Is power steering fluid the same as brake fluid?

Some of the other important fluids in your vehicle, are brake fluid and transmission fluid. While they all have the same overall function — to keep your car running smoothly —they all have different properties to help them do their specific jobs.

No, power steering fluid isn’t the same as brake fluid, and you should never use brake fluid as a substitute if you find that your power steering fluid is low. It has a very different chemical composition and could damage your vehicle.

How to choose the right power steering fluid

Not all power steering fluids are the same. It’s important to know the different types and understand which one is right for your car. As already noted, some vehicles use automatic transmission fluid; the most common types are Dexron, Mercon, Type F. But there are also different types of synthetic fluids that have been developed specifically for use in power steering systems in newer vehicles.

If you drive a European or Japanese car, your power steering fluid needs will very likely be different than what’s required in American-made cars. Cars from Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, Volkswagen, and Volvo all have different power steering fluid requirements, and the fluid types can change from one make and model to the next. In many cases, they require Pentosin power steering fluid, but there are different types of Pentosin fluid. Make sure you’re using the one that your car is designed to run.

If the make of your car is a Honda, Mitsubishi, Toyota, or made by a Japanese manufacturer check the specific requirements for your make and model. If your vehicle uses Pentosin steering wheel fluid, be sure not to mix it with other types of fluids.

There’s no single rule that applies when it comes to power steering fluids for cars. Take time to review your owner’s manual, do some online research, or check with the service department at your dealership to make sure that the fluids you’re using are right for your car.

Adding power steering fluid isn’t the only important maintenance task to perform on your car. Use this maintenance checklist and to keep up with the various time-sensitive checks and changes your vehicle needs to run at its best.

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