By on August 16, 2013

superblue

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

In an act of almost incomprehensible stupidity, ignorance, and just plain mean-spiritedness, the Federal Government of the United States of America has apparently struck a blow against motoring enthusiasts across the country.


That’s right. The sons-of-bitches have banned ATE Super Blue brake fluid. Club racers and track rats have long known that by alternating Super Blue and ATE 200 Gold, it was possible to easily confirm that your system was properly flushed, even under low light or in hectic conditions.

The notice doesn’t make it absolutely plain that the G stepped in, but why else would Continental stop distributing and forcibly recall a product that has, to my knowledge, never been used to mislead or cheat or otherwise injure a motorist? I mean, sure, I’m running Super Blue in Boxxy, my 986S Anniversary Edition, right now, and driving it around on the street, but that isn’t hurting anyone. Super Blue is made for and sold to people who know what to do with it. There’s no risk of any kind here. I feel sick to my stomach. Yeah, it was never as good as, say, Motul 600, but it was the everyman’s brake fluid.

I’m going to wrap this up because I start to channel Thomas Paine, but seriously… with all the problems facing the United States in the year 2013, is SUPER BLUE RACE FLUID the biggest priority? The hell with this. If you guys need me, I’ll be out in the woods building a cabin or something.

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156 Comments on “The United States Government Has Gone Too Far This Time...”


  • avatar
    nvdw

    You have just admitted, in writing, the use of said brake fluid. Make sure your shack in the sticks isn’t monitored by the NSA already or prepare to find yourself being waterboarded in Gitmo for committing such an unspeakable crime.

    I bet any money a considerable amount of car owners have brake fluid in their vehicles that is pitch black, come to think of it.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      Martha; fetch me my musket!

      • 0 avatar

        I once stood on the porch of George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon and listened as the tour guide discussed how the road onto the property had been laid out in such a way that it wound its way around the various hillocks and teased visitors with dramatic glimpses of the manor house as they approached.

        I, realizing that George Washington was a southern gentleman and that the porch looked like a perfect place for an old sofa, thought differently. I thought that he had designed the drive so that, when sitting out there in his underpants, he would have time to tell Martha that guests were coming. “Martha,” he must have shouted, “fetch me my britches!”

  • avatar
    mitchw

    At least you’ve helped get the word out, JB. The letter says only that receipt of the letter itself prevents sale of said Blue(in my Miata right now). So customers may still have time to stock up, NRA style.

    • 0 avatar
      pietalian

      Can a person safely stock up on brake fluid? I always assumed the shelf life was limited due to water absorption. Or does that only start after the fluid is in use in the car?

      • 0 avatar
        DaveDFW

        If the containers are left unopened, ATE says the shelf life can be up to five years.

        If stored in a dry area between 41 – 86 °F
        Unopened in the metal can. Shelf Life: 5 years
        Opened (but closed tight) in metal can. Shelf Life: 1 year

  • avatar
    skor

    The majority of people are idiots, it’s always been that way. I mean, I know a guy who was in the USMC. He once told me that if locked the average Marine in a room with a single ball bearing, and told him to stand guard over it, he’d lose it, swallow it, or break it.

    You start making all kinds of fancy colored brake fluid, and what happens? Some farkwit thinks it’s 7-11 Slurpee syrup and poisons his entire web-toed family. After that some liar-for-hire convinces an OJ-type jury to come back with a $50 sqillion judgment.

    ‘First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All The Lawyers’

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      It’s not so much that they’ll drink it, more that they’ll put it in their transmission, or wiper fluid reservoir, or something dumb like that. I think NHTSA was trying to get all fluids to be different colors for that reason.

      • 0 avatar
        skor

        They won’t drink it? You mean like they’re not eating those laundry detergent pods that look like candy?

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          The flip side of the equation you mock with absolute bias is that designing any cleaning products/chemicals to be housed in anything remotely resembling a brightly colored and candy sized “pod” is probably going to tempt some non super intellectually advanced for their age 1, 2 and maybe 3 year olds to go ahead and ingest said pod for the very reason you stated, and is thus, an incredibly reckless decision by the manufacturer.

        • 0 avatar
          zeus01

          Next they’ll be dipping into those candies in the urinals…

      • 0 avatar
        wumpus

        This isn’t a bad plan. You may have noticed that a well designed computer simply doesn’t let you plug the wrong component into the wrong socket (at least so it won’t damage it: nothing stops you from putting your super SSD replacing USB3 hard drive into a slow boat USB1 connector).

        “Murphy’s law” derives from the experience of one Captain Murphy USAF, who was a reliability engineer who noticed that it you allowed a tech two ways to do something, there was a high chance (hitting absolute certainty over the life of the aircraft) he will do it the wrong way. Automobile maintence has come down to changing fluids every n miles (where n is often extended due to German and similar maintence laws) and very occasional serious work beyond the skills/tools/electronics of the average Joe, so the skills of the average Joe are falling (with or without Millenial apathy). Sucks to need the stuff though (hopefully they can “fix” it, best guess the market isn’t big enough to pay for the fix).

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Own it skor. I’ve read your posts. You’re exactly the voter behind the state we’re in. Calling anyone else an idiot doesn’t change a thing. It just shows how unjustified your smugness is.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Equating the plight of American motoring enthusiasts with victims of the Nazi regime.

    Who needs the MMPI to assess this guy?

    • 0 avatar
      grzydj

      Because Godwin’s Law, that’s why. And to think that Continental is a German company!

