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Old 11-18-2019, 06:25 PM   #1
MikeNW
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1997 SL
Default General brake question

So I was installing a new master cylinder and rear wheel cylinders in my 97 SL.

And wondering, brake fluid has several + qualities.

But it also removes paint and is hygroscopic.

So why isn't some type of thin oil used in brake systems? For example, hydraulic fluid is incompressible. It has a reasonable boiling point. But it's not corrosive.

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Old 11-19-2019, 01:38 AM   #2
fdryer
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: General brake question

Mineral oil isn't compatible with rubber seals in brake systems. If hydraulic fluid is used in brake systems, the incompatibility will swell rubber seals. Hydraulic pressures create a flammable fluid when sprayed out near an ignition source. Extreme heat is another flammability hazard. Past history may have shown early brake systems using regular oil and if fires and broken brake lines sprayed brake fluid, it probably fed the fire. Glycol based brake fluid may have resulted from as an alternative - DOT3 brake fluid is inflammable.

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