How long would it take?

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  #1  
Old 03-18-08, 05:54 PM
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How long would it take?

I am wondering how long it would take, on the average, for transmission fluid that is put into the brake fluid to work it's way through the brake system and basically destroy all rubber parts including the ABS pump?

The reason I ask is my brake system failed because someone (not us) put transmission fluid into our brake line. My mechanic said it would take about 3-4 months to do this type of damage.

The owner of the "quick lube shop" who was the only person under the hood of my car in the 3-4 month window said he's not liable because it would take only 48 hours to go through the brake system and he has "scores of auto industry documentation to prove it". Oh - and he also said the transmission fluid is in a pressurized gun, not a bottle, so it's impossible for it to have been topped off (can someone explain what that means???)

The brakes were acting weird for about a week or so before I had a chance to take it in. I am wondering if the mechanic or the "quick lube shop" owner is more correct?
 
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Old 03-18-08, 06:49 PM
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Doesn't matter. Get the transmission fluid out of the brake system, today. It can't take the heat and pressure that brake fluid can. The lube guy is saying the transmission fluid is injected into the fill tube via a pressure gun. Using a pressure gun on a brake fluid canister would splatter the stuff all over the place. Brake fluid is usually poured from a can.
 
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Old 03-18-08, 07:01 PM
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The fluid is out... the brake system was replaced. I'm just trying now to determine whether I can go after the guy at the quick lube place for damages.
 
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Old 03-18-08, 07:27 PM
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Your word against his. Find a reputable and trustworthy person to take care of your car. Move on! The cost to seek damages would far exceed many lube changes.

For example, I am a little old lady new in this town and know no one except the desk clerk at the Comfort Inn. I need an oil change. I ask her where to go. She immediately says that I should not go to XYZ. But, everyone in town loves ABC. I go to ABC. No problems.

I had entrusted my car to a guy in my previous town for over 5 years. Everyone loved him, and so did I. He'd come to my business and pick up the car and do whatever was needed. I always told him to check everything.

I leave town and I am driving through the mountains leaving my mountain cabin up and down steep grades and twisty, turny and overlooking slopes that are death defying and straight down in my little KIA. I hear grinding sounds. I have 50,000 miles on my car. The owner's manual says rotors are to be replaced at 60,000. I pull over and call AAA. Get towed. They pull off the front wheels and they guy grabs the rotors and they crumble in his hands.

Do I blame my guy I trusted for 5 years. The mechanic that replaced the rotors said I should. But, if he was going by the owner's manual like I, who would have expected this. I could have been endangered or worse. I have no recourse. I do not blame that guy or anyon else. There are so many variables that affect mechanics. We can't go after anyone. Get over it and move on.
 
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Old 03-18-08, 07:43 PM
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first, I doubt the fluid would pass through the system within 48 hours. The brake fluid does not flow very far within the system unless there is a rupture or leak somewhere in the system. Due to that, any fluid that did travel to the ends of the system would be due to a migration because the fluid is heavier than brake fluid (which I do not know if it is even so). If the trans fluid will float on the brake fluid, it may never leave the master cylinder.

Then, you have to deal with, how long will it take to actually cause damage great enough to have a problem. Most improper fluids damage by causing the rubber compounds to swell, shrink, or degrade in some fashion. This is not going to be a quick process so you guess at time is as good as anybody short of an engineer that can make a reasonable educated guess.

So, the problem now is, as twelvepole stated, how do you know what caused the problem?

Short of taking the damaged parts and testing them for a foreign fluid, you can never be positive as to what damaged them.

Lots of money spent there. Not worth it.

So you are left with reasonable guesses and that is where you are. Since they seem to be resistant, your only option would be to sue (small claims court is good) and try to convince the judge. I suspect you will not be successful so, we are back to don;t take the car to the place you suspect caused the problem and move on with life.
 
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Old 03-19-08, 09:08 AM
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You didn't really say, so I have to ask - how was it determined that there was tranny fluid actually in the brake system?
 
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Old 03-19-08, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by twelvepole View Post
... guy grabs the rotors and they crumble in his hands.
????? Seriously? Did anyone say why? Were they metal ones or carbon ones? My MOM drives a Kia!, so I have interest in knowing. Never heard of such a thing before.

I have rotors that have worn like record albums and never have crumbled. Crumbled?
 
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Old 03-21-08, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
You didn't really say, so I have to ask - how was it determined that there was tranny fluid actually in the brake system?
The brake fluid wasn't clear or amber colored. It was red - the same red color as transmission fluid.
 
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Old 03-22-08, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by bnfrank View Post
The brake fluid wasn't clear or amber colored. It was red - the same red color as transmission fluid.
You mean as in bright red? If so, how many miles were on your vehicle before your last brake fluid change? I'm asking this because I almost have a feeling that you were hood winked by your brake guy.

BTW, was the brake fluid leaking? If not, the reason your brakes might have felt odd was because of compression. I would think brake fluid would compress less then transmission fluid. If your brakes only felt funny, a good flush and fill of your brakes might have fixed the problem.

Oh, the Quick Lube guy is right about transmission fluid being in a pressurized gun. This I know this from working at a few of these places, back when I was a teen ... Like 20 years ago. I also highly doubt they would try to fill the brakes with transmission fluid, being that all the ones I've seen, transmission fluid is filled down the dip stick tube, where brake fluid is put into a reservoir.

I can tell you that at times, they might try to fill your brakes with grease. Don't worry though, but they can't. This happens because they're down there greasing your grease fitting, but a brake bleed valve looks awfully like a zerk fitting.
 
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Old 03-22-08, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
????? Seriously? Did anyone say why? Were they metal ones or carbon ones? My MOM drives a Kia!, so I have interest in knowing. Never heard of such a thing before.

I have rotors that have worn like record albums and never have crumbled. Crumbled?
Your joking right?? If not, you have nothing to worry about. The rotors will not crumble in anyones hands. If she's hard on the brakes or for get to change the pads in time, she might get scoring, warped, or stress fractures in the rotors, but I've never heard of rotors crumbling or seen such. I have see the other 3 things I mentioned happen. All have happened to me.
 
  #11  
Old 03-23-08, 07:25 AM
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I believe twelvepole was only giving an illustrative story to make his point about pursuing liability for that type of damage and not offering something that actually happened.

I doubt if his reference to crumbling rotors was intended to be taken literally.
 
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Old 03-23-08, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by twelvepole View Post
I am a little old lady new in this town and know no one except the desk clerk at the Comfort Inn.
Somehow I never pictured Twelvepole like this!!
 
  #13  
Old 03-24-08, 02:37 AM
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You can't always trust your local Quick Lube, there is always a new kid starting. He also can't say the somebody didn't have transfluid in a brake bottle. Like they say, it's your word against there, but may wan't to check your receipt he may have stated that he top your brake fluid (may help your case)

In the future this will help with finding out what's in it.

For the testing of Oil, Coolant, Fuels, Transmission, and All hydraulic Fluids including Power Steering,Brake Fluid. and Refrigerants.

Analyst, Inc.

2450 Hassell

Hoffman Estates, Ill 60195

1-708-884-7877

1-800-222-0071
 
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