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Old 11-08-2005, 06:43 AM
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Reclaiming old brake fluid?

Has anyone out there successfully reclaimed DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid? I haven't been able to find any recycling/hazardous waste organization here in Vermont to accept it and my buddy who burns waste oil to heat his shop won't take it either.

I've read that some people get rid of the water by boiling it, then filter and reuse it. Has anyone tried it? Seems like if the temperature were watched till the original boiling point spec were reached, it'd be good enough to reuse. Any other methods? Vacuum?

Between what I've bled out of systems and containers that were open too long, I've got somewhere around a gallon of the stuff. The idea of not paying to buy new, not paying to get rid of, and having a lifetime supply of the stuff on hand is appealing.

Neil

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Old 11-08-2005, 10:36 AM
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well at the shope that i work at we burnd it in the wast oil furnace but if you find a way to reuse it email me because we go through alot bleeding brakes you know that vermont rust gets everyware sbreznick@burrburton.org
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Old 11-08-2005, 04:59 PM
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Water is not the only problem with old brake fluid. It loses its corrosion inhibitors, even if the water content is minimal. Only a Ph test will tell you if this has happened.
http://www.babcox.com/editorial/bf/bf50412.htm

As far as disposal, it is considered a hazardous waste. It's poisonous in all forms and breathing in the burning fumes can make you seriously ill.
Recycling may vary depending on location. You might have something in your blue pages for waste disposal under a local gov. listing.
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Old 11-08-2005, 05:06 PM
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it aint worth the hassle to reuse, it dont cost much for new, i wish we could reuse gas, ha ha
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Old 11-08-2005, 06:42 PM
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Out in CA they have a Household Hazardous Waste collection once a year or so. I keep all my non-oil fluids and turn them in there.
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Old 11-09-2005, 09:34 AM
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Thanks for the good link, yesgo...Of course, it being an editorial, it's an overview, lacks detail and raises more questions than it answers. That copper contamination is a problem is something I didn't know- guess I'll have to start using stainless brake lines instead of copper. Corrosion bites, don't it?

Flushing the old brake fluid out with new seems like good practice, but how much of the fluid does bleeding actually remove? For instance, the brake lines on my Nova enter the rear cylinders near the top, next to the bleeders. Seems to me that during bleeding the fluid would flow from the line to the bleeder, leaving most of the old fluid still in the cylinder. Same configuration as the front calipers, which, according to the editorial, are the lowest point in the system and subject to the most corrosion. The lines and master cylinder reservoir would be flushed, at least, but there would still be a lot of old fluid left in the calipers and cylinders. I 'spose they could be taken off and turned upside down every time the system is flushed, but doing that every few years seems like work.

Anyway, back to the original subject. Boiling will get the water out of old fluid, we know that. Maybe corrosion inhibitors (what are they, anyway?) can be added back to the fluid, or maybe an anode could be put in the master cylinder reservoir. (A new product? If you see an ad on late nite TV for brake fluid additive, you'll know I've gotten a real job.)

But, I digress. Time to fix more rusty brakes.
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Old 11-12-2005, 08:53 AM
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Copper is not allowable for brake lines. So how does the copper get in there?
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Old 11-12-2005, 08:40 PM
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It is part of the alloy on the interior of the steel tube, to resist rust.
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