Hydraulic steering fluid substitute.

 G,day all. Does anyone know what the specs are on the oil in helm pump hydraulic steering systems?

We had an olive on our helm pump let go yesterday but were able to limp home using 2 stroke oil. We flushed the system using in Hi-Drive oil at home (I was concerned some of the additives in two stroke oil may damage seals in the unit) but didn't have enough to fill and bleed the system.

 I can't imagine the manufacturer of the unit would actually produce their own oil and last time I looked it was well over 20 bucks a bottle. It's not so much the cost, but I like the idea of being able to try Pirtek, Enzed or similar if I got stuck.

Opinions about the use of auto trans fluid are varied enough to worry me so I won't use that, and from what I can see in the manuals of some of our machines at work synthetic fluids are not always advised. Any specialist advice would be much appreciated.                                  Thanks,    John 

Posts: 4008

Date Joined: 01/02/10

I keep a couple of spare

Sun, 2018-12-30 10:29

I keep a couple of spare fittings and olives along with a bottle of oil in my boat. Really not something you should have to use too often. Just when you need it you really need it.  



Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Posts: 29

Date Joined: 24/08/17

 Yeah, we had a few fittings

Sun, 2018-12-30 13:18

 Yeah, we had a few fittings also but limited tools and we'd taken out the spare oil recently. I did have a small split develop near the ram on my last boat at the barge off Mindarie about 18 years ago. Once again two stroke got us out of trouble but will left a bloody big slick behind us!

Rob H's picture

Posts: 5188

Date Joined: 18/01/12

 The system I have, (common

Mon, 2018-12-31 09:18

 The system I have, (common one but the name escapes me now) you can use anything in an emergency, cooking oil, even water.

Probably find that ATF will work in any of them but the additives to protect against salt incursion may not be as good


 Give a man a mask, and he'll show you his true face...



The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.


Posts: 81

Date Joined: 05/12/12


Tue, 2019-01-01 20:07

I have used brake fluid and olive oil. anything to get you home. Just drain it when you get home and fill with ATF

Swompa's picture

Posts: 2626

Date Joined: 14/10/12

There is a write up on

Wed, 2019-01-02 06:54

There is a write up on Hydrive oil in the internet I just can't find it. They do get it made after having a supply issue so it is unique for them though there is another product that can be used, I just can't find it at the moment.