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Old 10-15-2002, 10:18 AM
Neil Richardson
Posts: n/a
Heating Brake Fluid!?

hi guys.

a female colleague of mine took her car a Vauxhall Corsa (vauxhall is part of GM) in for a service. the car is only 2 years old. the garage rang her up to tell her that they had heated her brake fluid and it didn't reach the required temperature before boiling and should therefore be replaced. now bearing in mind that i'm not the greatest or most knowledgable mechanic around, have never heard of this, was the garage trying to pull a fast one or do some garages do this? and why?

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Old 10-15-2002, 11:06 AM
jcd jcd is offline
village idiot
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 1,102
My guess is he is on the level

Brake fluid is hygroscopic, an affinity for water. As it absorbs water, the boiling point goes down as does braking efficiency and possiblys safety.

I am new to the idea that brake fluid should be changed, but I am now a believer.

Change the fluid, cheap insurance and peace of mind.

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Old 10-15-2002, 01:27 PM
jsmith's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: At Sea
Posts: 1,729
hey neil,

by using something like a refractometer or even some test strips that i have seen you can check brake fluid's boiling point without even having to heat it. maybe it was convenient for the mechanic to say it that way ("how did you check the boiling point without heating it?").

1993 300e-2.8
- gone now <sigh>
"Do not adjust your mind, it's reality that's malfunctioning"
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Old 10-15-2002, 07:37 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 18,355
Here in Colorado where we have hills ten miles long, boiling the brake fluid is a relevant issue. It's rare to take a trip into the mountains without smelling burning brakes somewhere along the way. I guess that you'd be hard pressed to find a long enough hill in the UK to boil your brake fluids. On the other hand, all that rain you get has to go somewhere so it'll end up in your brake fluid and ultimately cause corrosion in the system.
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