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Thread: How long can Brake Fluid last?

  1. #1
    Toymods Club Member Backyard Mechanic Big T's Avatar
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    Default How long can Brake Fluid last?

    Hey all,

    Does anyone know how long it takes for brake fluid to go off in the bottle? My cousin has craploads of brake fluid leftover from work but the production date is from 2003. They're all unopened but i believe there's some sort of use by date because of it's ability to absorb moisture?

    Eddie.
    4agte finally completed. 234rwkw @ 8125rpm. Tis fun

  2. #2
    Junior Member Domestic Engineer Viper's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long can Brake Fluid last?

    Brake fluid left open to the air will go bad withing an hr.

    AFAIK, so long its not in direct sunlight, and its sealed it should be good for atleast 3-4yrs. Given that its not that expensive. i'd say go and buy another bottle. It's about $35-$40 for 4 or 5L's of Castrol Dot4.
    Daily: '06 Liberty 3.0R specB
    Project Car : '84 MA61: 2JZ-GTE + 6 Speed

  3. #3
    Toymods Club Member Backyard Mechanic Big T's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long can Brake Fluid last?

    Yeah true, but he has at least 50 bottles of this stuff lying around so it would've been good to use at least some of it... oh well.

    Eddie.
    4agte finally completed. 234rwkw @ 8125rpm. Tis fun

  4. #4
    Junior Member Domestic Engineer Viper's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long can Brake Fluid last?

    50 bottles.
    Damn, well, if you ever need to strip paint off a car, you know where to go
    Daily: '06 Liberty 3.0R specB
    Project Car : '84 MA61: 2JZ-GTE + 6 Speed

  5. #5
    Junior Member Domestic Engineer myne's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long can Brake Fluid last?

    if there's that many bottles, it might be worth getting one tested for water content

    I say this because brake fluid pulls water THROUGH the sealed brake system in a car, so it's not unplausible that it's pulled it through the bottle. Sounds insane, I know.
    Last edited by myne; 18-03-2006 at 03:08 PM.

  6. #6
    I Tried to Eat Too Much Toyota oldcorollas's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long can Brake Fluid last?

    take one bottle and put contents in pan
    stick in oven at 220deg C (abotu 430F) and see if it boils?

    nice graph at the bottom of here http://www.shotimes.com/SHO3brakefluid.html

    or you could take to somewhere and ask them to test boiling point roughly with a thermocouple.... or you could do same with a gas torch, K-type thermocouple, and a bit of physical protection in case you spill it ot it catches fire? does hot brake fluid burn?
    "I'm a Teaspoon, not a mechanic"
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  7. #7
    Estranged Member Chief Engine Builder mullett's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long can Brake Fluid last?

    Yeah, get it tested fro water content, that's the easiest way. a bit of water can make 100deg of difference to the boiling point of brake fluid, it's pretty insane. For reference, DOT5 doesn't absorb water, because it's silicone based. But when it boils it blackens and that's the end of it.

    RM.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Automotive Encyclopaedia
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    Default Re: How long can Brake Fluid last?

    vacumm sealed/unopened - 1000 years!!!
    opened once, then tightly resealed - 5 years
    opened weekly, monthly, whatever, then tightly resealed - 3 years
    open, vented, in the reservoir - 2 years
    open, vented, in the reservoir and heated repeatedly when racing(autox/drifting is not racing) - 6 months


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroscopic
    hydroscopic.
    A hygroscopic substance readily absorbs water from its surroundings. (The similar sounding but unrelated non-word hydroscopic is sometimes used in error for hygroscopic).)

    An example of a hygroscopic substance is biodiesel, which absorbs water to about 1200 parts per million (PPM). Other examples are honey,
    ethanol, methanol, glycerin, concentrated sulfuric acid and concentrated sodium hydroxide. Calcium chloride is so hygroscopic that it eventually
    dissolves in the water it absorbs. Because of their affinity for atmospheric moisture, hygroscopic materials may need to be stored in sealed
    containers.

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