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texascc 11-17-2009 10:20 AM

Major brake problem? Please help, it's my daily driver!
I have a 2006 Unlimited with 52000 miles (itís a manual) and I accidentally put some power steering fluid in the brake fluid reservoir. I tried using a medicine syringe to get most of it out, but Iím sure some remained. This was a month ago.

The last week I've noticed subtle changes when stopping such as having the brake pedal seem very firm and then it will go almost to the floor. I wasn't sure if it's always been this way and my mind was just playing tricks on me. When I got in this morning to take the kids to school, I started it up and backed down my steep driveway. At the bottom I applied the brake and it wasn't stopping very easy so I pressed harder and the pedal felt like it gave out and went to the floor. I pumped it a couple of times and it felt normal. When I tried to take off, it felt like my emergency brake was on. My Jeep would move forward and backward, but as soon as I let off of the gas it would jerk to a stop on its own. Needless to say, I used my wife's ride to get the kids to school. When I got back (30 minutes later) I got in and tried it and it moved fine. I took a slow ride around our neighborhood and it seemed fine. It was cold this morning (by Texas standards) around 40 degrees but I think it has to do with more with the power steering fluid. What's wrong and what do I need to do? Thanks for the help.

coolbreeze 11-17-2009 10:32 AM

Sounds like your brake fluid should be drained and bled from all lines. Hopefully nothing is ruined. Good luck.

Jeepsr4me 11-17-2009 10:45 AM

Its been too long to hope for no repairs. But a line flush will let you know if you can dodge a bullet. Start at the passenger rear and bleeed till its clear and bleed some more. then driver rear, then pass front, the finally driver front. You keep all the old fluid and put in a big glass jar. Let it settle. If you see black stuff in there or any solid particles then the trans fluid has ate something up.

You can get a vacuum kit to pull the fluid out so you dont have to need a person pumping the petal.

mrcarcrazy 11-17-2009 11:10 AM

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How the hell does one "accidentally" add PS fluid to the Brake MC?

When I was a mechanic, we had a kid who said he had no idea why his MC was full of red fluid...we ended up having to rebuild the MC, calipers, and rear wheel cylinders.

Personally I'd pull the MC off. and replace it with a rebuilt unit. if you flush it, you risk PS fluid getting in contact with your caliper/wheel cyl seals. then you'll be replacing many more parts.

GO ahead and consider your MC toast. replace it. bench bleed the new one, slap it on, and then bleed the entire system. cross your fingers that no PS fluid is in the brake lines.

OldFatGuy 11-17-2009 12:07 PM

Power steering fluid (or anything petroleum-based) will cause the rubber parts in your brake system to swell up. This can cause lots of problems, including brake failure. The only "right" way to fix it is to thoroughly flush the system and replace every rubber part. I've seen it happen and it's ugly.

350chevrolet 11-17-2009 02:58 PM

im going to agree with everyone else. might as well start with replacing the master cylinder and prop valve because there definitely done. hopefully the power steering fluid didnt get to the abs pump because that is not cheap and hopefully you can get away without rebuilding the calipers, wheel cylinders, and replacing the rubber brake lines. brake work is not hard, it just takes a little time and the rite tools.

Jeepsr4me 11-17-2009 03:01 PM

I know this sounds Extreme , but insurance claim.......... Cause a 2005 is gonna get $$$$$$$ fast with all that NEEDS to be done......

texascc 11-17-2009 04:16 PM

What do you mean by insurance claim? Anything that I can do help save some money will be greatly appreciated! I was part of a mass layoff in October at Samsung (580 people) and times are tight. I can't believe I made this bone headed mistake.

I talked to a shop in town that works exclusively on Jeeps and they quoted me around $700 to replace the MC and bleed brakes and replace seals. I don't have ABS brakes (at least I don't think I do because I have the original window sticker and it's not listed on it). Thanks to everyone for the help.

countryboy19 11-17-2009 04:49 PM

i did that same bone headed mistake. but at least it was a old POS car.

Jeepsr4me 11-17-2009 05:04 PM

700 seems cheap. Not sure of the materials used in the Calipers but if you went a month with the wrong fluid in there I am sure it got down to the calipers and it will eat the seals in those too. Also all your soft lines. (get braided stainless lines to replace). Insurance pays for stupid mistakes, i had a jeep slide off into a lake once. I thought i could get it going cheap, Nah got the computer and trans.

texascc 11-17-2009 05:31 PM

I had both bottles open because I was putting the power steering fluid in my Suburban and sat it next to the open brake fluid bottle. I caught myself almost immediately but there was probably about a half inch of fluid poured in. I drained most of it with the syringe. It was late, dark, and both of my wild monkeys (3 and 5 year old boys) were using the Jeep as a jungle gym and I had one eye on them and one eye on what I was doing under the hood. I'll keep everyone posted on my progress.

coolbreeze 11-17-2009 08:27 PM

You don't have to explain it to me. I spilled some beer in a power steering reservoir once :eek: It happens :D:doh:

Jeepsr4me 11-17-2009 08:59 PM

Thats a waste of good beer. Did you get it out and filter it and then drink it? If so carry on.

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