Can I Use Regular Power Steering Fluid In My BMW?

BMWs are high-end European automobiles, thus any power steering fluid won’t do. When you use high-quality fluid that matches the design of your BMW, you can truly sense the difference in driving when compared to others that have been tuned expressly for fancy automobiles like these. There are a few options available for your BMW power steering fluid, but if you want to keep your beautiful BMW in peak condition, you shouldn’t go too far from them. The best power steering fluids for a vehicle like this are listed below:

  • Power steering fluid with pentosin. Pentosin power steering fluid is the brand’s top fluid, according to the manufacturer. It keeps your car’s steering system operating like a dream and was created with BMW requirements in mind. Pentosin CHF-11S is required for BMW vehicles made after 1990, while CHF7.1 is needed for earlier models.
  • Automatic transmission fluid, Dexron III. If your BMW can accept ATF, this is next to Pentosin in terms of fluid quality. Dexron is a fantastic option for your car’s power steering fluid provided your BMW owner’s handbook says that you can use that with your model. If not, check to see what the manufacturer has to say about ATF.
  • Power steering fluid made by Prestone with a stop leak. Although not specifically designed for BMW, this is useful for models that were produced before 2012 since it’s a great additive for vehicles that once used ZF hydraulic power steering racks, which BMWs had.
  • J1B1001 Power Steering Fluid by Ravenol. Another good aftermarket alternative for your BMW is ravenol. It aids in the prevention of corrosion and fosters thermal stability and was specifically designed with luxury vehicles like BMW in mind.
  • European Power Steering Fluid from Prestone. This synthetic fluid was created especially for BMW and other European vehicles. It’s a wonderful alternative for topping off your power steering fluid to keep your BMW running at peak performance with no noise or wear and tear, even though it’s a bit pricy for the very small quantity you receive. Having said that, alternative steering fluids offer greater value for the money.

We must make it clear that, if at all feasible, you must choose the Pentosin power steering fluid that corresponds to the model year shown as the first option in the above list. The Pentosin is what the manufacturer recommends universally, while the other possibilities may work well for your model if your owner’s manual specifies that other types may be used in it.

You might not be particularly knowledgeable about your car’s brakes unless you’re a mechanic or a super-committed auto enthusiast. How much time do they usually last? How frequently should brakes be replaced? We have solutions.


I had to add power steering fluid once or twice a month after changing the power steering pump in my car due to a little leak. The highly expensive “Pentosin CHF 11S Synthetic Hydraulic Fluid” is the recommended fluid. Any justification for not utilizing conventional, inexpensive power steering fluid now that I’m using a cheap aftermarket pump?

Should I use ATF or CHF-11S for the power steering system on my BMW?

When the power steering fluid’s cap says “ATF Fluid,” it can be used on BMW vehicles.

The use of ATF fluid in the BMW power steering system instead of the recommended type of fluid can lead to seals becoming brittle over time, which can eventually result in leaks.

The reservoir for the power steering system and hydraulic brake boosters is shared by BMW vehicles with rear self-leveling systems.

Can ATF be used in a BMW as power steering fluid?

What kind of power steering fluid does your car require, and what color is it? Of course, that depends on who you ask and what your car needs.

The majority of vehicles, including the BMW E39 5-Series, the majority of BMW E38 7-Series, and many more, rely on normal cherry-red ATF for power steering assistance. Today, I’d like to talk about the selection of 1990s BMWs that utilize the recognizable brilliant green paint Pentosin CHF-11S.

BMW employs CHF, or central hydraulic fluid, because the power steering pump also powers the vehicle’s hydraulic systems in addition to the steering gear. Some variants have a part known as a “tandem vane pump,” which enables the pump to power multiple automobile circuits simultaneously. Other designs merely have a regulator that divides the output of a single pump into various circuits. The power brake assist is hydraulically controlled in the BMW E31 8-series. The rear suspension features a hydraulic component on vehicles with self-leveling suspension, such as the E38 750iL or M5. This concept is also used by the Mercedes S600’s ABC (active body control) suspension, which uses hydraulic components at each corner of the vehicle to provide brake fluid to each caliper in a manner akin to that of a brake master cylinder. For all of the circuits that the pump drives, the same fluid reservoir is often utilized.

I’ve heard too many stories about technicians or prior owners filling a reservoir designed for CHF with regular ATF. This issue has affected four of the automobiles I’ve personally owned, and I’ve heard of many more. Why does this matter? Mixing oils and ATF is generally not a good idea because it has been shown to weaken the diaphragm of the nitrogen-filled accumulators used in the self-leveling suspension of BMW vehicles and to slowly degrade hydraulic seals. This causes those cars’ rear suspension to progressively become considerably harsher over time, and in the case of the hydraulic E31/E32 brake systems, it causes the loss of instantaneous braking force. Avoid making this error in the first place because replacing hydraulic accumulators can be very expensive.

It’s a good idea to examine the fluid’s color if you recently purchased a secondhand BMW. This image displays the awful dark red fluid I forced from an E31 850Ci when it was supposed to have brilliant green CHF-11S.

