Is Power Steering Fluid Same As Brake Fluid?
Automotive parts do not just include car spare parts, it also includes different fluids for the car.
Fluids are used to maintain lubrication and smoothness of operation in the car.
Now, coming to our question, Is power steering fluid the same as brake fluid?
The short answer is No. Brake fluid is very different from power steering fluid.
The composition of brake fluid has different chemicals and power steering has different chemicals.
Now, let us discuss this in detail.
What is the Function of Power Steering Fluid?
Power Steering fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid. It is used in the steering system, to create a link between the steering wheels and the wheels of the car.
The hydraulic pressure decreases the effort that is required to turn the car.
The power steering fluid also lubricates the other parts inside the steering control. It also ensures there are no other problems like corrosion or foaming in the steering control system components like the gear and steering pump.
What is the Function of Brake Fluid?
Brake fluid plays an important role in the overall braking system.
The brake fluid comes into function when you apply the brake pedal. The brake pedal, when applied creates a pressure and this is transferred to brakes.
The process of braking causes high temperatures in the braking system. This high heat can cause problems like condensing of moisture.
The brake fluid absorbs the moisture, preventing that from boiling, which could cause brake failure. Not just this, the brake fluid also maintains the lubrication for the braking system and prevents problems like corrosion.
It is crucial that the brake fluid remains in its form, in both high and low temperatures.
How to choose the right power steering fluid
Here are a few important things that you should take into consideration while selecting the right power steering fluid for your car.
There are different types of power steering fluids. Sometimes it’s as similar as the automatic transmission fluids and other times it is Dexron, Mercon, Type F and ATF+4. So, you should check for what type of fluid suits your car.
If you are driving an American car brand like Jeep and Ford, the requirements of power steering fluids are different and if you are driving Japanese brands like Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Mitsubishi the power steering fluid requirement is different.
It is important that you check your owners car manual before the purchase or ask details to the auto parts dealer.
Benefits of choosing the right power steering fluid
Some of the benefits of having the right power steering fluid for your car are as follows:
- Having the power steering fluid at proper levels helps the function of other parts effectively. It keeps the valves, piston, hoses, and the power steering pump working in a smooth and proper sync.
- Not having enough levels of power steering fluid or clean power steering fluid can fail the lubrication of moving parts of the steering system. The parts can also wear out. With time, even the existing power steering fluid of your car might be (riddled) with metal parts and debris. It can lead to the corrosion of parts. Having the right power steering fluid prevents wear-off and corrosion.
- Power steering fluid maintains the flow of energy in the steering system. The power steering fluid is hydraulic. And this protects the seals and O-rings.
How to choose right brake fluid for your car
There are few important characteristics that you should take into account while considering the selection of the right brake fluid for your car.
Here are the important characteristics that are important to consider while choosing the right brake fluid:
- The brake fluid must have a high boiling point. This helps in avoiding vaporization.
- The brake fluid should maintain viscosity in both: high and low temperatures.
- The brake fluid should be capable of absorbing moisture. It should be Glycol-ether based (DOT 3, 4, and 5.1). These brake fluids are hygroscopic in nature.
- The brake fluids should maintain a low level of compressibility, in a wide range of temperatures. As we discussed above the brake fluid has to work in high and low temperatures.
- The brake should be chosen after checking the test of water and copper content. The lower the water content the better. Excessive water can cause corrosion over time.
Benefits of choosing the right brake fluid
Some of the benefits of choosing the right brake fluid for your car are as follows:
- A good brake fluid prevents brake problems like brake failure. The brake fluid ensures the proper flow of hydraulic energy which helps the braking system.
- Choosing the right brake fluid helps with better braking during emergencies.
- It also helps with better performance for those who love to race around and ride at high speeds. It is recommended that you keep a regular check if it’s normal for you to drive at high speeds.
Power steering fluid and brake fluid are different. They have different objectives in the car.
It is important that you check all the fluids of your car on your maintenance schedule.
It is also recommended to keep these two fluids in your priorities once it’s time to change, else it might cause more damage to the associated parts.