What Would Happen if You Put Brake Fluid in Power Steering?

Many people often wonder what would happen when they accidentally put brake fluid into power steering.

Is it going to cause some troubles with the power steering?

Does it lead to a severe damage?

Do you need to consider it as a serious problem?

Does it require a thorough flushed out of fluid and then refilled with the suitable one?

To get the right answer, you need to read this useful article thoroughly to learn the difference between 2 types of fluid and how they interact with each other.

What is the Fluid in Power Steering?​

The fluid in a Power Steering has the following features:

  • This is basically a petroleum-based fluid.
  • It is often used as the lubricant between various metal-on-metal contacts.
  • It offers pressure transfer medium.
  • You could apply it for a dynamic steering. In general, there is a pump on the first side and a cylinder on the second side.

What is the Brake Fluid?

The followings are some features of brake fluid:

  • Brake fluid is basically a glycol-based fluid.
  • It helps to take in most moisture in the car’s system.
  • It would also dissipate heat.
  • Compared to other types of fluid in your car, it is not actually a good lubricant.
  • It is often applied to the static brakes. In general, there is a cylinder on both the first and second side.

Related Article: Top 5 Best Brake Fluid and Buying Guide

What are the Differences Between these Two Types of Fluid?

In fact, you could easily notice obvious nuances between both types of fluids. In earlier years, when the technology has not evolved, it was acceptable to apply brake fluid in power steering. However, as the manufacturers have developed some advanced technology, these fluids are created for a particular purpose.


This, it is always recommended to apply the fluid based on their usage to make sure the optimal performance of your car. In some situations, you could use brake fluid as oil for the power steering when there are any extreme problems. This is mainly because both of these are hydraulic fluids. Nevertheless, you might not use the fluid of a power steering for the brake because this part requires a version with high boiling point.

What Should You Do after Putting Brake Fluid in the Power Steering?​

  • First, you need to understand the situation. It is all about adding brake fluid in the power steering, not about putting power steering liquid in a brake.
  • Petroleum oil could damage all of the rubber seals that are used in your car’s brakes and lead to many serious problems. In addition, brake fluid would dissolve paint from the vehicle’s surface.
  • As soon as you notice that you have added the wrong fluid, attempt to flush all of this out of the reservoir. In fact, this is simple to do on the condition that you have yet to start the car. Otherwise, it is very challenging to extract because it has already mixed up to some degree.
  • By using a turkey baster, you could simply get rid of the brake fluid. Another method is detaching the return line from the power steering on the primary side of the pump.
  • You could keep this line in the bucket till the reservoir is empty. You could also crank the engine of your car for a couple of seconds on the starter.
  • Once the pump gets empty, you could reconnect the whole system and refill the reservoir with the right type of fluid.
  • Lastly, run your vehicle back and forth for a couple of times to flush out all of the air from the system.

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Effects of Putting Brake Fluid in the PowerSteering

The following are some common consequences when you put brake fluid in the power steering intentionally or unintentionally:

  • The fluid has a bad smell and also affect the.
  • The swelled-up effects in most rubber seals are amplified, which leads to some leakage.
  • If you don’t get rid of all brake fluid soon, it would be very expensive to repair.
  • Long-term impacts are quite considerable even when the power steering of your car seems not to be influenced a lot.

Which Types of Fluid Should You Use for The Power Steering?

In general, there are 2 types of fluid that you would use for the power steering in your car, including power steering and automatic transmission fluid.

Importance of Using Power Steering Fluid

These days, there are a wide variety of heavy-loaded vehicles on the road. And such vehicles require a steering that could help to guide the wheels smoothly. In addition, with the development of advanced technology, accessories in a car, including the power steering system, are getting more complicated. Thus, we need to apply power steering or pressure transmission fluid to friction, corrosion, wear, and resistance.

To have a better understanding of its significance, it is important to learn the structure of a power steering system. In general, it is designed with a pump powered by the car’s engine. This unit helps to provide high-pressure fluid in the power steering to a steering gear. Whenever you turn the steering, this fluid makes it simpler for you to turn the wheels. The type of fluid for a power steering system is mostly dependable on the material of this part.


After going through all necessary information above, we hope that you understand the basic facts to deal with this problem. Before making any decision, remember to take all potential consequences into consideration and take essential steps to keep your vehicle safe from common issues.

Related Article: What Should You Do When The Power Steering Does not Work Correctly?


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5 thoughts on “What Would Happen if You Put Brake Fluid in Power Steering?”

  1. Accidentally put about 1/2 of an ounce of brake fluid into my power steering reservoir, it was full. Should I flush it?



  2. My son put an 1/8th of a cup ( 3 – 4 cap full ) brake fluid in the power steering Reservoir. I have not turn to car on yet, I manage to take out about 1/2 or a little more of the fluid out that was in the reservoir using a straw. Should I be concern about anything now.


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