Can You Use Transmission Fluid for Brake Fluid

No, you cannot use transmission fluid for brake fluid. Transmission fluid is designed to lubricate and cool the components of the automatic transmission system in your vehicle and has different properties than those needed for brake fluid. Brake fluid must have a high boiling point and low freezing point, be hygroscopic (able to absorb moisture) and provide corrosion protection while also having good compressibility.

Transmission fluids do not possess these characteristics which makes them unsuitable as substitutes for brake fluids. Additionally, using transmission oil in place of brake oil can cause damage to your braking system due to incorrect viscosity or incompatibility with other components in the brakes such as seals or hoses that are sensitive to certain specific additives present only in proper DOT 3/4/5 rated brake fluids.

  • Obtain a bottle of transmission fluid from an automotive parts store or online retailer
  • Transmission fluid is typically sold in quart-sized bottles and should be marked as either “Dexron” or “Mercon” for use in automatic transmissions
  • Pour the transmission fluid into your vehicle’s brake reservoir, located on the master cylinder beneath the hood of your car or truck
  • The master cylinder will have two reservoirs: one labeled “brake” and one labeled “clutch,” if equipped with a manual transmission
  • Make sure to pour only into the proper reservoir designed for brake fluid usage
  • Check the level of the transmission fluid after you’ve poured it into your vehicle’s brake reservoir to ensure that it meets manufacturer specifications outlined within your owner’s manual or service guidebook; this will usually require topping off with additional transmission fluid until it reaches its designated fill line indicated within these manuals/guidesbooks
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  • Start up your engine and depress each pedal (accelerator, clutch & brakes) separately several times in order to aid in flushing out any remaining contaminants present within system lines before attempting normal driving operation following installation of new fluids

What Happens If I Add Transmission Fluid to My Brake System?

What Can You Substitute for Brake Fluid?

Brake fluid is an essential component of a car’s braking system, and it can be difficult to find substitutes for this particular product. However, if you are in a pinch and need something to temporarily replace brake fluid, there are several options available. One option is DOT 3 or 4 synthetic hydraulic oil.

This type of oil is designed to prevent corrosion and keep the internal components of your brakes functioning properly while also providing adequate lubrication when needed. Another option is transmission fluid which may also provide adequate lubrication and protection against wear on the brake parts. Finally, some people have reported success using mineral-based oils such as vegetable or baby oil; however, these types of oils should only be used as temporary solutions until proper brake fluids can be obtained – excessive use could lead to damage down the line due to inadequate lubrication abilities or lack of protection from rusting parts.

Is Transmission Fluid And Brake Fluid the Same?

No, transmission fluid and brake fluid are not the same. Transmission fluids are formulated to lubricate the moving parts in the transmission system and provide cooling for the components that generate a significant amount of heat during operation. Brake fluids, on the other hand, act as hydraulic mediums in braking systems; they help transfer pressure from one point to another, so when you press down on your brakes, it activates a piston that pushes against your brake pads or shoes which then create friction and slow down your vehicle.

Furthermore, while transmission fluid is usually light yellow or red in color with a slightly sweet smell whereas brake fluid is often clear or may have a slight amber tint with an odorless scent.

What Oil Can Be Used As Brake Fluid?

Brake fluid is a vital component of the braking system in any vehicle, and it must be changed regularly to ensure that your brakes are functioning properly. The most commonly used type of brake fluid is DOT 3 or 4, which consists primarily of glycol ethers or polyalkylene glycols blended with additives for proper lubrication and corrosion protection. Other types of fluids such as mineral oils, silicone-based fluids, and vegetable oil-based fluids have been developed over the years but are generally not recommended because they do not meet industry standards for performance and compatibility.

Can You Use Transmission Fluid for Brake Fluid


What Can I Use Instead of Brake Fluid

An alternative to using brake fluid is to use a mineral oil-based hydraulic fluid. These fluids are not as good at dissipating heat and may require more frequent replacement, but they provide the same lubrication and hydraulic pressure required for braking systems. Some manufacturers make special versions of these oils specifically designed for brakes, though it’s important to check that any mineral oil you buy is compatible with your particular vehicle before using it.

Can You Use Transmission Fluid for Power Steering Fluid

No, you should not use transmission fluid for power steering fluid. Transmission fluid and power steering fluid are both lubricants, but they are made of different components and serve different purposes. Power steering fluid is specifically designed to operate in a closed system with specific additives that protect the seals, hoses, pump, and other related parts from wear or breakdown due to heat build up or friction.

If you used transmission fluid instead of the proper power steering fluid it could damage these components leading to complications such as leaks or loss of pressure which can cause unsafe driving conditions.

Dot 3 Brake Fluid in Transmission

Dot 3 brake fluid is not recommended for use in automatic transmissions. This type of brake fluid can be found in manual transmission and ABS systems, but it does not have the necessary properties to ensure proper lubrication and protection of internal components within an automatic transmission. It’s important to make sure that you are using the correct kind of fluid for your vehicle by consulting your owner’s manual or speaking with a qualified automotive technician.


In conclusion, it is not recommended to use transmission fluid for brake fluid as this could ultimately cause damage to the braking system. For optimal performance and safety, you should use a DOT-3 or DOT-4 type of brake fluid that has been specifically designed for car brakes. Even though transmission fluid may be cheaper than buying specialized brake fluids, the potential problems caused by using transmission fluid in braking systems outweigh any cost savings.


  • Alex Gearhart

    Alex Gearhart, an automotive expert specializing in transmissions, has over a decade of hands-on industry experience. With extensive knowledge in manual and automatic systems, Alex is passionate about educating car enthusiasts on vehicle maintenance. As the chief author at, Alex simplifies complex concepts for readers, helping them make informed decisions about their vehicles. Outside of work, Alex enjoys road trips, restoring classic cars, and exploring new automotive technologies.

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