For a car to operate stably, it needs a perfect combination of many factors. One of the essential factors that you cannot ignore is brake fluid. Brake fluid has the function of supporting the steering brake system to operate stably and effectively.
Many questions are surrounding this liquid solution that many drivers are facing. So, is brake fluid flammable? The following article will help you answer the question that many drivers are most interested in today.
What Is Brake Fluid?
Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid that plays a vital role in the steering brake system. It can transmit power to the hydraulic system, including the steering brake system and hydraulic clutch. Usually, brake fluid will not be able to compress and can release air to the outside quickly.
Because brake fluid has a constant viscosity, it’s considered the perfect fluid for you to incorporate into your steering system.
In addition, brake fluid can catch fire quickly because it is composed of an ethyl-glycol base. It would help if you did not let them come into contact with a fire source because it will cause many unpredictable consequences such as:
- No brake fluid coming out
- Failure of the heart conduction system
- Car fire
- Causing a fire
So, does leaving the car outside in the hot 50 degrees Celsius cause the brake fluid to burn? The answer is no.
Because the burning temperature of brake fluid is relatively high, although they can catch fire quickly, the only outdoor temperature will not burn brake fluid.
Is Brake Fluid Flammable?
The structure of brake fluid is an organic compound that includes: DOT 3, DOT 4 and DOT 5. DOT 3 and DOT 4 are similar because they are all glycol-based, while DOT 5 is silicon-based.
Ethyl-glycol base brake fluid
Ethyl-glycol brake fluid is capable of catching fire rapidly on contact. According to research, both glycol and silicon burn when exposed to fire; they do not burn quickly and are explosive like gasoline or other volatile substances.
Specifically, it has a blazing speed like vegetable oil, and the flame will not explode too loudly during the burning process.
To identify the ability of brake fluid to catch fire, you can rely on flashpoint-burning temperatures. Usually, this number will be on the label on the outside of the brake fluid reservoir. You can check information on websites that provide genuine brake fluid.
The evaporation temperature of brake fluid will be from 210-375 degrees F, and the burning temperature is from 540-675 degrees F.. This temperature range is much higher than the ambient temperature.
Therefore, it will not ignite at average temperatures. You can rest assured when parking in hot summer weather.
Burning brake fluid in the exhaust pipe
When the exhaust pipe burns due to brake fluid, it will have severe consequences for your vehicle. Because when burning, the fire will spread to the rubber parts, it will burn those parts, affecting the safety of people and cars.
In addition, because brake fluid is corrosive to metals, you need to be careful when using this fluid. If you accidentally let a leak into the chassis system, you need to clean it up immediately.
Because otherwise, brake fluid will quickly corrode your car’s paint when they come into contact.
How To Handle Brake Fluid Effectively?
To handle brake fluid effectively, you need to understand how corrosive and toxic it is. It can corrode metals and harm many other objects.
Therefore, you absolutely must not pour brake fluid into the toilet or latrine because it will contaminate the water source, affecting the environment’s safety.
In addition, when you spill brake fluid on metal objects, you need to clean it in the shortest time.
Note When Using Brake Fluid
Brake fluid has several outstanding characteristics that you need to be aware of: toxic, corrosive, and flammable. Therefore, you need to be careful when dealing with this type of solution. Here are some notes to help you be safer when using brake fluid:
- Use gloves to work with brake fluid. It would help if you chose good-quality gloves to ensure the safety of your hands.
- Do not let brake fluid come into contact with electricity or a fire
- Keep out of reach of children because, according to research, children will be affected more than adults when exposed to brake fluid.
- Always wear a mask while working with brake fluid
- Avoid exposing the brake fluid to a place with a lot of sunlight and high temperatures because it can evaporate a small amount of brake fluid.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
Is DOT4 brake fluid flammable?
DOT 4 is a glycol ether-based hydraulic fluid. It is flammable, but the vaporization and auto-ignition temperatures of DOT4 are very high. Evaporation temperature is 210-375 degrees Fahrenheit, and auto-ignition temperature is 540-675 degrees Fahrenheit.
So you won’t have to worry about DOT4 spontaneously igniting when the liquid is left out in the open. You must not put DOT4 next to the fire… because it will catch fire and burn, its speed is lower than gasoline.
Does mixing brake fluid with chlorine explode?
The answer is yes. When you mix chlorine with brake fluid, it forms an explosive mixture because the substances in the solution react with each other.
Also, when you combine calcium hypochlorite with brake fluid, you’ll get the same phenomenon.
Initially, you will not see the phenomenon appear. After some time, the mixture will emit a hissing sound and explode when burning. This reaction is quite intense, so you absolutely must not experiment in any way.
Is Prestone brake fluid flammable?
Preston brake fluid is a synthetic oil that has a high vaporization temperature and provides vehicle safety.
At the same time, it is more difficult to ignite than DOT brake fluid. You can have more peace of mind when using Preston. In addition, Preston has many other benefits for your vehicle:
- Prevent overheating
- Protect the brake system
- Brakes work effectively
Is DOT3 brake fluid flammable?
The answer is yes. Brake fluid DO3 is similar to DOT 4, with a glycol base. Therefore, it can catch fire quickly. The boiling point of DOT3 is 250 degrees Celsius and is classified as a brake fluid with a moderate degree of flammability.
In addition, the evaporation temperature is 230 degrees F, which is the lowest temperature in brake fluids.
Is flashpoint important?
The answer is yes. Because you will rely on flashpoints to consider the ability of brake fluid to catch fire, it means the temperature range at which brake fluid will evaporate. The higher the flashpoint, the less likely the brake fluid will catch fire.
Hopefully, the article will help you better understand the ability of brake fluid to catch fire. Each type of brake fluid will have a different ignition rate.
DOT3 is the brake fluid with the fastest ignitability with an evaporation temperature of 230 degrees F. Meanwhile, Preston is the brake fluid with the least flammability. As a result, many car manufacturers now prioritize using Preston for their products.