Brake fluid checks are supposed to be done regularly by car owners to keep their cars running well. But accidental spills happen and they can be problematic for the paint job. If you’re planning on doing a fluid change yourself, you need to be prepared to clean it all up. It can be a difficult DIY task to do and if you do something wrong you could hurt your car’s shiny finish. Here’s all you need to know and do if you get brake fluid on car paint.
How Brake Fluid Damages Car Paint
You might not know how brake fluid can harm your car. You must be thinking, doesn’t my car need it? Why would it harm it? The answer is because there are chemicals in the brake fluid. Glycol is the main chemical in it. It has molecules that make brake fluids effective at messing up your coating. The reaction of glycol in your car’s paint functions like a very aggressive solvent.
If you leave brake fluids sitting on the paint it will start to break down the layer of coating in your car. It can leave vertical marks or stripes all over the car as it goes down. There can be severe damage to your car as the glycol eats through the paint. It can get as severe as showing the metal of the vehicle.
Length Of Time Needed To Cause Damage
We have good news for you, brake fluid can be cleaned right away. So your car will be okay. However, if you leave the brake fluid sit on the paint it can cause a lot of harm. Here’s a small guide on how long it takes for it to cause damage:
- Less than 5 minutes: no damage.
- 5 minutes: dull marks. The clear coat can get compromised there.
- 10 minutes: visible stains; the clear coat is possibly ruined.
- 30 minutes: stripes can be seen from a distance; paint damage is clear.
How To Clean Off Brake Fluid
If you have a newer car, your paint has a higher quality so simply wiping the fluid off is enough to prevent any harm. Now you know how important it is to act fast. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Blot Up The Fluid
Use a paper towel or a towel to soak up as much fluid as you can. Avoid wiping it off. This will only make the fluid spread the brake fluid around and expand the affected area. Press the towel where the fluid is and blot it up.
2. Wash The Fluid Off
Clean whatever is left in the car as soon as you can. To wash it it’s better to use a washing detergent, but this is an emergency so grab any soap you have around. Apply it and wash it with a clean sponge or wet rag.
3. Rinse Well
The final step is to flush the area with a lot of water. This will neutralize the brake fluid and stop any corrosion.
How To Fix Damage Caused By Brake Fluid
If there are any visible marks left by the brake fluid in your car or any dull paint where it dripped you should bring in your car to Sudden Impact Auto. If you don’t address it, the damaged area can spread and get worse as it’s exposed to the sun or rain. This will eventually turn into rust and other severe issues. Fixing the paint in your vehicle requires an expert touch for color matching. It’s important to have this repair done by experts to preserve the value of your car.
Sudden Impact Auto Body Repair In Las Vegas
If you notice any damage left in your car after cleaning off brake fluid on your car paint you should call Sudden Impact Auto at 702-457-3002 today! Our expert technicians can color match your car and get it looking like new again!