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Can Adding Brake Fluid to Your Oil Cause Damage to Your Engine?

by Daniel Pearson

It has been said that pouring brake fluid into a vehicle's oil tank will help to clear up sludge, but this could not be further from the truth. Adding break fluid to your oil could seriously damage the engine.

Damage to Engine Seals

Mixing brake fluid with oil causes the rubber seals inside an engine to swell, tear and leak, requiring an expensive reseal job to correct.

Differences in Fluids

Brake fluid is hydraulic fluid, which has a different composition than oil. Just as pouring oil into brake lines would cause brake failure, adding brake fluid to the oil tank would cause the engine's seals to break down.

Effect on the Engine

Adding any fluid other than oil causes an engine to break down, and can require a costly engine block replacement.

Dealing with Sludge

If there is reason to suspect a sludge problem exists in you vehicle's engine, take the vehicle to an oil-change facility. If you know the vehicle has a sludge problem take it to a mechanic. Use an engine flush to deal with this issue before it becomes a problem.

Change Your Oil

Changing motor oil on a regular basis -- about every 3,000 miles -- this keeps sludge from building up in an engine and helps to extend the life of the vehicle.

About the Author

Daniel Pearson is a freelance writer with more than 17 years of experience. He most recently received an award from the Oregon Society of Professional Journalists for Best Business Writing in 2009, his ninth award from the organization. He holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism and communication and a Master of Business Administration in marketing.

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