Pumping the fluid out through the reservoir is typically the simplest option if you discover that your car has the incorrect fluid or the fluid is simply old and filthy looking. Refill with fresh fluid, start the engine to circulate it, and then do it again until the fluid is mostly brand-new. Although a little wasteful, this technique is required because these devices lack a straightforward drain plug. Unfortunately, this is the only way to reliably perform the service because a significant amount of fluid is trapped in the hydraulic components and will not easily drain from one central point.

Ever discover the incorrect fluid in your car? Was this article helpful to you? Comment below and let us know!

Can any brand of power steering fluid be used?

Any functional steering system must have power steering fluid. To drive safely, cars need new, high-quality power steering fluid. When you spin the steering wheel, this fluid keeps the wheels rolling smoothly and precisely, keeping your car moving as it should. But not all power steering fluids are created equal. You cannot use any power steering fluid in your car because different fluids will have varied chemical makeups tailored to particular types of vehicles.

You must use one that is recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer or, at the very least, one that expressly specifies that it is compatible with your vehicle’s model. By locking up your steering system, producing loud noises, corroding the seals that keep fluid in the car, and ruining your pump, using the improper power steering fluid can significantly harm your car. Therefore, it’s crucial to refrain from employing power steering fluid that isn’t compatible.

What power steering fluid works best for BMW?

Manufacturers advise using this as the optimum power steering fluid for your BMW. It is intended for high-end automakers, and is particularly appropriate for BMW.

Choose the Pentosin CHF-11S if your vehicle is a 1990 model or earlier from the range. The CHF7.1 fluid should be used for the rest of the BMW range to achieve the proper driving performance.

Is BMW compatible with Prestone power steering fluid?

created with European automakers in mind, including Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Mini, Porsche, Mercedes, Saab, Volvo, Volkswagen, and others. This fully synthetic fluid has an innovative additive package that helps it last longer and prevent corrosion.

What type of power steering fluid should I use, and why?

Power steering fluid is suitable in terms of viscosity, additives, detergents, and other elements. This assures that the power steering fluid is secure for usage in particular cars. Use the fluid specified in your owner’s manual at all times because specifications differ between automobile makes and models.

Can power steering fluid be combined?

You probably don’t think much about your car’s power steering fluid until something goes wrong, like the great majority of drivers. And if it breaks down, there’s a chance you won’t know how to fix it. Therefore, the first query is whether or not power steering fluid can be blended with other types of it. We did a ton of internet research on this subject.

If the power steering fluids fulfill the same requirements or possess similar qualities, you are free to mix and match brands and types. To prevent any problems or damage, it would still be advisable to use the same fluid that you use for your automobile.

The good news is that this page contains all the information you require about power steering fluid, from its definition to how to properly prepare it. Without further ado, let’s get down to business!

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What occurs if the incorrect type of power steering fluid is used?

Since transmission and power steering fluids are comparable to one another, switching them out can harm the system, harm the seals, and possibly result in brake failure. Keep in mind that your car definitely needs brake system service even if the brake fluid is low. There is a leak or the brakes are worn out.

Can you combine new and old power steering fluid?

The power steering fluid in your automobile is generally something you don’t think about until there is a problem, if you are like most drivers. If you’re like the majority of drivers, you also don’t know how to fix it when something goes wrong. So, your initial thought is: Can I combine power steering fluid?

As long as they adhere to the same standards, different brands or types of power steering fluid are OK to combine. To prevent any problems, it’s best to use the same kind of fluid that was initially in your car.

Fortunately, you can learn everything you need to know about power steering fluid from its definition to how to mix it in this article.

Is the fluid used in power steering uniform?

Power steering fluids vary widely from one another. Understanding the many kinds and which one is best for your car is crucial. Automatic transmission fluid is used in various automobiles, as was previously mentioned; the most popular varieties are Dexron, Mercon, Type F, and ATF+4. However, other kinds of synthetic fluids have also been created especially for use in power steering systems in more recent automobiles.

Your power steering fluid needs will most likely differ from those of an American-built automobile if you drive a European or Japanese vehicle. Power steering fluid specifications vary from make and model to make and model for vehicles from Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, Volkswagen, and Volvo. Pentosin power steering fluid is frequently necessary, yet there are various varieties of Pentosin fluid. Ensure that you are operating it as your car is intended to.

Check the exact criteria for your make and model if your automobile is a Honda, Mitsubishi, Toyota, or one built by a Japanese manufacturer. Avoid mixing Pentosin steering wheel fluid with other fluids if your car utilizes it.

When it comes to power steering fluids for automobiles, there is no universal rule that is applicable. Make sure the fluids you’re using are appropriate for your automobile by reviewing your owner’s handbook, conducting online research, or consulting the service department at your dealership.

Your car needs other vital maintenance in addition to adding power steering fluid. Utilize this maintenance check list to stay on top of the many time-sensitive inspections and adjustments your car requires to perform at its peak.