Recent Topics
Amsoil O E 5W-30 10,428 Mi , 2011 Mustang GT
by seemore
07/26/14 07:09 AM
I Don't Change My Oil - Test Results
by jsinton
07/26/14 07:03 AM
Fifth Gear tv show oil analysis
by 02FocusZX5
07/26/14 05:35 AM
Pennzoil Synchromesh leaking from SAAB 900s (NG)..
by Why_Anything
07/26/14 04:39 AM
best grease for driveshaft u-joint.
by DesertTundra
07/26/14 01:03 AM
Lightest oil?
by 13Tacoma
07/26/14 12:14 AM
2014 Honda Accord EX-L 2.4 after 3 weeks.
by Fatboymoe
07/25/14 11:59 PM
04-06 MB E55: what should i know about them?
by WhyMe
07/25/14 10:43 PM
Need ideas on a part time job
by KenO
07/25/14 10:39 PM
Trying Diesel Oil in Kohler
by lawman1909
07/25/14 10:26 PM
Wix 33647 Opened, (Jeep Liberty CRD)
by Nate
07/25/14 10:01 PM
Vacuum line for seafoam
by gr8gatzby
07/25/14 09:53 PM
Newest Members
MechanicsHelper, ka6uup, jmrico, drdburch, shadizzle2
50764 Registered Users
Who's Online
72 registered (andyd, ArtDart, 05LGTLtd, 1foxracing, 2009Edge, AandPDan, 6 invisible), 1458 Guests and 235 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
50764 Members
64 Forums
216806 Topics
3412790 Posts

Max Online: 2862 @ 07/07/14 03:10 PM
Donate to BITOG

Topic Options
#1159843 - 05/27/08 10:36 AM neutralizing brake fluid with water
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33239
Loc: New Jersey
Hello,

This doesnt really go into the brake fluid forum because it is multifaceted...

I was doing a brake flush yesterday on my saab and BMW. On the BMW, there is a 17 y.o. rubber hose that goes from the reservoir to the clutch master cylinder, which is only held on with a barb (no clamp on there as OE, because it is a low pressure system). Ive done the pressure bleed before, keeping presure low, around 10 psi, without issues. But the hose is 17 years old and a bit cracked around the end. It blew and got brake fluid all over the underside of the car.

My concern - paint/undercoat damage, as well as what dripped on my driveway. I took the car into the street and washed off everything that I could. I think I got it all. It made the water a whitish color.

Reading on the internet, it claims that water "neutralizes" brake fluid. But there is no explanation of why/how. Im not sure if it is purely a pH type neutralization, or if the claim is that the ethers/alcohols dissociate or break down in water.

So, will putting water onto brake fluid that is on paint prevent the fluid from damaging the paint? Does water help the brake fluid break down?

I used oil absorber on the spots on my driveway. I also used water on some of them, and it seems to have done well. Does water help destroy the toxicity or issues pertaining to brake fluid? Is there anything else that I should do to break it down?

Any thoughts would be most appreciated.

Thanks!!!

JMH

Top
#1159857 - 05/27/08 11:08 AM Re: neutralizing brake fluid with water [Re: JHZR2]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 23522
Loc: ME
maybe since the brake fluid absorbs water it'll absorb so much it disintegrates.

You could always take a vial and throw some brake fluid and water in it, cap it, shake, and see what comes out. Then dribble it on some painted metal from the junk pile.

Top
#1159897 - 05/27/08 12:13 PM Re: neutralizing brake fluid with water [Re: JHZR2]
Pablo Offline


Registered: 10/28/02
Posts: 46548
Loc: Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
I'm pretty sure it's not nuetralizing in the chemical sense - more of a rinsing off. Sounds like you did the right thing. Where did the run-off go?

Top
#1159978 - 05/27/08 02:09 PM Re: neutralizing brake fluid with water [Re: Pablo]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33239
Loc: New Jersey
most of the spill is on my driveway, covered in some of the oil-dry stuff. What washed off went in the street, and is part of the pile of dirt and rotten leaves along my curb. All will be disposed - containment and disposal is easy - etching of my paint, undercoating, and rust on my car is not.

Thanks,

JMH

Top
#1159980 - 05/27/08 02:11 PM Re: neutralizing brake fluid with water [Re: JHZR2]
Oldmoparguy1 Offline


Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 3953
Loc: Charlotte, NC
The good news is the brake fluid is biodegradable. Sounds like you handled it correctly..
_________________________
"A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again!" unclepaddy

Top
#1160029 - 05/27/08 03:13 PM Re: neutralizing brake fluid with water [Re: Oldmoparguy1]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 10768
Loc: The Motor City
I don't think water neutralizes brake fluid as much as it dilutes the fluid. Brake fluid is an alcohol, and like any alcohol (such as antifreeze or vodka) it is perfectly miscible with water.

Top
#1160047 - 05/27/08 03:50 PM Re: neutralizing brake fluid with water [Re: Kestas]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33239
Loc: New Jersey
It is an alcohol with an ether or an amine. I did see a coloration change, but that doesnt necessarily mean much.

Its just funny that on the net the term "neutralize" is used a lot. Ive not run the experiment, so I dont know... dilution makes sense...

JMH

Top
#1160058 - 05/27/08 03:59 PM Re: neutralizing brake fluid with water [Re: JHZR2]
Pablo Offline


Registered: 10/28/02
Posts: 46548
Loc: Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
You just keyed something in my brain - I'm foggy after the 3 day break. Of course, brake fluid contains amines, and the they are basic by nature. (And very agressive toward organic coatings). So in a sense, by dilution, enough water will "neutralize" the base......

Top