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Thread: Killing The Myth: ATF vs PS Fluid

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Killing The Myth: ATF vs PS Fluid

    The additives and viscosity will vary from ATF to power steering and also from one brand to the next, but destruction of a system (ours) from using one vs the other is unlikely, the are both designed for use as hydraulic fluid. Using ATF or engine oil in your brakes is certainly destructive.

    On the other hand, my MR2 for example had an electro-hydraulic power steering system utilizing an electric pump. The system called for a very specific fluid from Toyota (extremely expensive) and people reported several problems when using regular power steering fluid or ATF, but this is likely due to the pump itself. The EHPS fluid seemed to be a much lower viscosity than regular PS fluid.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Killing The Myth: ATF vs PS Fluid

    I have used ATF (Dexron 3) for many years in my PS system, along with a magnefine inline filter. I suspect that any oil meeting MIL-H-5606 would be an okay substitute.

    Hondas are definitely not okay with ATF or regular PS fluid. They will foam like crazy and overflow the reservoir.

    My wife's Volvo requires Pentosin 11s. "Extremely high VI of 320, thin CST, and supposedly very selective synthetic basestocks and additives make it special". Seems quite a few german cars also spec this. Far as I can tell, it works better at lower temps, but regular ATF would likely be fine in moderate climates.

    As an aside, PS temperatures scale with engine rpm, not load. If you do long high rpm drives (track or mountain driving) temps will be an issue.
    Last edited by 3p141592654; March 6th, 2013 at 10:59 AM.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Killing The Myth: ATF vs PS Fluid

    Quote Originally Posted by jdmfreak View Post
    A few years back my roommate put a bottle of power steering fluid (with no label) with the brake fluid on the shelf

    I grabbed it and filled my brake master cylinder with psf..... No good..... As I used My brakes they got tighter and tighter and within 5 miles were about completely locked up...

    Had my truck towed to a tire place and they informed me that "somebody" had put power steering fluid in my master cylinder and that all rubber parts in the system were toast and would need to be replaced...

    Now I took it home thoroughly flushed the system, replaced my master cylinder and everything was fine... But if psf is different from atf due to oil in the psf couldn't it essentially ruin the steering system like it did my brakes?
    that's exactly what I was thinking in my previous statement "the only real issue I can see here is that oil does cause rubber to expand" in causing rubber to expand, oil also causes rubber to deteriorate, and weaken significantly

    I understand ATF is a petrolium product, but lacks the base oil
    Last edited by Insidious Surmiser; March 6th, 2013 at 11:34 AM.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Killing The Myth: ATF vs PS Fluid

    Just because it's petroleum based doesn't make it the same...
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  5. #15
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    Default Re: Killing The Myth: ATF vs PS Fluid

    Quote Originally Posted by Poodles View Post
    Just because it's petroleum based doesn't make it the same...
    Care to elaborate? I thought that this was the whole reason we have this "myth"....
    But I have a suspicion you know more than you are sharing

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  6. #16
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    Default Re: Killing The Myth: ATF vs PS Fluid

    I would be interested to see a side by side comparison of the two candidates on a scientific scale..
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  7. #17
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    Default Re: Killing The Myth: ATF vs PS Fluid

    http://www.redlineoil.com/content/fi...PDS%201-10.pdf

    http://www.redlineoil.com/content/fi...uct%20Data.pdf

    This is just red line but maybe someone can compare the 2 on their computer as its hard for me to on my cell
    Unless I pulled the wrong data sheets... Lol

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  8. #18
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    Default Re: Killing The Myth: ATF vs PS Fluid

    I've was taught at school that if calls atf it can use either atf or ps fluid but if it calls for ps fliud only use ps fluid in it
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  9. #19
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    Default Re: Killing The Myth: ATF vs PS Fluid

    Which the redline comparisons, it seems the viscosity of the ATF fluid is more than the PS fluid. Could it be the toyota PS pump calls for ATF fluid due to the clearance between the gears being greater? Someone should disassemble one completely. This is going off the viscosity index.
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  10. #20
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    Default Re: Killing The Myth: ATF vs PS Fluid

    Quote Originally Posted by Daugherty_3 View Post
    I've was taught at school that if calls atf it can use either atf or ps fluid but if it calls for ps fliud only use ps fluid in it
    I was told the same thing. Keeping in mind that I would probably be flushing the system and using only one oil in the system once I got to a place where I was able to fix the issue/leak that made me mix oils in the first place.

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