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What can be poured into the power steering instead of liquid

Power steeringis one of the most common steering devices in modern cars. From the name it is clear that a special fluid is needed for its smooth operation. This article will help you figure out how to choose the right oil for power steering and whether it is possible to fill it with engine oil. To know more, check out: power steering fluid alternative

Can I fill in engine oil 

Sometimes at auto forums you can find the opinion that auto fluids for power steering and automatic transmission are related engine oilso they are interchangeable. In an emergency, some brave drivers pour engine oil into the power steering tank instead of a special fluid. But all experts unequivocally say that this cannot be done, even for a short time. Engine oil, regardless of its composition, is made to perform completely different tasks and differs in its characteristics from a lubricant for power steering.

What will the result of replacing the fluid with engine oil: 

  • sooner or later it will ruin the rubber parts of the device; 

  • steering rack jam; 

  • expensive repairs will be needed.

Fluid functions 

The purpose of the power steering is so that with a slight movement of the steering wheel, the driver can easily control his car. And the substance circulating inside the device is a working fluid that transfers pressure from the pump to the power steering piston. And he, in turn, turns the wheels while moving. In addition to making the entire steering system work, this substance performs a number of important tasks:

  • lubricates individual parts and whole rail assemblies; 

  • cools the entire system; 

  • creates protection against corrosion; 

  • prevents wear of metal and rubber parts.

All these tasks are achieved due to the chemical composition of the auto-liquid . It consists of more than 90% base oil. The rest is made up of various additives, which endow the oil with the properties necessary to perform the functions listed above. In addition, these additives improve the quality of the liquid itself, for example, control the level of its viscosity at high and low temperatures and prevent the formation of foam.

What can be poured into the power steering

The ideal option is to fill in the auto liquid specified in the manual for the car . If there is no corresponding brand of oil, you need to know how you can replace it. Therefore, first you need to understand the whole variety of hydraulic auto fluids. In this case, the chemical composition of the substance, its color and the recommendations of the car manufacturer should be taken into account.

According to its composition, auto-liquid is mineral and synthetic:

  • mineral refueling in the power steering of most passenger cars, cheaper; 

  • synthetic is most often intended for heavy transport and some passenger cars, lasts longer, withstands a wider temperature range, but is more expensive than mineral and behaves aggressively towards the rubber elements of the rail.

The instructions for the vehicle must indicate which vehicle is allowed to be poured into the power steering. It is allowed to fill the tank intended for the “synthetics” with "mineral water", but vice versa it is impossible. 

Red, yellow and green auto-liquids are distinguished by color. Their features: 

  • red grease is made most often on a synthetic basis, designed for automatic transmissions, it is allowed for use in some models of power steering; the popular Dexron series from General Motors; 

  • yellow fluid is considered the most versatile, it is made mainly on a mineral basis, it is effective both in hydraulic boosters and in automatic transmissions, produced by the Daimler concern; 

  • green oil can be both mineral and synthetic, intended only for power steering and mechanical transmissions, brands from the manufacturers VAG and BMW are popular.