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        It’s not exactly a Godwin’s “Law”. It’s a device to shut down debate by citing any Nazi reference as “going too far”. That’s a sore point for radical socialists, because Nazis were National Socialists, totalitarians from the far left, and the radical left would prefer you think of Nazis as from the far right.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          JB’s Nazi reference wasn’t going too far?

          Hauling out that entire load of historical grief for the sake of discommoded car hobbyists?

        • 0 avatar
          Aegea

          Excuse me? The Nazis were “totalitarians from the far left”? I’ll agree they were totalitarian, but as for the “far left”, well, they broke the unions, imprisoned and executed every socialist and communist they could find, espoused the concept of a “master race”, invaded the only existing communist state, and had a very cozy relationship with the big industrialists who were their main financial backers.
          Their use of the word socialist was a smokescreen in the same way communists always loved to describe their regimes as “democratic”, as in “The People’s Democratic Republic of …”..

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            You’re a liberal-socialist if you believe that. The National Socialists were from the left, stomped independent unions just like the Soviets, and placed state control over business.

            Hitler opted for crony capitalism only because he wanted a war machine that would take a socialist economy too long to build. The similarities between Soviet and Nazi socialism are too numerous to mention, but the most striking is the use of concentration camps for dissidents.

            Fascism comes from any ideology that holds the state above the individual, and requires the state to be in control of all aspects of society. The communists and the Nazis both advocated just that, and their systems were tailor-made to produce dictators. They opposed each other not because of differences in ideology, but because there can only be one town bully.

            I grew up in “liberal” Massachusetts, am a Democrat and voted for Kennedys. I’m old enough to remember radical leftists before their “march through the institutions”, taking over education and instituting an exclusively leftist program of instruction. You’re obviously too young to remember that takeover in the late ’60s and early ’70s. All you know is what you learned after that ideological takeover, so yes, you’re excused, for now. But you still have time to educate yourself.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          Aegea already pointed it out but NAZIs were far right ultra-conservatives. The ultimate end point of right-wing ideology is fascism, for the left it is amarchy. This is why people seem to get confused about forced coercion for the sake of a personal agenda and that due to safety or equality. Banning the sale of a fluid due to color is based on safety and effects less than a single digits worth of americans. Banning access to abortions or unionization has a greater effect on society. See the fundamental difference? Wait…why would you, you’re a poorly educated nitwit who actually thought the NAZIs were leftists…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The political party you mention was not a ultra right wing organization as some would have you believe, it was a socialist organization made up of nationalist thinker or figures… I mean it’s in the fricking party name people. I cannot recall the book I read on the subject but it made reference to a saying at the time: “First Brown, then Red”. The admitted left wing politicians of the period openly voted with NSDAP which indicates either they agreed with the actions of said party or they were total hypocrites in their political beliefs. In any event it may be inappropriate to compare the actions of the Feds/DOT to said party, but the act of banning a previously available product is still death by a thousand papercuts. Today its brake fluid, tomorrow its a certain kind of tire. Next it will be certain model types (hopefully CUVs), followed by driving is only allowed on certain days of the week (before you scoff, check out the below link). Where does it end?

            http://www.rff.org/Publications/WPC/Pages/08_15_08_Driving%20Restrictions%20and%20Air%20Quality%20in%20Mexico%20City.aspx

            This post make reference to the saying although I don’t recall ever reading this man’s book:

            http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1977291/posts

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Yep, they were lefties. The Russians actively worked to create the myth of “right wing socialism” but there is no such thing. How could there be?

            The first problem is that right wing is an undefined term. It’s meaning changes by country. Free speech changes sides for instance. Still, respect for the traditional form of government is almost always included in the description. Respect for private property would be another one. Respect for social tradition might be included. Respect for a culture’s own religions should be in there.

            Nazism had none of these attributes in any sort of net sum. The reds picked out some differences from their own form of left wing totalitarianism, and leveraged those differences as the basis of a propaganda campaign. Your college professor went along because he was either an idiot or complicit.

            The industrialist often used as examples are a terribly flawed example. They traded their autonomy over their companies so that the could keep them and/or be included in the new power structure. They ceased to be capitalist, if they really ever were, and became autocrats. Autocracy is not compatible with modern right wing ideologies in the US, but is more closely now identified with the left.

            Racism is not a right wing ideology either unless you believe in extremist ideologies like social justice which argue that freedom and civil rights should be sacrificed on the altar of demographic monetary equal outcomes (distributionism by any other name…)

            Every example of how Nazism is right wing is easily dismissed. Keep playing if you want. I seem to remember the room got quiet last time I gave a similar challenge.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            28 – I’m going to be honest with you here, you were seriously lied to. I know it supports your right-wing world view but you were really lied to. You cited a proven wrong time again website to reference a book debunked before it was ever written. I know, it feels good to believe that all those fascists were really the opposing view but they were part of your ideological wing. I share my wing with anarchists who aren’t my favorite but I deal with it.

            So I would suggest you talk to the majority of educated opinions on this matter rather than some wingnut who wants to make you feel good. On top of it all, your favored party call themselves republicans and they rarely support republican ideals, they skew towards oligarchy. So why would you assume the party name reflected their actual ideological bent.

            I understand this site skews right, I get that baruth was being somewhat over the top but these views promote an ideology that anything the government does to interfere with your life is unacceptable and illegal when in this case it’s a simple matter of coloring issues.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “it’s in the fricking party name people”

            In that case, the Soviet communists must have been Republicans, since they resided in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

            Seriously, try harder next time.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Xeranar,
            Did you make up the oligarchy thing, or did you simply accept it based on someone’s credentials?

