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James, what happens if you put the wrong fluid in your brake fluid? My wife topped off the master cylinder with power steering fluid. The brake light came on the dash and she added power steering fluid to the brake master cylinder. What can I do? Panicked in Parker

Dear Panicked, First thing I would do is remove the master cylinder ASAP and dump the power steering fluid out. Then place the master cylinder and a vise and flush with denatured alcohol. Once you feel that you have cleaned the master cylinder and the reservoir enough. Then bleed it again with clean brake fluid. Replace the master cylinder and then bleed your brakes at all the wheels starting at the right rear first. This is no guarantee that you won’t have a problem down the road. But it is better to be proactive than wait until you have to change every rubber part in your brake system. And who knows, you still may have to change ALL your brake parts from the master cylinder to proportioning valves. If you clean the power steering fluid out before it gets pumped through the brake system you may save yourself a lot of money. Live long and prosper in 2011, James Morris

 

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