Though not a volatile liquid, brake fluid is inflammable. Modern brake fluids are based on polyalkylene glycols. The author of this article conducted experiments which revealed that polyalkylene glycols ignited spontaneously on a surface heated to 390/400 deg C. Thus, if during a collision, a modern brake fluid should splash on an exhaust system at 400 deg C or over, it will ignite spontaneously. The fireball produced by brake fluid igniting on the manifold or exhaust system will burn with sufficient ferocity to spread to other plastics, such as cable covers, air filters and so on, unless quickly extinguished. Whether a fireball is created or not in a minor collision depends on the integrity of the brake fluid reservoir.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Institute of Road Transport Engineeers

    1 Cromwell Place
    London SW1 25F,   England 
  • Authors:
    • Goss, J C
  • Publication Date: 1989-3

Media Info

  • Features: Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 9
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00481076
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 31 1989 12:00AM