            The Republican Party is mostly made up of people wanting less government and less powerful government. In what way would you find that compatible with oligarchy?

          • 0 avatar
            JD321

            Did you learn this in your little pubic school?

          • 0 avatar
            ExPatBrit

            So if the Nazis were leftists, that must mean that Franco and also Mussolini were also?

            And Goering’s Condor Legion must have have screwed up at Guernica bombing all those commies .

            Franco survived until 1975 and having spent a good amount of time in Spain in the 60-70s it was obvious that Franco was pretty much a right wing religious nut.

            Within weeks of his death and the return of the monarchy the country moved sharply to the left and by the early 80s was quite liberal.

            Some of you guys need to pick up a real history book.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Some of you guys need to pick up a real history book.”

            Apparently, that’s a lot to ask.

            The origin of right-left comes from the French assembly. The monarchists (i.e. those who supported leadership by an unappointed, unelected leader) sat on the right side of the chamber, while the democrats (those who wanted elections) sat on the left.

            Meanwhile, a “socialist” favors state ownership of production. The Nazis didn’t favor that — instead, they purged the communists and real socialists from the German political system.

            Anyone who studies the Nazi party’s origins and policies should know that they weren’t socialists. But learning about them, and talking about them on the internet are two different things.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Expat,
            There is no more vicious fighting than the fighting in the family. I suggest you apply more skepticism when reading history books. There are two kinds: government versions and free speech versions. Neither comes with a guarantee of truthfulness, and most regurgitate old myths.

            If you want to play along, tell us what principles and policies of fascist dictators you find rightist. Note that dictatorship is never a right wing ideal. Dictators are sometimes supported by rightists based on a desire to maintain status quo or as a lesser evil, but that’s not what the Republican Party has ever stood for, and certainly isn’t today.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Landcrusher – Go look up the meaning of Oligarchy. It amounts to control through wealth. Being that we live in a capitalist economy when we further remove government wealth becomes the predominant factor. That being said, Republicans have openly admitted to voter suppression to undermine democracy at its core and supporting corporate power because they underwrite their campaigns.

            By the way, anti-intellectualism looks ugly. Don’t confuse a wall of evidence and intellectuals with your singular supporter.

            JD321 – I never went to a pubic school but I did attend a public school, a religious school, and a private one. On top of that I went to two public universities and a private one on my way to a doctorate. You’re a car enthusiast trying to tell a published peer-reviewed writer on the subject what’s right. I would suggest you stop, you’re still wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            ExPatBrit

            I said

            “Goering’s Condor Legion must have have screwed up at Guernica bombing all those commies .”

            Landcrusher said

            “There is no more vicious fighting than the fighting in the family.”

            Stupidest internet follow up comment of the day?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Note that dictatorship is never a right wing ideal”

            Er, no. This is yet another example of how you tend to invent your own “facts,” which just so happen not to be true.

            Originally, the left was democratic and the right was comprised of monarchists. That’s the exact opposite of what you claim.

            In the modern era, the definition has morphed into more of an economic one, with the left being more egalitarian and the right being less so. Both right and left can be either authoritarian or civil libertarian, depending upon the specific political flavor.

            Your comments also suggest a profound lack of knowledge of both Nazism and the Spanish Civil War. Get some legitimate history sources and study them, please.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Expat, not real sure your point. My point was that Fascists and Commies are cousins.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Xeranar,
            Dude, you finally got me. I was mixed up on oligarchy. Point to you.

            The rest though, you are wrong on. I see now that you are a credentialed and peer reviewed member of the conspiracy. Congratulations. Keep foot noting the same stupidity and enjoy your popularity in the faculty lounge.

            I don’t know what part of that meant, but the idea that the GOP is admitting to voter suppression is sort of interesting. I thought that was supposed to be a secret.

            Is it really so hard to believe that after ACORN there are people concerned with extremist election fraud or is that supposed to be okay if their intentions are progressive?

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            PS. And no, the GOP isn’t for Oligarchy either. What pert o an tie eleetist dun you git, doc?

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Landcrusher – You’re pulling a no real scotsman here. Basically any evidence I can and would bringto the table you’ll rebuke by claiming falsehoods. Ironically you bring up ACORN which was exonerated years ago. I accept your lost cause status but sincerely hope you return to reality someday.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            That’s very clever, but not a very fair tactic. So far, you have made a clearly false assertion about voter suppression and your defense is that Acorn is an old story. Well, voter fraud is an old story that never goes away.

            If you want to debunk things, then do so. I would suggest waiting to debunk them until after they are written.

            Lastly, your tribe has done excellent job controlling the debate by controlling the terms so that they hide the realities. If want to sit in an ivory tower and dismiss things by categorizing them with prejudice, go ahead. Lets just be realistic though. Most of the terms we commonly use don’t mean what they used to if they mean anything at all. You guys are now speaking a foreign language and being smug about it.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Pch,
            I will admit not being very familiar with the Spanish Civil War. I may or may not learn more, but we both know that much of the histories are going to be full of political overtones because If you went to college you must have learned the history department was full of non fact based “truths”.

