Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

Power Steering fluid instead of brake fluid

I made a mistake and fill a half full brake resivour with power steering fluid. I removed all the fluid in the resivour and refilled with brake fluid. Probably better to flush the system? Other Problems?

Comments

  • edited February 2009
    I want to relieve you and say nothing will come of this,did you get it out quick?perform several resivour flushes? You will get a few different ansewrs regarding the flush,are you due anyway? No one can absolutely say no harm will come,may WAG is you are ok.
  • edited February 2009
    How old is that brake fluid? If it is over two or three years, now would be a good time to change it. A lot of people don't realize that brake fluid needs to be changed.
  • edited February 2009
    > I removed all the fluid in the resivour

    How do you know this to be 100% true? What about the residual PS fluid lining the walls of the reservoir?

    Given the damage that petroleum products can do to brake systems, and given what happens when brakes fail, if it were my car, I'd flush it (and then maybe even flush it again).

    How long was the PS fluid in there before you removed it? There's not enough information on the exposure here.
  • edited February 2009
    I'd recommend a brake system flush to be on the safe side. Get nice clean fluid all the way through the system.
  • edited February 2009
    I accidently did the same thing about two years ago on my 86 K5. I used a home-brew vacuum pump and sucked the reservoir dry, then refilled. That was two years ago and I have had no problems. At least they are both hydraulic fluids:)
  • edited February 2009
    Only performed one empty and re-fill. I will stand on the WAG. Vehical is Canadan Ford AeroStar van. Got it free and < 6 Months hope it to be gone more than likely Car crusher. BF my guess 180K miles old, I think I will take LOAFER's suggestion and just watch the brakes for now. Vehicle almost never goes over 50 MPH and only 20 miles round trip to work. Thank you all five (5). It let's me know I am not alone and going in the same direction for now. I will keep a close eye on it. Thank you again. Mrsherlock
  • edited February 2009
    I would first disconnect the lines to the master cylinder and flush it out separately from the rest of the system. You don't want to introduce any PS fluid downstream if you can help it. Heck, I would probably just replace the master cylinder. Rebuilt units are pretty cheap. Then flush the entire system.

    However, if you use the van (and, presumably, the brakes) already, you may have contaminated the whole system. Elementary, really. ;-}
This discussion has been closed.