Volume 48, Issue 4 (July 2003)
Contamination of Brake Fluid by Power Steering Fluid
Analysis of a contaminated brake fluid revealed the contaminant to be power steering fluid. The sample received at the laboratory presented two immiscible phases, which were both organic. Both fluids were analyzed by GC-MS and compared with a library of known automotive fluids. The bottom layer (brake fluid) consisted of glycols while the top layer (power steering fluid) consisted of aliphatics ranging from C16 to C25+. An interesting phenomenon of diffusion of some of the glycols from the brake fluid phase into the power steering fluid phase was observed and needs to be taken into consideration in the interpretation of the results.