Dumb automotive question

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  1. IvyCrenshaw profile image62
    IvyCrenshawposted 9 years ago

    If gasoline was put into the brake lines on a vehicle, how long would it take before the problem became evident? 

    An acquaintance is claiming that this was done to their car when they had the brakes serviced.  They drove the car for more than a week and more than 100 miles after the car was serviced, before they had any problems.  I am really hesitant to believe them, as I think gasoline in the brake lines would cause big problems and turn up quickly, but I am not a mechanic. 

    Any thoughts?

    1. Norah Casey profile image69
      Norah Caseyposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Well... that sounds absurd. Without knowing if the car has ABS or not, I guessed that it does and did some research.

      Brake fluid is basically hydraulic fluid. One of the properties that makes braking systems work is the fact that the fluid is not easily compressible and its density remains fairly consistent despite temperature. As you can imagine, gasoline does not have these properties.

      Kinematic viscosity is a measurement of a fluid's internal stickiness while in motion. This is an important aspect that allows brake fluid to function.

      The kinematic viscosity of Diethylene glycol, commonly found in brake fluids, is 32.00 and in gasoline, it is 0.88. Not only would the car not stop, I'm not sure that the gasoline would not escape the brake lines almost immediately.

      They may have put something wrong in the brake lines, but gasoline is quite a stretch.

      1. IvyCrenshaw profile image62
        IvyCrenshawposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you so much Norah.

  2. MikeNV profile image78
    MikeNVposted 9 years ago

    No mechanic could mistake the two.  It's not possible.  Gasoline is not stored in Brake Fluid Cans.  The smell alone would be an immediate trigger.

    It's much more possible that the wrong fluid would be put in a transmission or the engine oil.  But the brake fluid reservoir is a whole different matter.

  3. ComputerPsychic profile image60
    ComputerPsychicposted 9 years ago

    No that does not seem right at all.  A person who was not even a mechanic would do that.  Only a complete bozo would.

    And yes, it would show up right away.

    Lol, if a person did that he should be committed b/c he lost it.


    1. Norah Casey profile image69
      Norah Caseyposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      A guy working the counter at an auto parts store once told me how he had tried to fill up his car with engine oil through the dip stick reservoir. I tried to give him an out of saying "yeah, well, kids do funny things...," but he went ahead and corrected me anyway. "That was last week."


  4. earnestshub profile image87
    earnestshubposted 9 years ago

    The story is bulldust!

    The petrol would pass through the wheel cylinders and catch fire almost immediately. You would have 4 tires on fire within seconds of braking.

    1. qwark profile image59
      qwarkposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Hey Earn:
      How do ya post pictures to these replies?
      if its to long an explanation...lol forget it...thanks..:-)

      1. earnestshub profile image87
        earnestshubposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I just put [img]before the copied picture location, and[/img] after it with no gaps.

        It did not work on the pic I was going to put here from the link to this car though! smile

        1. qwark profile image59
          qwarkposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          ok thanks...i'll try to figure it out....:-)


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