            At any rate, I pointed out the problem with the term “right wing” many posts ago. Given the use of the term from that time, I am a left winger as are almost all self identified conservatives and libertarians. Modern left wingers would be identified as socialist or communist under those terms, and at that time Progressives were for eugenics just like the Nazis. Shall we accuse the President of being a proponent of eugenics?

            Categorizing political opinions is mostly a meta game and has no real purpose. What use is it?

        • 0 avatar
          zeus01

          “It’s not exactly a Godwin’s “Law”. It’s a device to shut down debate by citing any Nazi reference as “going too far”. That’s a sore point for radical socialists, because Nazis were National Socialists, totalitarians from the far left, and the radical left would prefer you think of Nazis as from the far right.”

          AGREED!! Lorenzo for president!

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Here in Ontario I’m a criminal if I own a Pit Bull. The government has banned all pesticide for domestic use. We can only use Greenpeace approved herbicide[ like the Greenpece protesters, the herbicide doesn\'t work either] The white grubs thrive on my lawn. The racoons and the skunks rip up whats left of my lawn. I’m not allowed to poisin the cute and stinky little bandits. God forbid I should shoot one ,or whack it with a shovel.

      The A/C in my expensive Camaro, sort of works. Dealer tell me its just the way it is “politically correct refrigerant”
      Now its Brake Fluid !

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Equating the plight of American motoring enthusiasts with victims of the Nazi regime.”

      Tongue, cheek, and all that.

      (Incidentally, I have my doubts that he’s really “out in the woods building a cabin or something.”)

      There is some value in having some consistent standards for something that is as important to a car’s safety as is brake fluid. I can see why limiting the number of colors would be a good idea — we should all know what “good” and “bad” brake fluid looks like.

      On the other hand, I’m not clear on why only one color is permitted, when there are reasonable arguments to made for having a second, different color that can be used for the reasons stated. That doesn’t seem like an entirely bad idea.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “Tongue, cheek, and all that.”

        Anyone besides Baruth would have drawn a barrage for this from at least two other commenters I, and maybe you, can think of.

        But they’ll not test his teflon for something this oblique.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          If I sincerely thought that Mr. Baruth believed that the removal of blue brake fluid from store shelves was akin to the Third Reich and the Holocaust, then I would happily chew him out for his ignorance of history, insensitivity to the suffering of the Jewish people, and poor sense of proportion.

          But since it’s obvious that he wasn’t quite that serious about it, then I can accept it for what it is. As I write this, this will be the 112th reply in response to a post about BRAKE FLUID fer chrissakes, which must be some sort of record.*

          *Due to the spam filter’s unending jihad against my comments, it will probably be the 247th post to actually appear in this thread. And by jihad, I really do believe that it’s a pan-Mooslim Koranic conspiracy to suppress my support of brake fluid standardization, since I am of the view that everything that one writes should be taken literally.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    WOO-HOO – two and a half cans of the stuff on the shelf. A long term supply.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Jack, it’s always best to write a piece before gathering all the facts. It’s so much easier that way. And then, if you’re wrong about one thing or another, you can quickly move on to the next rant. Meanwhile, there really are things to worry about, such as the fact that the government has grossly overreached in its attempts to protect us from terrorists. Your brake fluid is the very least of our problems. Time to grow up.

    • 0 avatar
      Charles T

      One rebuilt sarcasm detection meter coming right up.

    • 0 avatar
      Sceptic

      Not simply has the US government “overreached in its attempts to protect us from terrorists” it. The worst part is that American people ARE the terrorists in the eyes of the government. And the brake fluid regulation is relevant because that’s how it starts. We need to keep pressure on Feds all the time on all even the smallest issues.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Waingrow

        Sceptic, fine if you see this as relevant, but sometimes too much focus on small issues drains energy needed for the big ones. And Charles T, the sarcasm did not go undetected. It just seems, to me at least, that Jack was being lazy and not particularly clever. Jonathan Swift he’s not.

        • 0 avatar
          oneday

          I disagree, Jeff…I think this is right on par with some of Jack’s best work, though that’s not really saying much, is it?

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff Waingrow

            Oneday, that’s a nice light touch you’ve got. Could you tutor Jack a bit on this? We’re not always in need of bludgeoning. A bit more subtle wit would go a long way.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          This is a car website. Confiscation of brake fluid is relevant. Discussion about the behavior of the United States Government would be outside our purpose and would upset the majority of the people who come here to read about cars.

          I’ve opted-out over 100 flights in a row, no exceptions. I’ve supported and worked with EFF and GNU. I guarantee you I’m on every watch list they’ve got. What have *you* done to prevent government over-reach?

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “I’ve opted-out over 100 flights in a row, no exceptions.”

            Bad Ass!

            I work where those airport metrics are compiled. They only report total numbers, no names.
            Sorry.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            One of the terminals at CMH has a little form on the side of the scanner with one box for every opt-out.

            I’ve never seen more than five boxes checked.

            :(

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Many possible reasons why your anecdote is honest.

            Legacy hardware whose automated reporting is f-ed and ignored, shift-change resets, general preference for scanners vs. slow-ass alternate screening…

            Main point, opt-outs are *so* not a critical metric that many, many airports rely on hand-entered tally sheets that then get locally transferred to reporting software.

            And they’re always just anonymous totals.

    • 0 avatar
      Wacko

      Jeff Way to go off topic here. This is a car site, brake fluid is about cars, But Terrorists have nothing to do with car sites, unless those said terrorists are using cars to do terrorist activities.
      Jeff it’s time for you to grow up, this site is not about politics,
      you can go troll on autoblog, they like crap like that overthere.
      Don’t forget your tinfoil hat on your way out!

