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Old 09-04-2014, 12:18 PM   #1
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Brake fluid question - differentiating old from new

Getting ready to do a brake flush and, from what I hear, the ATE blue is no longer available due to some federal prohibition on varying colors of items such as brake fluid. A couple questions:

1) I'm sure there is some color variation between new and old fluid, but how much? I.e. when you're working at the caliper, is it easy or pretty
difficult to tell when you've gotten the old out and you're seeing only new fluid?

2) My kid offered me some Motul dot 5.1 fluid that he bought awhile ago but hadn't used. It's a few years old but still sealed. Is it okay to use, or should I get new?
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:08 AM   #2
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78 views and nobody has a clue? Wow...didn't think this would be that tough a question!
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:43 AM   #3
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ATE Blue is still available, but only for "off road use" as the DOT has now mandated that all brake fluids be clear to pale amber in color.

With a good light on the clear tubing, you should easily be able to see the color change on amber brake fluid.

I would not use any brake fluid that is more than 3 years old and in an un opened car (should have a seal). The fluid can go bad just sitting on a shelf.
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:07 AM   #4
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ATE 200 is available now same product as ATE Blue but amber in color. I still have unopened cans of blue and replace alternately with the Ate 200 so its easy to tell clean oil is to the calipers. The Porsche dealer still does my safety inspection and State inspections no questions asked.

I agree with JFP in PA and would not use any brake fluid that was open for any length of time
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Old 09-05-2014, 02:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JFP in PA View Post
I would not use any brake fluid that is more than 3 years old and in an un opened car (should have a seal). The fluid can go bad just sitting on a shelf.
Making sure I understand you...so if the can is over 3 yrs old, you recommend against using it even if it is unopened and still sealed?
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:07 PM   #6
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This brings to light a nagging question.

What do you do with old brake fluid?

I generated some significant amount after a couple of clutch flushes and then replacing the clutch hydraulics.

Then there's the amount left in my pressure bleeder, which surely can't be long for this world as it's not in a sealed container and the hose is not even capped on the end.

I feel like adding it to my old motor oil would contaminated it, and when I asked at the local auto parts store they said they take oil and ATF but don't know what to do with brake fluid.

I'd like to not be doing something stupid with it. Suggestions?
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by flaps10 View Post
This brings to light a nagging question.

What do you do with old brake fluid?

I generated some significant amount after a couple of clutch flushes and then replacing the clutch hydraulics.

Then there's the amount left in my pressure bleeder, which surely can't be long for this world as it's not in a sealed container and the hose is not even capped on the end.

I feel like adding it to my old motor oil would contaminated it, and when I asked at the local auto parts store they said they take oil and ATF but don't know what to do with brake fluid.

I'd like to not be doing something stupid with it. Suggestions?
Find your cities hazardous waste folks and ask when they collect it.
My city has a monthly collection day for hazardous wastes.

Also, pool chlorine and brake fluid will spontaneously ignite so be careful not to store it near your hot tub/pool chemicals in the garage.
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Old 09-06-2014, 05:18 AM   #8
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Also, pool chlorine and brake fluid will spontaneously ignite so be careful not to store it near your hot tub/pool chemicals in the garage.
Now there's something good to know!

I take all my used auto fluids - oils, antifreeze, brake fluid, batteries - to Canadian Tire. They have a shelving rack just inside the door of the service dept where you can just drop it off.
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