BRAKING FAQ: Can Brake Fluid Freeze?

NOFreeze Brake Fluid

Technically brake fluid can’t freeze solid like water due to the fact that it is an oil. But it can reach a point where it becomes so thick that it no longer becomes effective at transferring force from the master cylinder to the wheels. The fluid can “gel” or congeal. Base mineral oil has a “working point” of -22C or -30F. But, it will never turn into a solid.

Additives to the base oil can push the limit to -45F or lower. It the temperatures go lower chances are the pedal will be stiff, but not frozen. After a few stops, the heat of the brakes would warm the fluid. If you are driving in temperatures below -50F, you have a lot more problems than the brake fluid like engine oil and coolant.

Theoretically, the ABS pump on some vehicles could have problems if it activate and the brake fluid was thick enough. This could introduce air bubbles into the brake fluid. Also, since brake fluid is hydroscopic (absorbs water), the additional water can influence the viscosity at lower temperatures.

No, DOT 3,4 and 5.1 brake fluid will not freeze preventing you from stopping altogether. Chances are if you have experiences a hard brake pedal in the winter, it is condensation in the brake booster or vacuum supply hose that has frozen.

Chicago Taxi Inspection Skip Brake Tester

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The next time ride in a cab in Chicago, you might want to ask the driver about the brakes. In a recent audit of Chicago’s taxicab regulation procedures, it found flaws in vehicle safety inspections. The main problem was brake testing machine that was not working. Instead of fixing the machine, the inspectors looked the other way and did not test the brakes.

Despite a “zero tolerance policy for failure to identify public safety issues,” the audit states, “interviews and observations revealed weak quality assurance procedures and broken equipment.” The audit also concluded the department did not have ways to safeguard against ineffective inspections.

 

It is nice to know someone is inspection the inspectors.

 

Read the full article at the Chicago Tribune

Indian Motorcycles Recalls 2015 Scout For Brake Issues

Eight-hundred and six beautiful Indian Scout motorcycles are being recalled in conjunction with a NHTSA investigation that found a potential problem with the rear brakes of the bike.

According to Zig Wheels, the Scout possesses a fault with the rear brake’s master cylinder which could cause a partial loss in stopping power or even a complete failure of the rear brake. In other words, this problem could very well cause a gruesome crash due to the brakes having a possibility of failing without notice.

The official description of the recall states: “In some vehicles, the piston retaining ring located in the rear master cylinder may not fully seat into the machined groove in the master cylinder bore. If this were to occur the vehicle may experience an inability to generate fluid pressure to the rear brake calliper. Lack of fluid pressure to the rear calliper could cause the vehicle operator to lose braking control of the rear wheel which could increase the risk of a vehicle crash.”

What propelled this recall were a few warranty claims by customers in the US. After enough claims were made, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration enacted a full investigation which produced evidence that the Scout truly had brake issues.

Indian Motorcycles will notify affected owners, and dealers will inspect and replace the rear brake master cylinder, if necessary, free of charge. Polaris India, which owns Indian Motorcycles, have told sources that delivery of Indian Scout bikes have yet to begin in India and as such this recall is not going to affect bikes sold in India.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Thanks to Zig Wheels and NHTSA

Driver Dies As Big Rig Truck Collides With Mexican Restaurant

A driver has perished in Pittsburg following a dramatic crash that imploded a big rig, destroyed two cars and crashed into a building.

A preliminary investigation has found that the big-rig was traveling north when it struck two vehicles and then the building, which became engulfed in flames, according to reports.

So far, Police believe in the possibility of brake failure being the cause of the crash due to eye-witnesses stating the driver was honking his horn and flashing his lights moments before the truck came to a grinding halt.

“It appears at this point at least that the driver of the truck tried to alert them,” said one officer.

Marvin Tompkins Doldol is a civilian whose car was damaged during the crash. He was quoted stating that he could ‘smell the clutch and brake’ as the truck careened down the street.

“In my rear view mirror” Doldol explains, “I saw the truck coming down really fast and I heard him trying to shift down to brake and as soon as he passed and saw him really close he hit the van in front of him after he hit the van in front of him he came into my lane and he drove all the way straight and I was pushed onto the corner.”

David Garner is another local civilian who was on his way to work when his car was struck by the big rig.

“He clipped me on the right-hand side, totaled the truck next to me and then went into the shopping center,” said Garner.

Gardner believes the truck driver did everything he could to minimize the impact.

“He tried to somehow go between us. He did everything he could,” said Gardner, who got choked up thinking about how close he came to serious injury. “It’s almost like a second chance at life. I could have died today.”

The building that the big-rig struck was fortunately unoccupied at the time. A second structure was also destroyed in the commercial area.

The roads leading to the crash zone remain closed while police investigated the fatal crash.

Special Thanks to Fox 2

RECALL: GM Calls Back Some 2,000 Chevy Cruze’s For Braking Issues

The National Highway Traffic Administration has announced they are issuing a mandatory recall of 1,733 cars manufactured between February 4, 2015 and February 9, 2015 due to concerns regarding the functionality of the parking brake.

The issue is inside the brake cable brackets. When not fastened properly, the bracket can separate completely, dramatically increasing the possibility of a runaway car or a hazardous crash.

GM will notify owners, and dealers will inspect both rear parking brake brackets bolts, tightening them as necessary, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin in this month. Owners may contact Chevrolet customer service at 1-800-222-1020. GM’s number for this recall is 15135.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.