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Waingrow

        Wacko, the tinfoil hat thing is a little tired. Why not just take me up on the merits? I agree that brake fluid is an appropriate topic for this site. If Jack had just stayed with the specifics and maybe had done a little research before the screed, then I’m with you completely. But if you’d reread Jack’s piece, perhaps you would see that it was he who turned some brake fluid ban into something equivalent to a Nazi roundup. Frankly, I have no great desire to foist my own political prejudices on anyone else.

  • avatar
    cartunez

    Just remember the government is here to protect, if you see something say something, blah blah blah

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIsIUR72Sx4 <every American should view over and over again until they get it

  • avatar
    Jellodyne

    I wonder if they could sell bottles of Super Clear Brake Fluid with little bottles of blue hydraulic fluid dye WARNING: NOT FOR USE WITH BRAKE FLUID IN THE UNITED STATES.

  • avatar
    probert

    Can’t they make it in a non blue version or sell it with a separate dye packet? What would Davy Crocket do?

    • 0 avatar
      Cymen

      That is a great idea. I wonder if UV dye is okay to put in long term so you could alternate non-dyed and dyed brake fluid uses. Not quite as obvious as the blue fluid but still very similar.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      They make it in a non-blue version, it’s called ATE 200. The nice thing about Super Blue was that you could alternate it with ATE 200 and in cars with a lot of reservoir/caliper room, like Porsches, you’d know for sure when you had fresh fluid in the caliper because the color of the stuff going into your bleed bottle would decisively change.

      • 0 avatar
        FordMan_48126

        Jack;

        Could you educate the non race going fans of the site? Would checking brakes & brake flush be part of a pre-race vehicle check/inspection, when you would have time to perform the proper maintenance?

        Other than the convenience on knowing the flush was proper by color modulation, are you and your fellow racers really doing that much brake flushes on the fly at a track?

        I get your sentiments about government over-reach. But at the same time, as several people have pointed out,all brake color in this country needs to be the same color, because of the overactive & overreaching judicial system in this country…in a way, uncle sam is protecting Continental from being used out of business.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          For anything as fast or faster than my Boxster, I’ll flush the brakes before each day I’m going to be on track. Most of the time I’ll just empty the calipers, but if the pedal’s soft I’ll do more.

          Heck, I had a STUDENT recently who required two full flushes in his Cayman in a single day. He was really stomping.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        This is how I flushed my FJ80 with its ginormous calipers and 8 miles of brake lines.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Jack Baruth
        I do realise it’s a pain in the a$$, not having the blue dyed brake fluid, but why don’t you determine the quantity you will require for a flush?

        You would only need to employ arithmetic, not mathematics.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      Nothing like that is necessary. They just have to remove the “Meets DOT 4 specifications” from the Super Blue bottle, perhaps with a warning that it is not for use in cars on public roads.

      You can already purchase all sorts of non-street-legal things for your car without difficulty, and that won’t change.

    • 0 avatar
      noxioux

      Davy Crocket would shoot the government monkey that dared come for his brake fluid.

      • 0 avatar
        snootypants

        Davy Crockett was a politician and a Congressman for about 10 years. Does that make him a government monkey?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Not a valid comparison, by that logic anyone who served in Congress since the beginning could be classified as such. Anyone serving on Congress since 1913 IS a monkey or lesser primate of some sort.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Davy crockett would have mocked you and called you a traitor for the behavior you’re exhibiting. Honestly, the anti-government sentiment is a postbellum issue stemming from the ideological torrent of the deep south and moving west. Crockett would have been pro-government all the way, as for being a progressive or liberal, it would be hard to know, he was a Jacksonian democrat so odds on he would be closer to Pres Obama in his views than Rand Paul.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Someone enlighten me, why clear brake fluid? What is the reasoning? Understanding the federal regulation would bring some balance to this discussion. It would enable us to more accuratly discuss if the regulation is right or wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      Brake fluid is actually beige (you couldn’t read the level if it were clear.) It’s required to be beige because the other fluids commonly housed in clear reservoirs (coolant, windshield washer, and power steering fluid) are dyed a color. If you see a reservoir with beige fluid in it, you know not to go dumping anything else in there.

      It’s certainly possible to confuse, say, power steering with coolant, but that won’t cause your car to crash, just break.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I’m not sure it’s the end for the fluid. They could very well simply re-design the packaging to no longer claim DOT compliance. You can buy all sorts of racing stuff that doesn’t meet DOT, EPA, etc. regulations…

    I think the DOT’s beef was the claim it met DOT requirements when it did not. (And it wouldn’t surprise me if some moron saw a tank of blue brake fluid and “topped it off” with windshield washer solvent.)

  • avatar
    oneday

    “FMVSS 116, Effective 1-1-68, amended 3-1-72. S5.1.14 Fluid color. Brake fluid and hydraulic system mineral oil shall be of the color indicated:
    DOT 3, DOT 4, AND DOT 5.1 NON-SBBF—COLORLESS TO AMBER.
    DOT 5 SBBF—PURPLE.
    HYDRAULIC SYSTEM MINERAL OIL—GREEN.”

