Every car owner knows that brake fluid will damage your paint. So if you accidentally spill or splatter brake fluid on your car, you should know what to do to prevent the unsightly aftermath. In this post, we discuss how brake fluid reacts with paint and what you can do about it.
The effect of brake fluid on car paint
Brake fluid contains a substance called glycol, which is a very abrasive solvent that can cook paint in just a few minutes. Take note that brake fluid can cause visible damage to your car paint in just 30 minutes. Letting it sit longer is guaranteed to produce expensive damages.
As the fluid flows downward, it leaves stain stripes that can be very difficult to remove. Brake fluid will also eat through the paint and metal that it gets in contact with.
What to do about it
If you spilled brake fluid while checking or refilling the tank, we recommend the following tips to avoid or minimize damage on the paint:
Blot it using an absorbent towel
The moment that the brake fluid gets in contact with the car paint, grab an absorbent towel and blot the area. Never wipe sideways as this will only cause the fluid to streak and a bigger area will be affected.
Just blot it gently and fold the towel after each blotting. That way, you won’t spread the fluid on the paint.
Wash the area
After you’ve removed most of the fluid, it’s important to wash the area. This way, you can flush out the remaining fluid before it starts eating away your car paint. Keep in mind that damage will begin within five minutes after the first contact.
It’s best to use a car soap for washing. However, if one isn’t handy, use dish soap or any mild agent to rinse the brake fluid off your car’s exterior.
Use lots of water
After that, rinse the affected area thoroughly. Use a lot of flowing water to ensure that nothing is left of the brake fluid. Continue to rinse for up to three minutes until you’re sure that the paint is fully washed.
After that, wipe it dry using a clean microfiber towel. If there are stains, it means that the brake fluid has advanced through the layer of paint. You should consider doing the next step.
Visit an auto body shop
If you fail to act fast to remove the brake fluid, you should visit an auto body shop to get the damage fixed. Touch-ups can be used to restore the look of your car’s paint. However, for extensive damage, a paint job is likely needed. The mechanic will advise you of the best option based on the condition of your car.
Brake fluid and car paint don’t mix. But if accidents occur while you’re handling the substance, you have to act fast. This way, you can save your car paint from damage and you won’t have to do an emergency visit to the auto body shop.