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When it comes to the ATF vs Power Steering Fluid debate, the situation may get heated among the car owners. In this case, we prepared this ATF vs PS Fluid guide based on fully researched information so you can have the complete and right information to ensure the proper use of these fluids. In this guide, you will learn:
- ATF vs power steering fluid quick comparison table
- Differences between these two fluids
- Some similarities
- And much more!
Quick Comparison: ATF Vs Power Steering Fluid
|Name||ATF||Power Steering Fluid|
|Reason of usage||Cooling, lubricating, and preventing rust in the transmission.||Cleaning, lubricating, and conditioning the power steering system seals.|
|Color||Red.||Clear, pinkish, and amber.|
|Smell||Releases the different sweet smell||Smell like a burnt marshmallow|
|Ability||Filter dirt and grasses to prevent them entered into the power steering system. Control the extreme heat buildup of the valves.||Reduce the friction between several parts of the system. Provide hydraulic pressure to the system’s parts.|
|Main role||Lubricate the components that are present in the vehicle’s transmission system.||Provide sufficient power to the power steering.|
|Viscosity||Viscosity and viscous friction.||Viscosity and viscous friction.|
|Construction||Made with seal materials to prevent failure of the hydraulic fluids.||Same as ATF.|
|Best Product||Check Here||Check Here|
ATF Vs Power Steering Fluid: In Details Comparison
Many people want to know if the ATF is the same as PS fluids or they are pretty much different. This comparison will help you find the most acceptable answer as we covered a whole lot of information about these two fluids
Automatic Transmission Fluids
Automatic transmission fluids are essential for several reasons including cooling, lubricating, and preventing rust in the transmission. If you don’t use ATF, or even if you use the wrong one, it may cause the transmission to overheat and generate debris. However it may happen steadily but finally, it can rub the components of the transmission.
On the other hand, if you talk about manual transmission, it doesn’t need any particular fluids like ATF or synthetic oil. Besides, Automatic transmission fluids can fail under normal use due to the high operating temperatures in the automatic transmission. It means the fluids have to change. But it doesn’t occur in manual transmission.
As people don’t usually change the transmission fluids as they change motor oil, so it is recommended to use the best fluids. It will effectively help reduce heat and increase lubrication.
Power Steering Fluids
As believed, power steering fluid is essential for cleaning, lubricating, and conditioning the power steering system seals. It also spreads the required hydraulic power while steering.
With plenty of features, there are lots of type steering fluids are available in the market that also varied different formulas. Even the vehicle’s user manual doesn’t recommend any special steering fluids to use.
So it’s all your duty to find out the right PS fluids that can effectively deal with leakage. Leakage is the regular power steering problem that finally causes the seals to harden and waste wearing away the seal surfaces.
Even thing can get worse if you use unclean power steering fluids that don’t have right additives, so the best way to prevent these unnecessary problems is periodically checking the system and replacing with the right PS fluid.
Differences between ATF and Power Steering Fluid
The automatic transmission fluid comes in red color and it releases different sweet smells. On the other hand, power steering fluids are usually available in several colors like pinkish, clear, and amber. Besides, it creates a bit of smell like a burnt marshmallow.
Friction modification and detergents
However both of them are hydraulic fluids, but the key differences between these fluids are in detergents and Friction modification. The ATF comes with detergents and friction modifiers. The detergents usually filter dirt and grasses to prevent them entered into the power steering system.
As a result, they can’t damage the pump and steering rack’s hydraulic valves. At the same time, the friction modifiers keep the pump in check and control the extreme heat buildup of the valves
Conversely, PS fluid doesn’t have any detergents and friction modifiers. But still, it can reduce the friction between several parts in the system and extreme temperature buildup. The other main job of these fluids is to provide hydraulic pressure to the system’s parts. Besides, it lubricates the steering pump and gear unit.
Both the ATF and power steering fluids contain the same seal materials that can prevent hydraulic fluid breakdown. But when it comes to performance, the automatic transmission fluids will stay at the top as they offer super performance in high-temperature ranges.
The aspect that makes it able is its additives. These greatly help finish up blocking the power steering system’s actuator and a fluid pump.
PS fluid is a type of hydraulic flowing material that is mostly used to supply enough power to the power steering of the vehicle. Like other engine oil, the power steering fluids need servicing after remaining functional for certain miles.
On the other hand, the main role of the automatic transmission fluid is to lubricate the components that are present in the vehicle’s transmission system. Besides, it acts as a coolant in the vehicle to offer proper transmission. Both the ATF and PS fluids play a vital role to make a smooth performance from the engine.
Similarities between ATF and Power Steering Fluids
Though both of these fluids are quite different from each other, they have some similarities as well. Let’s talk about some main aspects which put them into the same class.
The initial feature that makes them related to each other is their type. Both of the fluids come in the hydraulic blend. These fluids are cycled through high-pressure pumps to run some high force mechanism.
These fluids design in such an incredible that have low viscosity and viscous friction. Especially, the aspect makes them suitable to endure as much as 1000 PSI of pressure even pressure without heating much while they are at work.
As they have low viscosity and viscous friction, so both of the fluids can withstand reasonably high temperatures. Therefore they can easily flow through skinny tubes. Besides, they can supply the essential lubricity to protect the sliding mechanical parts and the rotating pump from tear and wear.
Finally, both fluids construct with similar seal materials to prevent failure of the hydraulic fluids. Even some power steering fluids need similar types of ATF which makes the PS fluids compatible with ATF. But you should check the vehicle’s user manual to follow the better instruction about using the types of fluids.
ATF And Power Steering Fluids (Faqs)
Is It Okay Acceptable To Mix Power Steering Fluid With Transmission Fluid?
It is not recommended to do so as if mix it can lead to compromise the transmission seals. The reason is transmission fluids are formulated with a different formula. However, if both of the fluids include the same viscosity it may work for some models.
What Can You Substitute For Power Steering Fluid?
ATF will be the most suitable alternative for power steering fluid. Lots of brands use ATF in place of power steering fluid.
Can I Use Motor Oil Instead Of Power Steering Fluid?
Yes. You can pull motor oil rather than power steering fluid as it is safe. Besides, it won’t spoil the seal and it is compatible with the hydraulic oil as both of them are comes from the same base stock.
The comparison guide of ATF vs power steering fluids comes to an end here. Hope now you are clear on the concept. However we have offered detailed information about these two fluids but still, if you have hesitation, you can research on the internet and consult with experts.
Finally, you can use transmission fluid in place of power steering fluid. But before applying, check the vehicle manufacturer’s suggestions to avoid damage.