    While it’s fun to blame Obama and today’s Big Government for everything, technically ATE Super Blue hasn’t been “legal” in the USA since 1972…I’m betting we eventually find out that one of ATE’s competitors brought this Super Blue bannification via a law suit. I doubt the NHTSB just up and decided to yank the blue hydraulic rug out from under all the worshipers at the ATE Super Blue alter without pressure from Motul, StopTech, Castol, or similar company.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Waingrow

      Now that’s a clever bit of speculation. And well worth following up on.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Yeah, competitors are like that kid in third grade who squeals on everybody. Still, you can never rule out the possibility some Federal compliance office was asked what compliance they’ve forced recently, and the office started looking around for something to justify their budget, or more likely, spend all their budget before the end of the fiscal year to avoid having it reduced next year.

    • 0 avatar
      Tosh

      Oneday: Your well-researched and suitably sarcastic reply would have been perfect, IF only you would have said “altar” instead of “alter”…

  • avatar

    JACK BARUTH

    I just sent TTAC an EMAIL in your CONTACT bin and I’d like to contribute something to TTAC today. After buying a new 300 and 2014JGCSRT, I attended SRT Experience and I’d like to talk about how they are improving the brand image – as well as our experience.

  • avatar
    roamer

    Like effective headlight bulbs, this will turn into something enthusiasts import. Annoying, and more evidence that the Guvmint is too all-encompassing, but not unexpected.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    First they came for the Communists, and I cheered because the Communists wanted to oppress me.

    Then they came for the Socialists, and I complained because they were just misguided.

    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I became an activist.

    Then they came for me, and the poor bastards died because I had hidden and armed the plumber and we ambushed them from across the street.

    It’s un-American to let them take the plumber, even if he was gouging you. Save the useful guys!

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Gosh, after this I don’t know if have the heart to tell you what the Feds did to an innocent Land Rover Defender illegally brought in to Baltimore… brutal carnage, oh, the humanity

    • 0 avatar
      EquipmentJunkie

      I saw that, too. As a someone who did serious research into importing an older D90, I was upset. However, I am not going to defend the hocus pocus of vehicle histories that was going on. I couldn’t affordably do what I wanted to do…so I wait until the 25-year exemption window arrives.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        I know, but the theatrics of “let this be a lesson to you”… To what? Trying to smuggle a Rover into the country,? I know I’ll sleep better safe from the high cost of illegal Land Rovers.

        What a country

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Aren’t all those Defenders basically the same for 40 years? So it wouldn’t make any sense to crush one that is 20 years old because its the same as one thats 30 years old? My brain hurts.

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    Preach it, JB!

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Slow news day?

  • avatar
    ash78

    But now when I bleed my brakes, I’ll have to be aware of a subtle amber change in the tube, rather than the obvious blue switch when the lines are totally bled.

    I’d stock up on the stuff now if it didn’t have that typical hygroscopic short shelf life.

  • avatar
    raph

    Figures, I loved the stuff exactly for that reason, it made flushing the brakes a straight forward process. Here is hoping they find a neat solution to the problem.

    I can’t remember if it was ATE or the end seller where I purchased my cans but Florida was specifically mentioned as a place the fluid was not to be used in road going cars.

    I wonder if this will be an issue in my own state now? I doubt anybody checked my fluid level before but I bet this will become a state inspection tech bulletin now.

    I can’t wait for the inevitable failed inspection and offer to change the fluid for at least 100 bucks.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Patriotism means supporting your country always and your government when it deserves it. – Mark Twain

    That is all I have to say about that.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    As long as your favorite brake fluid is still available in a compliant color, I wouldn’t panic. Just as there are much bigger issues for the government to get involved with, surely there are more important things for you to be outraged over.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Panic is a strong word :)

      But in all seriousness, when you’re in the middle of a 24 hour race and it’s dark outside and everybody is tired, this is useful and I don’t see where the impact to the regular customer is. You can’t buy Super Blue at Advance Auto or Wal-Mart. Nobody’s being deceived or underserved here.

      • 0 avatar
        challenger2012

        I agree with you. On the scale of 1 to 100, this is a 2. The respone by the vast majority of people who read this article was to yawn.

      • 0 avatar
        fozone

        I’m not sure what the issue is here — it isn’t DOT compliant, it has NEVER been DOT compliant. This law has been in place before most people reading this were born.

        The manufacturer knew (or should have known) this from the beginning. They probably did, but thought they could get away with it — and they have, since the 1970s! kudos to them!

        All they need to do is repackage it, remove the DOT compliance label & just say “for offroad use only”. Like so many other parts. The DOT is happy, racers get their fluid, the world keeps spinning….

      • 0 avatar
        brokeguy

        Hi Jack,

        This has hit the car lovers interwebz with a bullet. Looks like for the short term that Amazon is your friend, as they haven’t stopped selling it yet and still have plenty in stock. Folks will start hoarding it soon so consider yourself warned.. And the can already does say for off-road use only becaus of the color, so they may only need to remove or cover up the DOT4 label.

      • 0 avatar
        CanuckGreg

        The ability to switch from blue to yellow and back with each flush is useful whether you’re racing or not. It just makes doing a fluid flush a more confidence inspiring and straightforward procedure.

        Glad I have 2 cans of each in the garage.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Jack’s right, how can something that’s apparently been sold for years suddenly be “incompatible” with an existing brake system? You could make the argument as of MYxx, fluid A is no longer compatible with system X because of federal overlord rule XYZ. Quite another to say we’ve decided fluid A may insult the self esteem of roadside geckos and therefore we declare it *incompatible* with brake system design standards of existing automobiles. Shades of Any Rand on this one.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      It wasn’t accused of being incompatible, it is non-compliant with color requirements. The incompatibility issue arises as a what-if scenario where some dimwit puts something blue-colored, like window wash, into the brake reservoir because he saw some other blue liquid in there.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Stupid is as stupid does. Evidently people have been using the non-complaint fluid for decades without incident, so if in your example one person, one day, makes a mistake and its suddenly forbidden?

