What Can You Use If You Don’t Have Brake Fluids?

Suddenly the ABS light on the gauge cluster grabs your attention, A rather overlooked warning signal but a very interictal part of a car. There are lots of design procedures and tests that are carried out in the design of car parts, so when you are not sure of what to do, it’s always advisable to consult your auto mechanic. Let’s get to know what one can Use If they Don’t Have Brake Fluids?

What Can You Use If You Don’t Have Brake Fluids?

Whenever the ABS light comes on, it’s just trying to tell you Hey, check my Brake system I could be low on brake fluid, dirty, or clogged, and That is the first step to note because even a low brake fluid level can turn the ABS light on. 

What Can You Use If You Don’t Have Brake Fluids?

Soap And Water Mixture Can Act As Brake Fluids To Help Slow Down A Car. Brake fluids are Glycol-based hygroscopic fluids, which means it absorbs moisture. The best alternative is a mixture of soap and water. That is because of soap’s glycol-based content and water as a natural force. For some successful reasons, this action has proven to be effective over the years. But if access to soap is denied, your radiator water can suffice.  

Firstly, it’s good to understand how the brake system of a car works in the case of the brake fluid. The fluid is responsible only for gradually stopping your car safely.  Hydraulic pressure from your foot transfers power through pressurized fluids, now when you apply the brakes, force is applied in the master cylinder, which pushes the fluid into the pressure chamber in the brake caliper. As the fluid enters, it presses the brake pads towards each other on the brake disk connected to the wheel, slowing down the car. 

The Dangers Of Using Other Auto Fluids As Brake Fluids

You may think that you can use the power steering fluid, engine oil, or even plain water as an alternative without knowing that cars can be written off if the wrong fluids are put in the wrong places.  

Note that with all the frequent stops when the brake is applied. Friction is produced from the brake pads sliding over the disk, and this action produces heat. So if you’re thinking of just putting any fluid, you must understand that the boiling points of liquids are different due to their state. 

Reasons You Should Consider This As An Option 

The main thing you should consider is Water and Detergent mixture displays similarities with brake fluids the hygroscopic fluids. 

Remember Liquids and their state. If you decide to use just water, the boiling point of water is 100 degrees Celsius. When water starts boiling in the brake mechanism it produces steam. Steam can be compressed, and liquids cannot. And this creates steam bubbles in the system. So when pressing on the brake, it is only compressing the steam bubbles, and the calipers won’t move, so you can’t break unless you continuously pump the brakes to build some pressure and let the air out. 

For long drives, it is wise to maintain a decent speed and not break all the time to avoid stories like “An invisible car came out of nowhere and struck me”. 

Simple Steps to follow are.  

  • Suck out the old brake fluid using a turkey baster or a fluid extractor
  • Mix a solution of detergent and water and replace the old brake fluid 

The mixture of soap and water is the number one emergency substitute for brake fluids. It can also have the potential to damage your brake system if neglected, so kindly get the mixture removed after use, preferably by an auto mechanic.


Now let’s do away with all the geek stuff, you suddenly have an emergency, and you need brake fluid, but you are far off-grid, or you need to run an errand, the best alternative is a mixture of Water and Detergent. 

But this mixture should be used only if you are very sure that there’s no other redeemable option. If you can get from just kindly asking people around sure do that, but if you can’t get any, then the water and detergent solution is the best option, or radiator water which should be the last resort.


1 What Is ABS?

ABS (antilock braking system) is a safety feature system designed to monitor the sensors on each of the car wheels to detect and prevent the wheels from locking up suddenly when you apply pressure on the brake pedal.

2 What other Household/Auto products are hygroscopic?

hygroscopic products that absorb water are Table Salts, powder Detergents, Antifreeze, windscreen wash, and Car wash fluids. 

3 How can I know when to avoid problems like this?

To avoid future problems like this, pay more attention to warning signs and consult professional auto technicians to educate you more.

What Can You Use If You Don’t Have Brake Fluids?

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