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Can You Use ATF in Honda Power Steering?

Can You Use ATF in Honda Power Steering?

ATF stands for automatic transmission fluid, which is used to lubricate automatic and manual transmission components. In addition, it also dissipates the heat that is produced during gear application and changing procedures. You can add it to the power steering of Honda, but it depends on the model and year.

Can You Use ATF in Honda Power Steering? You can put ATF in a Honda power steering because both are hydraulic fluid, used as a substitute, convenient option, and cleaning action. However, some people avoid these because of their incompatibility, risk of pump failure, delicate components, and deterioration of the steering rack.

ATF is specially designed to reduce friction, heat production, and cleaning, while power steering fluid is only used for lubrication.

Why would you put ATF in Honda power steering?

Many people use the ATF for different models of Honda cars because they think they can save money.

Hydraulic fluid

Many people think they can use ATF to lubricate the steering components because both are hydraulic fluids. In addition, transmission and steering also work on hydraulic principles.

These hydraulic fluids cannot cause a problem when you mix them, but the issue occurs because of the incompatibility of the specific vehicles.

These are hydraulic components and need hydraulic fluid for their functioning. Furthermore, they need sufficient hydraulic fluids in lines for the smooth functioning of the steering parts.

Automatic transmission fluid is superior because it provides more benefits and contains more lubrication additives.

However, some vehicles only require mineral-based fluid instead of oil-based, so you cannot use the automatic transmission fluid in them because it is oil-based.

You can only use synthetic fluid in them according to manual instructions.

Substitute for power steering fluid

Sometimes, power steering fluid is not available so you can use the ATF as the substitute because of their same lubricating actions. These have different compositions and viscosity, but some manufacturers allow them to use them because of their compatibility with specific components.

Automatic transmission fluid does not contain alcohol or gasoline that can ruin the parts completely. It is helpful to lubricate the moving parts to make the car’s maneuverability easy and increase the steering response to decrease accidents.

You can only use it as a substitute temporarily and for a shorter period because long-term use causes a problem. Long-term use can also cause deterioration of the seals.

You can only use them for a shorter time and try to find the correct fluids compatible with your Honda car.


Some of the ATF are compatible with the steering parts, and you can use them for lubrication purposes. People use a single hydraulic fluid for both of the components after checking their compatibility.

In addition, it is also convenient for drivers because they do not have to carry different fluids with them during long tours for their safety.

Moreover, they do not overload their shelves with various fluids designated for different components. It is the most accessible option for drivers because of its easy availability in automotive stores.

It is a temporary solution to meet the urgent need for safe driving. Furthermore, it is a cost-effective solution because other fluids are costly and not easily available in stores.

Cleaning action

Many people also think they can use the ATF in the power steering of their vehicle because of their cleaning action. It contains detergents to remove the dust and grease from the transmission components.

It also contains several additives and friction modifiers to keep the debris particles away and ensure the smooth functioning of various parts. However, these cleaning detergents and friction modifiers are not suitable for steering wheels because these can cause failure of hydraulic valves.

In addition, these detergents also lead to the deterioration of steering racks, seals, and pumps.

Why do some people not use ATF for Honda power steering?

Some people do not prefer to lubricate the power steering component of their vehicle with ATF because they are more conscious of their reliability.

In addition, they do not add them because of the incompatibility of these fluids with the specific model of their cars. Furthermore, they also contain several additives that can cause problems.

These have different viscosities, which can disturb the functioning of the specific components. They think that it can damage the pump and also lead to their failure.

It can also cause the deterioration of the seals of the steering racks. However, you can only use it for the short term and in serious situations. Replace them with the right one after flushing the previous ones so they do not mix.

Moreover, you can also use them in old cars manufactured in the early 70s and 80s because of their crude and highly reliable materials.

The older cars can easily bear this because these are not typically made of lighter-weight materials that are now present in modern cars. These contain delicate components that get damaged easily.

These delicate components use the fluids designated for them, and using the wrong type can harm them and cause problems for drivers while driving.

They use the specific fluid to increase performance and decrease wear and tear chances. Both of these fluids are different; transmission fluid is red in color and has a fruity and sweet smell, while power steering fluid is pinkish and has a burnt marshmallow-like odor.

What happens if you add the wrong power steering fluid to a Honda Car?

Read the owner’s manual to check the correct type of power steering fluid that you can use according to the model of your Honda car. Avoid using products that are incompatible with their parts because it can lead to damage and failure of several components.

My friend has a Honda Accord, and he always prefers to use the ordinary fluid mentioned in the manual for lubrication to decrease the risk of damage.

Using the wrong type that is not compatible with a specific model of your car leads to serious issues. It can ruin the interior seals of the steering parts and disturb stability and control.

In addition, I always prefer to read the proper information while adding fluid to different components because using the wrong type also voids your vehicle’s warranty.

Moreover, the wrong fluid cannot properly lubricate the interior parts, making maneuverability in different directions difficult.

You can also hear the clicking noise while steering in different directions because of friction between their parts. Furthermore, it can also move between the lines and can cause damage.

Things to consider while using ATF for the power steering of Honda

It is better to not use the ATF for lubrication of power steering components of your car according to your choice and preferences. It is necessary to consider several points because mishandling and incorrect information cause the deterioration of several parts and increase repair costs.

Check the owner’s manual of the specific cars to get enough information. The manual provides the proper information on whether you can use ATF as a substitute.

In addition, manufacturers also give information about the specific fluid you can use to lubricate steering components. You have to use the product specifically mentioned in the model according to the model and year of your car.

Some manuals also specify the types of automatic transmission fluid that you can use for steering parts. You can specifically use the ATF that is mentioned in the manual, and the use of the wrong type can lead to the malfunctioning of Honda power steering.

Avoid overfilling and check the level of fluids before adding the previous ones because overfilling damages the whole system and can also affect driving conditions.

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