Brake fluid turned to jelly


#1

OK, I’ve got a 93 Chevy pickup, was pulling a 1955 12’ travel trailer and the brakes started to tighten up. I wasn’t using the brakes much but pulled into a small town and the brakes were smoking. After cooling down started out uphill and after about 3 miles the truck almost came to a stop. Master cylinder gasket had swollen and brake fluid was jelly. After it cooled it looked like watery oil. No brake fluid had been added in 5 years. Any guesses?


#2

I don’t understand chemistry, but I’d sure change out that brake fluid. It sounds like its contaminated with something. Get the system flushed out and refilled.


#3

by any chance did you have the oil changed just before this trip? (at a local lube joint?)

maybe just before this happened you went through a deep puddle?

sounds like the brake fluid got water in it. alot of water.

sound like you need to have the entire brake system flushed, and a complete change of brake fluid.


#4

The brake hoses, at the wheels, could be deteriorated internally. This can cause brakes to not release, and get very hot. The hoses will look fine on the outside.


#5

No brake fluid had been added in 5 years. Any guesses?

Five years is too long. Brake fluid should be changed at least every three years. Brake fluid will absorb water that that causes problems, including some you reported. I don’t know if that was the only problem, but it certainly could have been at least part of it. I would guess that the extra heat generated by the trailer towing caused the water in the brake lines to change to steam and that was the primary issue.

However I would have the brakes thoroughly checked by a trusted brake shop.


#6

Maybe no brake fluid was added in the last 5 years, but something else was. And I’ll bet that the something else was petroleum based (the swollen gasket is the tip-off).

Unfortunately, I think you’re looking at major repairs here. Everything in the brake system containing rubber (master cylinder, calipers, wheel cylinders, flexible lines) may have to be replaced.


#7

Didn’t you like our answers in the this thread?? No need to re-post. That just confuses things.

The second post on this is here:
http://community.cartalk.com/posts/list/916010.page


#8

Thanks all for the answers. Sorry about the second post but am new at this and couldn’t find the original post when I scrolled through the questions.


#9

To go to a particular post, go to the red banner and click on Search. Then, in the Keyword block, type in the name of the Dicussion Topic (heading) of the post you are interested in.
The key idea is to write down (with pencil and paper) the title (“Discussion Topic”) of any post you put in, or are interested in. Then, at ANY time, you can Search for it.