What Can I Use As a Hydraulic Oil Substitute?

Hydraulic oil substitute

Hydraulic Oil is an essential part of factory work as it drives machines. It is identified by low viscosity. Besides this, it’s non-compressible. Additionally, these oils can be synthetic or mineral based.

Such liquids are often costly, so you may be tempted to use something. Besides this, if you run out of this Oil, this situation may arise. So, now you may be wondering what I can use as a hydraulic oil substitute. However, this is the right place to get the best hydraulic oil substitute you are searching for.

What Is Hydraulic Oil?

Hydraulic Oil is a fluid that has different functions. It acts as a lubricant, power transmission medium, and sealant. Also, it is a liquid that cools components and removes contaminants.

There are different hydraulic oils based on hydraulics division into hydrostatics and hydrodynamics. First, for hydrodynamic applications, hydraulic liquids are known as power transmission oils. Second, hydraulic liquids for hydrostatic applications are known as hydraulic oils.

Furthermore, the applied pressure is higher in later applications, and the flow rate is lower. This is why hydraulic oils must be non-compressible fluids to shift power within a system or equipment. When you think about lubricating fluids, hydraulic Oil is an essential lubricant after engine oil.

Actually, the three main areas of hydraulics are mobile, stationary, and aviation hydraulics. That’s why each application needs a hydraulic medium that suits the operational needs. Basically, if you can apply this fluid optimally, it can save energy and decrease machine and equipment wear. Hence, they can extend the maintenance intervals and increase your machine’s life.

Check: How to Check Hydraulic Oil Viscosity

Hydraulic Oil Substitutes:

There are many types of hydraulic oil substitutes for particular purposes. Nevertheless, some common alternatives you may encounter include petroleum jelly, water, and even air.

Mainly, in the construction industries, using engine oil SAE-30 and SAE-20 as a substitute for ISO 32 hydraulic oil equivalent is common. We’ll discuss different items below that can work well as hydraulic fluid substitutes!

Brake Fluid

If you have a motorcycle or car, you can use the brake fluid as a hydraulic oil substitute. Specifically, it comes with similar properties and can perform on different machines, making it an excellent choice! Consider your hydraulic lump for a log splitter so you won’t make a mistake.

Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF)

The most famous hydraulic oil substitute is the automatic transmission oil that you can find. In fact, some vehicle manufacturers use automatic transmission fluid instead of hydraulic Oil.

Maximum people are suspicious about using ATF instead of this fluid. Notably, automatic transmission fluid is a fantastic alternative to hydraulic fluid if you choose it with the proper viscosity.

Vehicle owners who have used ATF over the years instead of hydraulic oils have reported some issues. For instance, automatic transmission fluid additives can easily damage your hydraulic seals. In addition, it is specifically designed not to foam under pressure, unlike hydraulic fluids.

Vegetable Seed Oils

In today’s market, some vegetable seed oils can work as substitutes for hydraulic fluids. These substitutes can remove metallic particles. Even contain several benefits over mineral oils.

Some vegetable seed oils you use as hydraulic oils are sunflower, canola, and soy seed oils. The vegetable oil’s overall performance depends on the base oil types and additives. Many people like these oils because they are biodegradable and non-toxic. Also, they contain higher lubricity and flashpoint than mineral oils.

Engine Oil

You can use these engine oils with lower API ratings on your industries as a hydraulic fluid. Although engine oil has many hydraulic properties, it still has low viscosity from hydraulic fluids. Actually, engine oil contains higher density than other alternatives. This is the reason it damages your hydraulic system and causes issues.


Adequately, you can use water if hydraulic Oil isn’t readily available. Remember that water can’t work well in some engines compared to hydraulic oils.

Sometimes this water can freeze and make ice, which is an obstacle to working correctly. Remarkably, if you use water instead of hydraulic fluids, experts suggest that you ensure it’s clean and debris free.


Can I Use 15w40 As Hydraulic Oil?

For Hydraulic Oil 46 or ISO 68, the heavier viscosity 15W40 can pump less efficiently than hydraulic fluid. Similarly, you can use this 15W40 in heavy-duty component hydraulic systems. This 15W40 performs well in transmissions, diesel and gasoline engines, and hydraulic systems.

Can I Use SAE 10W Hydraulic Oil?

Anti-wear hydraulic oil 10W is a premium portable paraffinic-based hydraulic oil. Usually, it is ideal to use in industrial applications in cold weather conditions. Hence, it’s oxidation and rust-resistant Oil with the benefit of anti-wear additives for protection.

Most importantly, you can use this Oil where you need ISO VG 32 oil. Excellent shear stability features to ensure exceptional oil film thickness under harsh service conditions. Likewise, they can protect the hydraulic systems equipment.

Can I Use 10w30 Hydraulic Oil Instead of Hydraulic Oil?

Yes and no, it depends on the machine – particularly the load, seal, pressure range, and temperature. In reality, it’s already used in most engines as hydraulic Oil for hydraulic valve lash adjusters. But you can’t use it for systems based on different viscosities and glycol hydraulic fluids.

Read More About 10W30 Hydraulic Oil

What Is The John Deere Hydraulic Oil Substitute?

The hydraulic Oil that John Deere uses is commonly applied in their agricultural machinery, heavy machinery, etc. Yet, these sophisticated machines need excellent oil transmission.

To use this equipment, Oil should protect them from wear. Hence, this Oil should have provided them with friction and need to have the ability to handle high pressure.

Before choosing the John Deere oil substitutes, remember that John Deere uses 10w30 oil viscosity. You can use MOBIL Fluid 424, Amsoil ATH, Chevron, Shell, and Valvoline as a substitute for John Deere oil.

Final Word

On the other hand, It’s essential to use a substitute if hydraulic fluid is depleted. Generally, you should keep the hydraulic system running for a long time. To conclude, we hope you can know the best hydraulic oil substitute from here.

And you also can know what to use if your hydraulic vehicles are running low. Please sit with us for more information about this topic in the following article. Thanks for staying with us.

Read Also The Substitute of Caterpillar Oil


I am Engr. Z Eusuf graduated in Mechanical Engineering & has been working with engine lubricants for a long time and knows what makes them work best. I can help you find the right oil for your needs, and I have tips on how to keep your engine running at its best.