Let’s start by saying that, motor oil is a lubricant that coats and protects engine parts, and helps reduce wear and friction, saving you money on maintenance expenses over time.
While, on the other hand, power steering fluid acts like a lubricant, helping you turn the wheels with minimal effort.
Can You Use Motor Oil for Power Steering Fluid?
No, we don’t think it is a good idea to use motor oils for power steering fluids. If you were to pour motor oil into a power steering pump, it can cause several problems to occur and the reason this is because these are different types of oils for various purposes and are not considered to be interchangeable.
What is Motor Oil?
Motor oil is a combination of base oils and additives designed to reduce engine friction, keep the engine clean and cool, as well as protect engine parts. Modern synthetic motor oil also performs other tasks like maintaining viscosity over different temperatures, preventing acid build, and cleaning turbos.
The oil itself consists of 90% paraffinic (heavy) hydrocarbon base stock, distilled from crude oil. The remaining portion is made up of various additives designed to reduce friction, enhance wear protection, improve oxidation resistance, and prevent corrosion. To ensure effective performance from these ingredients, they must be carefully balanced for optimal efficiency.
Learn More: Can Engine Oil Be Used in a Chainsaw
How Motor Oil Function
Engine oil is an integral part of your vehicle’s engine. It lubricates its moving parts, reduces friction between components, and keeps your engine cool.
Motor oil comes in three basic varieties: mineral, synthetic and semi-synthetic. Each offers distinct performance advantages and is recommended for specific uses.
Mineral oils are the cheapest and most widespread type of oil available. Derived from petroleum, these substances undergo special processing to be suitable for various temperatures.
Synthetic oils are a more advanced form of lubrication, designed to offer superior properties under extreme conditions and protect your engine at low temperatures. Compared to conventional petroleum-based oils, synthetics provide better viscosity control and greater oxidation resistance.
These oils are composed of Group III, Group IV, or some Group V base oils that have been purified to increase their purity and properties. These higher-purity base oils are then combined with additives that improve oil performance by increasing detergency, decreasing thermal breakdown, preventing corrosion, and inhibiting oxidation.
Modern multi-grade motor oils typically include viscosity index improvers and polymer additives that help ensure oil viscosity across a range of temperatures.
These properties can reduce engine wear and improve fuel economy over time. However, these additives should never replace changing your oil at prescribed intervals as instructed in your owner’s manual.
What is Power Steering Fluid?
Let’s start by saying that, Power steering fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid used in power steering systems to help vehicles drive more smoothly and easily. It reduces the effort needed when turning the wheel while keeping hoses, pistons, valves, and the power steering pump functioning as they should.
If it is a case where you’re uncertain about which power steering fluid is the best for your car, then we think you should check your vehicle owner’s manual for specific recommendations on what kind is best to use and when to change it.
It is essential to know that power steering fluid is an oil-based product, meaning it must meet specifications for viscosity, additives, detergents, and other components. Using a different brand or formulation than what your owner’s manual suggests may harm steering system components or cause other harm.
Most modern vehicles use synthetic power steering fluid, which is specially engineered in a lab for each car or power steering system. Non-synthetic mineral-oil-based power steering fluids may also be utilized in some systems accepting automatic transmission fluid.
Types of Power Steering Fluid
There are several different types of power steering fluid, each with its own compatibility requirements for your vehicle. You can check for this information on the reservoir or filler cap label as well as in your owner’s manual.
When shopping for power steering fluid, make sure to do so wisely since the wrong type can cause serious issues for your vehicle. Many Japanese and European models require specific fluid that meets ISO 7308 or DIN 51 524T3 standards in order to function properly.
With that said, there are various types of additives available on the market to enhance the performance of your power steering system. These help prevent leaks, clear out any damaged hydraulic systems, and rejuvenate seals within them.
It is also best to keep in mind that, power steering fluids often contain an additive that reduces friction in the hydraulic power steering system, helping you extend its life and save money on repairs in the future.
We don’t think it would be a good idea to use motor oil for the power steering fluid. The reason for this is that both oils were made for different purposes and they are known to contain different types of additives. This is the very reason why motor oil is not compatible with the power steering system.
However, if it is a case where you accidentally pour motor oil into the power steering reservoir, you should not worry. But if somehow you use a large amount, then you will definitely need to flush the system and refill the fluid.