from other types of vehicle fluids. Transmission fluid helps to lubricate your car’s transmission, which is part of your vehicle that helps change gears. It assists with gear changes by reducing friction between gears—it also cools down the transmission system and provides hydraulic pressure to shift gears.

These fluids are different because they have different properties. For example, power steering fluid is typically thinner than transmission fluid, while transmission fluid may be more slippery. They also have different appearances: power steering fluid is usually red while transmission fluid is green or brown.

What Happens If You Run Low On Transmission Fluid?

Transmission fluid is pretty important. It keeps your car’s transmission running smoothly and efficiently, without overheating. It also helps prevent corrosion and wear on the system’s parts. It’s not a good idea to run low on transmission fluid or let your fluid run dry. Here are a few things that might happen if you run low or out of transmission fluid:

  • The gears in your transmission may not be able to shift properly, either because there isn’t enough fluid left to cool them or because there isn’t enough lubrication for them to function normally
  • Your car could start emitting a strange burning smell, which would indicate that the gears are overheating
  • Your car could start making a grinding noise when it changes gears, which is another sign that the gears aren’t being cooled or lubricated properly

As you can imagine, none of this is good for your car (or you). Luckily, it’s easy to avoid these problems by keeping an eye on your transmission fluid levels!


If you notice that your power steering fluid is low, it’s always best to check the level and top it off before any long road trip. And while you may feel tempted to save some money and substitute transmission fluid for power steering fluid, don’t. Most experts discourage doing this for a variety of reasons. First, make sure that the transmission fluid you have on hand is compatible with the make and model of your vehicle. This means checking the manufacturer’s recommended fluids against what you have at home. Drive safe.

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