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  1. #1
    New Member CKelly's Avatar
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    19 Nov 2011
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    Saab(s)
    2002 9-5 2.3 Linear

    I accidentally put power steering fluid into master cylinder

    Guys I need some help!

    Last weekend I was changing the rear pads on my 2002 9-5. I turkey basted some of the existing brake fluid to get the level to MIN before starting so as not to overflow during the caliper pressing... finished the job and when i went to re-fill i ACCIDENTALLY topped it off with power steering fluid. (maybe 2-3 ounces worth)
    I just realized this today when I was re-checking fluids and my mind flashed back to what I was doing that fateful night.
    I have not lost braking power and there are no warning lights on. The level of fluid has not dropped from when I topped it off at MAX.
    Pentosin 11S Synthetic Mineral Base Hydraulic Fluid is what I used.. It is what I normally use for the power steering but the bottle looks so similar to the brake fluid I grabbed the wrong one
    My question is: Can I baster out the Master cylinder and clean it with some denatured alcohol and repeat, repeat, repeat and fill it back up with DOT 4 brake fluid to solve this?
    I am thinking (praying) that at such a low amount that it never reached any of the seals/calipers/etc since the PS fluid should float to the top of brake fluid
    (? i think ?)

    If not, there goes Christmas as I will be emptying the bank to have the brake system re-done.

    Thanks for any advice

  2. #2
    Mike
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
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    Are you sure the PS fluid is less dense than the brake fluid? If it is, and it managed to get down into the brake lines, you'll have a hard time getting it out; It'll be harder to get out than air bubbles. If you don't think it left the cylinder, then I would just baster it out. I wouldn't probably do anything with the alcohol though. My guess is the biggest problem that could arise if you left the power steering fluid in is that it won't have the same low compress-ability as the brake fluid. The power steering fluid will also have a more consistent viscosity from regular operating temps to lower temps in cold weather, were brake fluid tends to become a tad bit thicker.

    My vote is to just strain it off the top (assuming it's less dense), top it off, let it sit a bit, and then strain some more off the top just in case and fill it up. Just what I would do though.
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  3. #3
    Mike
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
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    Oh, and just for reference, the boiling point of DOT 1 brake fluid (the lowest standard) is 401 F, and typical boiling points for power steering fluid is upwards of 425 F.

    Also, Pentosin says the top operating temp is 266+F
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  4. #4
    New Member CKelly's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    2002 9-5 2.3 Linear
    Not sure it's less dense.. I looked in the reservoir and could see no defining "line" indicating that it was floating at the top. I am going to baster it out tonight and retop it with blue DOT4. I will then bleed the system with the power bleeder I am ordering right now..

    What a stupid mistake!

  5. #5
    Frank Wulfers
    Roving Adventurer Wulf's Avatar
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    When was the last time the brake fluid was replaced? It is not that difficult to flush the entire system and have fresh brake fluid in there.

  6. #6
    New Member CKelly's Avatar
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    2002 9-5 2.3 Linear
    It has not been replaced in many years... About 5.
    I just ordered a Power Bleeder and some Blue DOT 4 online and am planning on power bleeding the whole system as soon as it arrives.
    If I escape this MAJOR FAIL I will be counting my lucky stars. AND labeling all the fluids in my garage!

  7. #7
    Roger Cook
    Regular Member MI-Roger's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    2008 9-5 Aero, 2006 9-3SC 2.0T, 2000 Viggen Convertible, 2000 9-5 retired at 318K miles
    Quote Originally Posted by CKelly View Post
    It has not been replaced in many years... About 5.
    I just ordered a Power Bleeder and some Blue DOT 4 online and am planning on power bleeding the whole system as soon as it arrives.
    If I escape this MAJOR FAIL I will be counting my lucky stars. AND labeling all the fluids in my garage!
    Received your Power Bleeder yet?

  8. #8
    New Member CKelly's Avatar
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    Saab(s)
    2002 9-5 2.3 Linear
    Yes, I received it and did the bleed. The fluid came out brown at all the bleeders and then turned to bright blue.
    No sign that the green pentosin had gone past the master cylinder reservoir. All is well so far.. thanks for all your help!

 

 

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