Brake fluid contamination?

Tiny
KEVTARME
  • MEMBER
  • 2008 DODGE RAM
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 38,000 MILES
Hi I just had my truck towed to the dealers as the brakes seized up on me as I was driving down the road, they tell me all the parts need to be replaced 5000 dollars worth they say it was contaminated with 8 % patroleum would this cause this and how long would this take
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Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 AT 7:39 PM

12 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Anytime there is cross contamination with the brake system, there are major concerns because it is a safty issue that carries a lot of liability. As far as the cost, that sounds very high. You may want to get another quote. However, the dealership is protecting themself by replacing everything that could be affected.

If you have other questions, let me know. Also, do you know what was used in place of brake fluid? Also, was it another place the may have done it?
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Thursday, September 9th, 2010 AT 7:18 AM
Tiny
DOLDER02
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 DODGE RAM
I mixed a couple ounces of power steering leak stop in with brake fluid before I realized what I was doing.
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Saturday, February 27th, 2021 AT 11:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Did you put the stop leak in the master cylender?
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Saturday, February 27th, 2021 AT 11:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
DOLDER02
  • MEMBER
Not sure poured it into reservoir under hood into where you would check min and max levels.
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Saturday, February 27th, 2021 AT 11:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
DOLDER02
  • MEMBER
Once I realized I did suck most of it back out
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Saturday, February 27th, 2021 AT 11:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KAPTTON
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 DODGE RAM
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 132,000 MILES
Out come of accidentally mixing power steering fluid and brake fluid and using the mixture in the brake system
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Saturday, February 27th, 2021 AT 11:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KAPTTON
  • MEMBER
Something else to chew on while thinking about above question -- I would guess and say that my better half accidently put "just a splash" of power steering fluid in the brake system arounbd 5 to 7 days, last night while driving vehicle (it has been drove everyday since accident) I heard an unusual noise only once as pulling in the driveway (didn't think much about it since it was just once and everything seemed fine) but later while other half was driving the brake pedal went to the floor with no resistance and no response from the brake system even if the pedal is pumped numerously, is this the result of the power steering fluid in the brake system and if so what are the damages and parts that will need to be replaced?
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Saturday, February 27th, 2021 AT 11:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
There is only one proper repair and it's going to be expensive. You must drain all of the brake fluid out of the entire system, replace ALL parts that have rubber parts that contact the brake fluid, flush and dry all the steel lines, then refill with clean fluid from a sealed container. You MUST replace the front calipers, rear wheel cylinders, all rubber hoses, the master cylinder and reservoir bladder seal, and the combination valve. If the van has anti-lock brakes, the hydraulic control unit must also be replaced.

All of the rubber parts will swell and become mushy. You'll see that with the bladder seal under the reservoir cap. If any rubber part is not replaced, the petroleum product will leach out and destroy all of the other new parts and you'll be starting all over again.

I did a demonstration for my students every year to show how critical it was to keep the brake fluid clean. I dropped two rubber wheel cylinder seals into a pair of beakers with new brake fluid and let them sit for a week. In one of them I added two or three drops of power steering fluid into the inch of brake fluid. By the end of the week the contaminated seal had grown by about 20 percent and was real mushy. Those rubber parts are only compatible with brake fluid which is a glycol product. They are not compatible with petroleum products.
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Saturday, February 27th, 2021 AT 11:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
TIMSTIQUES
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 DODGE RAM
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • MANUAL
  • 20,000 MILES
Diesel

Some time ago I topped off my brake fluid with Valvoline SynPower ABS Performance Fluid Exc. Dot 3&$ compatible w/conventional. A week ago I had trouble stopping at an intersection while driving less than 20 mph. When I got home I saw the fluid was a little low, opened the MS to fill and the rubber blatter was so warped and disfigured I couldn't put it back in. Got another blatter, topped the fluid and checked again a week later. Much to my surprise the new blatter is getting disfigured also. A search reveals a lot of different opinions about Syn brake fluids. My front had new pads less than two years ago with light use and now the right front is metal to metal which indicates it may have been sticking resulting in boiling fluid. It grinds only when I apply brakes so I doubt it's stuck now. Does this sound like my whole brake system needs to be rebuilt? What about the Synthetic Valvoline?
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Saturday, February 27th, 2021 AT 11:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
It sounds like you just need new front brakes. As far as the fluid, it wouldn't cause this. Also, if you are boiling the brake fluid, something is wrong. As far as the rubber bladder, it is normal for them to change shapes as the fluid drops, which is normal as the brake pads wear out.

Let me know if you have other questions.

Joe
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Saturday, February 27th, 2021 AT 11:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
DUCKY0993
  • MEMBER
  • DODGE RAM
I have a 2002 Dodge Ram 2500 diesel with 50,000 miles on it. I am having a problem with all my brakes locking. A brake shop mechanic told me that I have engine oil or transmission fluid mixed in with my brake fluid. He said that I would have to replace every part of my brake system, including the ABS. It would cost well over $5,000. A mechanic friend of mine said that I only need to replace the parts that have some rubber in them. Which one is right?
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Saturday, February 27th, 2021 AT 11:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
2CEXPT
  • MEMBER
The brake system don't like anything other than brake fluid DOT4. How long has it been in there-not long I will take a chance I only die ones-I will bleed it all out with fresh fluid its alot cheaper than 5K deniros.

My question is, what is it doing in there to begin with.
You need to look when they top off something.

My experience-I had to use engine oil to get home No brake fluid/No stores open and -20 deg/158 miles away with a leaking wheel cyclinder. Next day I bleed it all out. Drove it for 3yrs with no brake problem.
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Saturday, February 27th, 2021 AT 11:41 AM (Merged)

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