Another reason Why I have no use for Brake parts cleaner

This topic contains 15 replies and was last updated by marc-2 9 years 7 months ago
Author
marc-2
February 28th, 2011 7:47pm
Post
Hi there everyone, I'm a newbie to the site, I just wanted to share an experience I had recently involving brake parts cleaner. We had a Cummins engine equipped unit with a broken turbo shaft, and the job was given to an apprentice, which the shop supervisor was overlooking, I noticed after he had turbo replaced, that he hadn't removed the air to air to wash out, he took the easy way of brake parts cleaner to remove oil residue from the air piping, later I showed him how to oil prime the turbo, and I was asked to roadtest the unit, I backed out of shop at idle, and once outside, I shifted from 2nd to 3rd as I touched the accelerator the engine ran away revving past 4000 rpm on tach, turned off key, engine kept revving higher, tried to drop the clutch.I'd say the engine ran for a minute and quit, the amount of smoke made the whole work site disappear. Later I went back to the unit with a board and setup as to block air intake, when I attempted to start the engine it would not build oil pressure.

I got to check and tear down the engine for diagnosis, turns out that the can of parts cleaner used in spraying into the oil filled air to air had mixed with the oil, parts cleaner is heavier then air so it dropped into ATA and not evaporating. When the engine was initially started, I had asked the guy if He had used brake cleaner to start the engine ( which is common here, but that will be a different topic)

Myself, I have no use for BPC as it is dangerous product, how many garbage containers have I seen blow up over the years.
ben
February 28th, 2011 9:31pm
Sounds like miss use of the brake cleaner more than anything. We use it all the time it is a mobile mechanics best friend. Cleans anything up if used properly. As for using it as a starting fluid that is terrible. Think you need to give your shop foreman a little talking too. I wouldnot even use that stiff to start one of our old detroits Bear in mind that brake cleaner dissolves grease and oil when using keep this in mind and think what it will do to your eyes hands ect. If used with caution it is a very good cleaner
john-whelan-2
April 8th, 2011 9:10am
We use it for cleaning and it works great but I can see the danger with it as well. Diesel engines would eat that stuff up:)
serena-wiber
July 31st, 2011 4:46am
For lighting fires in garbage cans, it can't be beat.
Kari Rayson
August 3rd, 2011 4:16am
We use Brake Clean whenever we have it, which isn't often. But I've never seen it do what it did to you. That's all bad!! Half the time we use the non-flammable stuff because it's more readily available. Generally, it is used to clean off a surface so we can access it, especially if it's covered in oil/grease/mud and the wash bay is down!

That being said, I've never seen a technician use Brake Clean on anything involved with the intake and no one is allowed to use ether, either!
lance-pruitt
August 7th, 2011 1:19am
i would not blame that on the brake cleaner , i'v seen plenty run away because the oil wasnt cleaned out of the intercooler good enuff , rooky mistake !
ben
October 14th, 2011 7:57am
I good substitute and much safer is glass cleaner, especially works good for cleaning the brakes off any dust and gets sludge, oil, grease, etc all off. And much cheaper Haha
ron-jones
November 8th, 2011 1:34am
That is more of a failure to teach the Apprentice the proper way to do that job. As stated by someone before me, brake clean is not a bad thing if used right. As far as that engine running away, I have seen it happen when the oil was not cleaned out well enough.



Either way, it is a learning process, be it good or bad. As long as no one was hurt, that is the important thing.



Like most things in our jobs, brake clean can help you out alot. If not used right, well I am sure we all have stories that did not go right... but that could be said about alot of things right.
steven-hunter
November 13th, 2011 10:52am
Brake cleaner is most definately a mobile tech's best friend i wouldn't be without it on my service van but you have to be carefull with it. we all make mistakes i suppose but apprentice should have been more closely monitored.
silkcitytech
August 28th, 2013 7:02pm
I HAD THE SAME EXACT THING HAPPEN TO ME YEARS AGO ON AN OLD MACK AFTER REPLACING A TURBO WITH A BLOW SEAL. I NEGLIGENTLY DID NOT CLEAN OUT THE CHARGE COOLER AND THE ENGINE RAN AWAY ON ME JUST A FEW FEET OUT OF THE SHOP. IT WAS A TOUGH LESSON LEARNED AND I NEARLY LOST MY JOB.
mrbigwrench
August 29th, 2013 9:45am
When you're in the field, it's usually the only cleaner available to you.

Ever since I saw what chlorinated brake kleen will do to a mouse, I respect the chemical by wearing nitrile gloves. I don't want that stuff penetrating my skin.

Beware the Brake Kleen!!
mrbigwrench
September 6th, 2013 3:18pm
That's great, Peter. I read the piece and it tells you nothing, really.

Brake Kleen is a reality of life in the field and damn glad to have it, too.
nathan-riehl
January 5th, 2014 4:42pm
the core should have been sent out to be steamed brake clean doesn't get the metal particulates or most of the crap out
brett-nicholas
January 5th, 2014 9:53pm
He must have use non-chlorinated brake cleaner. Chlorinated brake cleaner will actually shut an engine down, it won't burn.
victor-stanley
January 8th, 2014 8:05pm
I agree with Lance, Rookie mistake I have seen many times with the Lincoln Tech's. If he did not let the heat exchanger air out, or blow it out, it could have exasperated the runaway. I have seen some of these rookies, after a popped turbo, have runaways that have lasted five minutes plus, smoke and everything. Usually gotta vat those ata aftercoolers!
danny-lambe
January 8th, 2014 10:06pm
You don't want to be heating up any kind of brake cleaner or brake kleen, once it is heated it releases phosgene gas which is deadly to people and once inhaled it is in your body for life, not a good combo you most certainly do not want to be inhaling the stuff of welding anywhere near it.

Reply to: Another reason Why I have no use for Brake parts cleaner