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#830860 - 02/10/07 03:18 AM Algae in the Brake Fluid?
Alowishus Offline


Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 22
Loc: North East
Was changing the brakes on a friends Tahoe and decided to check his fluid. Well, it was GREEN. I couldn't tell what color it was at first since it just appeared dark. There was also some type of solid at the bottom of the resevoir. Took the Res off, poured the fluid out and saw the green tint. Then flushed the lines, and there was green fluid in there too. Can brake fluid store enough water to permit the growth of algae (the truck had been sitting for about 1 1/2 years)?

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#830861 - 02/10/07 03:21 AM Re: Algae in the Brake Fluid? [Re: Alowishus]
GMorg Offline


Registered: 01/29/06
Posts: 2435
Loc: Mizzou-land
No algae will grow without light. My guess is either a combo of dyes that makes green, or some copper sulfate somewhere. I have seen yellow, amber, orange, and blue brake fluids. I bet there is way to green out of the right mix.

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#830862 - 02/10/07 03:38 AM Re: Algae in the Brake Fluid? [Re: GMorg]
Nukeman7 Offline


Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 207
Loc: Virginia, USA
The brake fluid is Castrol LMA (Low Moisture Absorption) which is dyed a dark green color. I use it exclusively since it is the best of the non-synthetic brake fluids available and has a very high wet boiling point.

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#830863 - 02/10/07 07:21 PM Re: Algae in the Brake Fluid? [Re: Nukeman7]
Alowishus Offline


Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 22
Loc: North East
and these dyes can fall out fo solution?

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#830864 - 02/10/07 07:27 PM Re: Algae in the Brake Fluid? [Re: Alowishus]
Gilitar Offline


Registered: 03/14/05
Posts: 1098
Loc: Mobile, AL
I seriously doubt that algae could grow in an environment where brake fluid is so abundent. Seriously, brake fluid will take the paint off whatever it touches.
_________________________
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#830865 - 02/10/07 07:51 PM Re: Algae in the Brake Fluid? [Re: Gilitar]
Alowishus Offline


Registered: 01/26/07
Posts: 22
Loc: North East
Quote:

I seriously doubt that algae could grow in an environment where brake fluid is so abundent. Seriously, brake fluid will take the paint off whatever it touches.




Have you actually seen it do this? I can say first hand this isnt true (maybe if you let it sit overnight).

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#830866 - 02/10/07 10:29 PM Re: Algae in the Brake Fluid? [Re: Alowishus]
GMorg Offline


Registered: 01/29/06
Posts: 2435
Loc: Mizzou-land
Dot 3 and Dot 4 will remove and/or discolor a variety of paints. The process is rather slow. If you wipe spills off quickly, you will likely conclude that it does nothing. If you want a list of paints that are sensitive to Dot 3/4, do search (web search, not BITOG) with terms like "brake fluid" and "model". Model car builder sometimes use Dot 3 to remove paint when refinishing old models.

Dot 5 will not remove nor damage any paint known to me. I use it to "dress" door gaskets and to remove white wax residue on plastic trim.

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#830867 - 02/10/07 10:31 PM Re: Algae in the Brake Fluid? [Re: GMorg]
GMorg Offline


Registered: 01/29/06
Posts: 2435
Loc: Mizzou-land
By the way, I can tell you "first hand" that if you get a brake fluid leak, you may first find it from the paint damage.

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#830868 - 02/11/07 05:29 AM Re: Algae in the Brake Fluid? [Re: GMorg]
sky jumper Offline


Registered: 08/09/05
Posts: 605
Loc: Chicago
not so sure this is castrol LMA. I recently flushed the brake fluid on a 2k Jimmy. the stuff that first came out was thick dark puke green. then it flushed clear. 3 months later the master cylinder reservoir was green fluid, with some kind of solid residue partially coating the insides. there is some kind of contamination that causes the green color. I have no idea what it is.

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#830869 - 02/11/07 06:27 AM Re: Algae in the Brake Fluid? [Re: sky jumper]
bdcardinal Offline


Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 9461
Loc: Santa Barbara, CA
ive seen a bunch of OEM brake fluids that are 5+ years old that come out green. mostly on GM and Ford. usually its thick and brown, but green is not uncommon. ive had brake fluid come out of a Chrysler TC by Masarati(owner was a "mechanic" who didnt believe in flushing fluids) that had the consistency and color of used 90wt gear oil. it actually clogged up my MityVac vacuum bleeder. took about 3 gallons of constantly flushing fluid to get it to look somewhat normal.
_________________________
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Opinions expressed are my own.

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#830870 - 02/11/07 07:07 AM Re: Algae in the Brake Fluid? [Re: Nukeman7]
Big Jim Offline


Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 1571
Loc: Thousand Oaks, CA
Quote:

The brake fluid is Castrol LMA (Low Moisture Absorption) which is dyed a dark green color. I use it exclusively since it is the best of the non-synthetic brake fluids available and has a very high wet boiling point.




ALL brake fluid is synthetic, including Castrol LMA.

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#830871 - 02/11/07 11:11 AM Re: Algae in the Brake Fluid? [Re: Big Jim]
Carmudgeon Offline


Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 285
Loc: Under the hood
It's probably just old and tired fluid. There's a remote possibility it was mixed with something.

To comply with DOT specs, non-silicone DOT 3, 4, and 5.1 brake fluid must be colorless to amber. DOT 5 silicone fluid, purple. Hydraulic mineral oil, green.

Ate Super Blue Racing, one popular import fluid that exceeds DOT 4 specs, cannot claim compliance on the label. It has a non-dyed cousin, Typ200, that is identical except for color, and can claim DOT 4 compliance.

Off the top of my head, I can think of at least two non-boutique brake fluids that perform better than LMA, though it is a solid choice that's inexpensive and readily available.

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#830872 - 02/11/07 06:36 PM Re: Algae in the Brake Fluid? [Re: Carmudgeon]
rsylvstr Offline


Registered: 01/01/07
Posts: 2309
Loc: Oneida County, NY
mine in my 92 Galant is green....as is the hose running from the master cylinder...and no, i'm not kidding.
i've had the car for 35k miles (140k now) and 3 years....i'll be flushing this summer.
_________________________
Rob / Doc Master Chief
2001 F150 SCrew Lariat 4X4 5.4L, 4R70W, LS 9.75" 3.55
2012 Altima SL with vibration no one can diagnose.

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#830873 - 02/11/07 09:11 PM Re: Algae in the Brake Fluid? [Re: rsylvstr]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 11594
Loc: The Motor City
Probably copper corrosion products.

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#830874 - 02/11/07 09:38 PM Re: Algae in the Brake Fluid? [Re: Kestas]
rsylvstr Offline


Registered: 01/01/07
Posts: 2309
Loc: Oneida County, NY
didn't think of that, but mine is so bright green, it's the color of antifreeze.
_________________________
Rob / Doc Master Chief
2001 F150 SCrew Lariat 4X4 5.4L, 4R70W, LS 9.75" 3.55
2012 Altima SL with vibration no one can diagnose.

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