Opened brake fluid shelf life - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-26-2012, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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For the mechanics who have or are working on brakes daily, how long do you guys keep the brake fluid on the shelf before opening a new bottle?

I have a liter of ATE dot4 super blue with about 3/4 of the metal can left from a change I did in early August and only been opened that time. It's been kept inside where the temps have always between 65-75* Is it still good to use at 2 months old?

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post #2 of 9 Old 09-27-2012, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewebay1 View Post
For the mechanics who have or are working on brakes daily, how long do you guys keep the brake fluid on the shelf before opening a new bottle?

I have a liter of ATE dot4 super blue with about 3/4 of the metal can left from a change I did in early August and only been opened that time. It's been kept inside where the temps have always between 65-75* Is it still good to use at 2 months old?
I never re-use an open bottle, except to pour crap fluid back in and chuck it.

For every bleed, new bottle. That's why I don't bother buying the big bottles - save for cars and trucks.

That being said, it's personal preference, and it's not like it's for a racing application, so you'd probably be ok using it if it had a good seal. I just prefer not to, I want the best brakes I can get.

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post #3 of 9 Old 09-27-2012, 05:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewebay1
For the mechanics who have or are working on brakes daily, how long do you guys keep the brake fluid on the shelf before opening a new bottle?

I have a liter of ATE dot4 super blue with about 3/4 of the metal can left from a change I did in early August and only been opened that time. It's been kept inside where the temps have always between 65-75* Is it still good to use at 2 months old?
If you've kept a cover over it so dust doesn't get in (I don't know what the metal can looks like; if it has a lid or not) I think you should be fine. Honda insists that you use a fresh one everytime for feer of contamination. I'm sure expiration is not a concern at all.
~I'm not a mechanic~

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post #4 of 9 Old 09-27-2012, 05:22 AM
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I will use it from an opened container, but I keep the cap sealed tight.
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-27-2012, 06:15 AM
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The main concern is water.
Brake fluid is hygroscopic - meaning it will absorb & hold water from the humidity in the air. This lowers the boiling point of the (now contaminated) fluid, can cause corrosion, and other bad things.

More specifically:
MOST brake fluid is hygroscopic. DOT 3, 4, and 5.1 brake fluids are Glycol based and will absorb & hold moisture.
DOT 5 is silicone based and is not susceptible to moisture uptake. However, it is not recommended for motorcycle use for other reasons.

Brake fluid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If you keep the container well-sealed to prevent moisture uptake, DOT 3, 4, and 5.1 brake fluids are OK to use from opened containers.


ETA:
Over time DOT 3, 4, and 5.1 brake fluids will absorb moisture through seals and hoses. This is the main reason why regular brake fluid flushes are recommended.


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post #6 of 9 Old 09-27-2012, 06:17 AM
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If it's properly sealed it's good to go. The problem is they absorb moisture from the atmosphere, so if it's open to the enviroment it will become contaminated. I just cap the bottle asap, and put a bead of RTV around the cap if I am going to keep it.

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post #7 of 9 Old 09-27-2012, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliMech View Post
I just cap the bottle asap, and put a bead of RTV around the cap if I am going to keep it.
^^ good idea! I also squeeze the bottle to get most of the air out, then if it sucks any back in I'll know as the sides aren't caved in anymore.

I admit - I re-used opened containers on my dirt bikes. Just not the street bike.

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post #8 of 9 Old 09-27-2012, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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I think I'll give it a go, if it doesn't perform I'll put a fresh bottle in. So glad I put speed bleeders on!
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-27-2012, 03:29 PM
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Well, since you have speed bleeders, this won't work, but on your next bike with standard bleeder screws, just do a reverse bleed! It was so easy!

I just put clear tubing on the bleed valve, zip tied it TIGHT, then filled a hefty syringe and attached the other end to it, filled it with fluid, then cracked open the valve and start pushing fluid in. Zip tie on the syringe end helps,too, you don't want fluid squirting everywhere!

Took only two full syringes before filling the master, then I did a standard bleed back down to eliminate any small bubbles, but I had SOLID feel on the rear brake in 5 pumps. Unreal. Took 5 minutes, total.

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