        I thought I graduated from kindergarten decades ago.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      But… but… if it saves just ONE life… think of the children! Why won’t anyone think of the children?!? We need to keep our boot to the throat of the manufacturer of this wrong-colored brake fluid.

      It sounds like bureaucratic make-work and silly-servants justifying their existence.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      *Ayn. Dyslexia strikes again.

  • avatar
    See 7 up

    ATE Type 200 I believe is a replacement, performance wise. However, the flushing aide the dye provided will be sorely missed.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    Jack – You want the government to step in because of potential safety issues due to customer confusion over ROTA wheels, but you do not want the government to step in because of potential safety issues due to customer confusion over brake fluid?

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Thank you Jack for the Friday morning smiler .

    As a Mechanic , I’m sadly all too aware of how the General Public screws up any thing automotive they touch ~ a brilliant Cal Tech Professor Customer I had filled the brake fluid reservoir on his VW with_paint_thinner_ because he’d stupidly used an old brake fluid can to save used paint thinner in…… of course it was _MY_ fault as I’d replaced the master cylinder a year before , he declined the
    ” unnecessary expense ” (snidely insinuating I was pushing needless works) of replacing the aging wheel cylinders so it still used a bit of fluid now and then .

    The list of anecdotal stories could fill pages .

    When first I began with L.A.P.D. Motor Transport , we were using silicone DOT5 brake fluid , very good stuff indeed as it stopped failures of hydraulic components dead .

    We had to convert each new car as they came in then one lazy a$$ed “mechanic ” (obviously _not_ any real Mechanic) convinced the Brass that it’d be fine to simply flush the new cars systems , of course the not overly rushed shop crews only bled until they saw some pink fluid coming out the bleeder and stopped ~ this 100 % _GUARANTEED_ there was still some DOT 4 fluid in the system and sure enough every single car ‘ converted ‘ in this manner , had a catastrophic brake failure caused by the two incompatible fluids not mixing and gelling instead .

    As always a little knowledge is a dangerous thing .

    I hope this Super Blue brake fluid remains available “OFF ROAD ONLY ” like the better quality non DOT headlights and so on are now .

    We’ll see .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      The other day, fed up with rhythmically outgassing conspiracy theorists, I requested an icon next to our avatars to separate engineers from everyone else.

      Please include Nate with the engineers.

  • avatar
    Redshift

    I’ll add this to the list of “available in Canada, banned in the US” items my US friends want me to send them alongside Kinder Surprise Eggs and until a couple of weeks ago, Riccardo paint detailing Clay Bars.

  • avatar
    BerlinDave

    Does anyone remember Fina’s Pink Air? Was supposed to make the insides of your tires prettier or something along those lines. Probably back in the very late 1950′s as best as I can recall. Senility is no doubt settling in probably from my parents having pink air in their auto tires. Or, perhaps from using the wrong color brake fluid!

    How fucking stupid can people (the government) get? And, the powers that be in Germany are not far behind in doing stupid shit!

  • avatar
    paanta

    There are DOT rules for a reason, and taking the time to go and make exceptions for everyone who wants to make something outside the DOT spec is time/money consuming.

    The advantage to the blue over the gold is the ability to see when you’ve fully purged the system, but how many people does that affect? A few tens of thousands at most? And how much money does it save them, not having to waste a buck worth of brake fluid a few times a year? Compare that to a few million dollars worth of damage from a SINGLE fatal accident caused by some dumbass getting fluids confused.

    And, at least from my reading of this, Continental is *voluntarily* pulling a product from the market, not the feds going after them. Presumably because they realize the lawsuits they open themselves up to by selling an illegal fluid.

    But you know, if you want to pretend this is all about how incompetent the government is, that’s cool too.

    • 0 avatar
      oneday

      How dare you, paanta! Obviously this is a grand government plot to further reduce 1/10-of-1% of the population’s ability to get the product their brake fluid of choice! It’s almost communism! Besides, paanta, your level headed logic has no place in this interweb argument on TheTruthAbouttheUSGovernmentsInvolvementInCars.com

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Thanks for the reality check, Mom.

  • avatar
    karvanet

    Got to love first world problems.

  • avatar
    otter

    This aggression will not stand, man!

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    It will take about two seconds for someone of the like mind of J.B. to put blue dye in their brake fluid every other change, thereby achieving the same objective, and this great overreaching will fade into obscurity. In the alternative, after this company recalls the fluid, they will sell it in Mexico, and you can buy it in Tijuana for next to nothing. As another alternative, if you are sick of all of the injustices of the US government, you can go live in Mexico and enjoy your relative freedom from regulation with the great prosperity that accompanies it.

  • avatar

    Well, first off, that letter looks about as official as the million dollar bill I have stuck on my bulletin board. Courier font, then arial for the MS-word style hyperlink, and enough artifacts to pixelate a large crime family? Probably worth checking out the validity of this with Continental.

    If it is legit, big deal. If Continental is smart, it’ll be back on the shelves with a “for off road use only” blurb on it inside of a month. If they’re not, some clever soul will start offering dye packs for the stop juice of your choosing in relatively short order.

