can I use brake fluid or power steering fluid in place of transmission fluid in a pinch just to get the car to the garage?
Welcome to the forum!
I would not use anything except the manufacturer recommended fluid.*
- Unless it is a matter of life or death. IF you do decide to try it, you will need a complete transmission flush, possibly replace damaged seals, replace damaged clutches, and many other porous parts. Have someone bring you the correct fluid, or walk to the auto parts store. Maybe Uber to the parts store.
Brake fluid is not hydraulic oil, it is glycol based like coolant.
Some Power steering fluid has very incompatible additives.
Do not use this in a pinch. You will destroy your transmission.
+1 to the previous responses.
Just in case the OP is trying to save money by not having the car towed, think about this…
The towing fee will be just a very small fraction of the cost of an overhauled transmission.
Check your owners manual. On my Chryslers, ATF+4 is the recommended transmission fluid and power steering fluid. I would not use anything but, unless I was driving the car to the junkyard expecting to get almost nothing for it.
Kinda like if you can drink antifreeze instead of beer if you run out. Just keep a supply on the shelf and you won’t run out. IMHO.
Atf +4, ATF+2 was probably recommended for you car but I don’t think you will find any and ATF+4 -is backwards compatible.