What Happens If You Put Power Steering Fluid In Gas Tank? (Explained)

Your car’s power steering fluid is an important part of the entire power steering system because of how this is what the pump moves around to make the system work.

While it might be important for you to fill your car up with power steering fluid, what happens if you make a mistake, such as when you actually added the fluid in the car’s gas tank instead of the fluid reservoir?

Here’s what happens if you put power steering fluid in gas tank

Nothing bad will happen if you put power steering fluid in the gas tank as long as you didn’t put a lot. There are some mechanics that add a bit of transmission fluid to the gas tank to clean and lubricate the fuel injectors and the different chambers. But there will be a bit of smoke when the fluid burns up.

If you made a mistake when you added power steering fluid in the gas tank, don’t fret too much because this shouldn’t be too serious to the point that it will damage the engine.

As long as you believe that you didn’t put a lot of power steering fluid and that you have enough gas in the tank, your car should be able to run without a ton of problems.

Should power steering fluid move in the reservoir?

When your car is running on a hydraulic power steering system, one of the most important things you should know is that you need to make sure that the power steering reservoir has enough power steering fluid in it. That is because hydraulic power steering systems make use of fluid to allow the power steering to work.

The way a hydraulic power steering system works is that it uses the power steering fluid to move it around the system so that the pressure from the fluid will allow you to move your steering wheel without having to put much effort into it. 

It basically works in the same way that a brake system works. You probably already know that you don’t have to put much effort into the brake pedal because of how the pump or the vacuum in the brake system is what allows pressure to multiply and then uses fluid to move the pressure to the brakes. 

In a hydraulic power steering system, the concept is similar because the power steering pump allows the power steering fluid to move around the system so that the pressure from the fluid basically assists in moving the car’s wheels. This minimizes the effort you need to exert when you are moving the steering wheel.

So, to answer the question, yes, the power steering fluid moves around in the reservoir. And unlike the other fluids in the car, the power steering fluid tends to move a lot because of how most drivers tend to move the steering wheel a lot as well. This is unlike the brake fluid that only moves when you step on the brake, as the power steering fluid tends to move more often than most of the other fluids in your car.

What happens if you put power steering fluid in the gas tank?

Now that you know what the power steering fluid does and how important it is to the entire power steering system, you should already know that you need to make sure that the power steering fluid reservoir has enough fluid for the power steering to work. That means that you need to top up the reservoir when there is a need to do so.

However, what if you made a mistake by putting the power steering fluid in the gas tank. This isn’t something that is rare because there are some newbie drivers who are still trying to figure out which reservoir is which. So, what happens if you put power steering fluid in the gas tank?

Generally speaking, nothing too bad will happen to the engine or the car itself if you accidentally add power steering fluid in the gas tank instead of the power steering fluid reservoir. The power steering fluid will only mix with the gas and will burn up along with the fuel as your engine combusts. That means that you should expect to have a higher emission than normal because of how your fuel mixture is no longer as refined as it should be.

However, take note that it is important for you to make sure that you didn’t add too much fluid into the gas tank because a higher concentration of power steering fluid with respect to the concentration of fuel can make your engine less efficient when running. But this shouldn’t be a problem because most people don’t usually put a lot of power steering fluid into the reservoir when they are topping it up.

If you somehow made this mistake while your gas tank is nearing empty, what you should do is to go to the nearest fuel station to refill the tank. Doing so will allow you to dilute the mixture and increase the concentration of fuel with respect to how much power steering fuel is in the gas tank. This will allow your engine to treat the smaller concentration of power steering fuel as an impurity that it will simply burn off while running.

Can you use a power steering fluid as a fuel additive?

Another interesting thing to know in relation to your gas tank and your power steering fluid is that it may be possible to use the fluid as a fuel additive. The reason is that power steering fluid acts as a lubricant in the sense that it can help clean up and lubricate the different chambers found in your car’s engine.

While not a lot of mechanics use power steering fluid, what they actually do from time to time is use transmission fluid to lubricate the engine’s chambers. So, in a sense, you may be able to use power steering fluid as well because of how it has a similar nature to that of power steering fluid. Just make sure that you don’t put a lot of power steering fluid into the gas tank to allow your engine to still work efficiently.

Sources

What happens when power steering fluid is put in a gas tank?

PS fluid in reservoir moving