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Shop Screwed Up

1366 Views 21 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  elsolo
So I took my SVT down to the guys who normally work on my tires, brakes, and alignment this morning. I had a piston stuck on the rear caliper apparently and it decimated the pad down to metal. Crap happens, I get that. They replaced the calipers and pads on the rear but couldn't turn the rotor, too much damage. So I told them to leave the rotor and I would order a new set (i use a slotted and dimpled setup by EBC). Now, to the meat of the issue for this post. Brake Pedal was feeling kind of spongy, extra travel than what I was used to, and I figured I would check the brake fluid reservoir.....

Pop the hood and the first thing that catches my eye is all the fluid soaking the outside of my PS reservoir. Son of a b....... Check the fluid on the brake reservoir and it's topped off appropriately. The fluid in the PS Res was to the top! I don't know if they put brake fluid in there or not, but the shop is going to fix it.

My biggest question to you guys is what do I need to be on the look out for and just how much damage would this do? I'm guessing at least 4 oz of brake fluid added to the system and I drove it 30 miles home. I'm headed up to the shop with the car on a flatbed tow truck now so I'll be checking in later.
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So I'm at the shop and it sounds like they are going to flush the system tonight and put me back on the road. Later this next week they will take the car again and have the engine detailed to get all the PS fluid cleaned up, and talk to their training shop about the incident for more details on what to look for. What say you guys with a lot of experience??
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm all about giving them a chance to fix their mistake, and given the amount of business I have had with them over the years I am far from thinking them incompetent. Given the sheepish apology of the tech who did the work I am guessing he knew he had made a mistake. Younger kid, most likely a rookie from what I my instincts told me after I returned.

As for the brakes going bad... I checked them last month when I rotated my tires and I still had 50% of the pad remaining, the one that failed was on the inside of the rotor, and I did not see any signs of premature wearing or scoring of the disc. My thought, possibly a failed pad where the pad sheared from the backing plate? Too much damage to the backer plate to tell.

Concerning my disc selection, no I don't race at the track. I selected the dimpled and slotted because I live in an area where it rains more than half of the year in my estimation and I hated having fade from the water on the freeway. There are idiots galore who don't know how to drive in the rain up here and reaction time is key to avoiding accidents, thus the upgraded setup.

I of all people know my limits on what I can and can't repair though, thus why I took the car to a shop to do the brakes, like I did a year and a half ago to put the upgraded components in. As for maintenance I will guarantee you that I look over and inspect my vehicle more in a month than most people do in a year (just ask my wife who gets frustrated with my constant checking). If there is anything the military and my grandfather has taught me it is to maintain my equipment. Frankly, I do not appreciate the talking down to by someone who would rather rip someone a new one than take the time to know all the details beforehand. Educate yourself before you challenge the knowledge and experience of another owner. ~ End rant

Now, the power steering was a darker red still (not quite as red as when I had flushed it this last spring from what I can remember) and I doubt that 4 oz of brake fluid would change the color much. I'm not detecting any whining from the pump or any other odd noises that would indicate a damaged pump or vanes. Steering performance is solid and responsive as normal.

My concern is long term contamination and breakdown of the seals due to an incompatible fluid being introduced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I will definitely have to keep a closer eye on the pads now that the brakes are working correctly again, especially when I put the new rotors and pads on the rear. I ordered a new set of rear rotors since the one couldn't be turned. It may be overkill for a daily driver but I prefer to have the performance available if I need it than to not have it when I do need it. My SVT is worth the few extra dollars in my opinion. Our numbers are becoming fewer and fewer as time goes on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Especially with the cost of decent blank rotors these days, i'd buy new vs having an older set turned.

either way of who is to blame, seems like your shop is wanting to keep you as a customer and is making things right.

Edit: sorry this was meant to quote jfrye and respond accordingly,

I think the concern is on degrading the venting performance by getting them turned. At some point there will be very little material left in the way of vents and dimples to work as originally designed. I wonder if the cutting process might not leave a raw edge on the vents and dimples that would accelerate pad wear as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Issue Update: The shop has done their best to remedy the situation, they've flushed the system twice and put in some of the Redline D4 ATF. Prior to the Redline the PS pump started whining pretty noticeably. Since the Redline it has quieted and sound levels have returned to pre-issue volumes. The shop also agreed that should it not fully resolve itself or if the system starts to leak then they will cover any repairs to include a new pump. My concern at the moment is longevity and the fact that I mentally expected that the noise level would be almost non-existent with the upgrade to the Redline fluid had it been flushed prior to this incident. Given that expectation, and 190k on the system, I am wondering if there is still damage to the pump. I'll keep a close eye on things for certain and the first sign of trouble it's going to a different shop for inspection.

Thoughts, advice, and experiences on changing PS fluids to the Redline D4 ATF? Anyone notice leaks develop with a fluid change?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So, this issue is being persistent... Checked levels this morning and the fluid level was noticeably lower, same ambient temp within a few degrees as when I checked mid week. Take a peek underneath and sure enough, drips. This car hasn't dripped a drop in the last six years I've had it. Swing in to the shop to have them top off the fluid and see if they can locate where it's leaking from. Apparently it's coming from a pump seal. I'm not happy at all. Manager was out today, will talk to him Monday and tell him I want it taken to a different shop for getting the pump replaced and whatever else is damaged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
There are no seals in the power steering system that can be harmed by brake fluid.

The car has a bunch of miles, and these things wear out.

They did your brakes, just because your steering acted up at about the same time doesn't mean they did something to it.
Did you see the party about them overfilling the pump reservoir? My guess is the overpressure damaged it somehow. Granted the cap did it's job and let the system expel the excess, it was probably still to much pressure for a high mileage system.
 
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