    Personally, I quite like superblue. And I’ll continue to use it, even if I have to import it myself from somewhere else. Because tyrants can suck my tail pipe.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    Wait, the feds are prohibiting useful hue variation in brake fluid, but I can still buy a brand new car where the tail light, brake light, turn signal and hazard light functions are all handled by a pair of dual intensity bulbs behind a red lens?

    Amber turn signals now!

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    on the first listing on Amazon, it already has the sticker saying “off road use only due to non-conforming color” and the recall is only for one specific part number. is it only sold in quarts?

  • avatar
    vaujot

    Jack, as other have said, the Martin Niemöller quote is really out of place for this issue. And, has been pointed out, the regulation exists since 1972 for a specific reason (to avoid confusion) and there is currently no evidence whether the US government ordered ATE to recall the product or they did this out of their own initiative.
    You really can do better.
    For a follow-up, I suggest the following: Find out if ATE recalled the product out of their own initiative and whether they are thinking about bringing it back without the DOT4 compliant labeling for “off road use”.

  • avatar
    George B

    Jack, thanks for bringing this issue to our attention. However, the solution seems to be pretty straightforward. The manufacturer needs to send out some labels to stick on bottles of existing product to clearly state that it’s for “off-road” use only and doesn’t conform to FMVSS 116 color code. The product itself isn’t defective. I can kind of see why fluids have a color code, but also see no problem with selling non-compliant brake fluid for “off-road” use.

    My brother managed to get out of all cooking as a kid by simply dying the hamburgers blue with food coloring. My mom never let him do anything related to food preparation after that.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    While it is likely the Government is behind this, I think it is equally likely some dolt dumped it in his washer resivoir, went to clean his windshield, crashed after spraying his windshield with brake fluid and then hired a lawyer. Incidentally, I have seen blue, green, and yellow washer fluid so is that not covered by this regulation? Couldn’t someone dump green washer fluid in the radiator? And what about Dex Cool and the Red Toyota coolant? Is anti freeze not covered under this? Couldn’t someone dump anti freeze in the transmission (though my buddies Xterra did this without any intervention on his part due to some radiator failure so in the end I guess fluid color doesn’t really matter).

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Brake fluid is uniquely important, because it can make the difference between the car stopping and not stopping.

      If you want to overheat your engine with bad coolant, then that’s your problem. But if your brakes don’t work due to bad fluid, then it’s everyone’s problem.

      One reason to standardize the color is so that it is easier to inspect the brake system. I would hate for brake fluid to be red, for example, as it would closely resemble automatic transmission fluid.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        If you can’t tell the difference between a bottle of ATF and a bottle of brake fluid then I have a bottle of blinker fluid to sell you.

        Odds are if you are putting this brake fluid in your car then you are in the know anyway. I would bet this has caused fewer issues than people putting DOT-5 in a brake system set up for DOT-3 or having there brake pedal not work because the Pep Boys Hello Kitty floormat jammed under the pedal.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          wrong place

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          You’re assuming that the only people who look at the car are those who perform the work on it. That’s a rather significant mistake.

          If I pay someone to service my car, I can’t really be sure of what the mechanic did.

          If I’m inspecting somebody else’s car for whatever reason, then I don’t have the history of that car, either.

          It makes perfect sense for something like this to be consistent across the board. It provides some benefit, and at no cost.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    I’m stifling a yawn.

  • avatar
    lozz

    “I’ve supported and worked with EFF and GNU.” They’re the good guys. Jack’s not just another pretty face.

  • avatar
    Power6

    This is very interesting, Super Blue has always been for off-road use only since it doesn’t meet the DOT standards due to the blue color.

    I was not aware FMVSS applied at any other time than manufacture, I can’t get a ticket in MA for not conforming to FMVSS, there are only exceptions to FMVSS conformity (like my mufflerless SRT-4 or SUVs with privacy rear window tint).

  • avatar
    April

    Equating the recall of brake fluid to the extermination of 6 million innocent people is.

    Extremely insulting to anyone who experienced real repression.

    Anyway, I think it’s time for someone to have their psychiatric meds checked.

    And another layer of tinfoil to ones hat.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I don’t know what to say to the readers who are offended by this other than to say:

      If you expect a story entitled “The United States Government Has Gone Too Far This Time” where I claim to be heading for a cabin in the woods to address any topic with the utmost seriousness, you’re going to be disappointed, every single time.

      Incidentally, Martin Niemoller wasn’t a Jew (the “Pastor” typically appended to his name is a hint there) and the “official” version of his quote doesn’t mention the Jews at all.

      I apologize to anyone who has experienced, ah, real repression.

      • 0 avatar
        April

        Doesn’t matter whether the author was Jewish or not. And it was more than Jewish men, women and children whom experienced extermination.

        Slavs 12.5 million
        Jews 5.9 million
        Soviet POWs 2–3 million
        Ethnic Poles 1.8–2 million
        Romani 220,000–1,500,000
        Disabled 200,000–250,000
        Freemasons 80,000–200,000
        Slovenes 20,000–25,000
        Homosexuals 5,000–15,000
        Jehovah’s Witnesses 2,500–5,000

        Ah, wrap this around your brain and let these numbers sink in.

  • avatar
    shaker

    My only concern (after seeing how well this snarky “political fly paper” post has worked) is where all the used brake fluid is ending up?

    I guess you could dump it behind your cabin :-)

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      There’s never that much of it at any one time…just dump the week’s cat litter into a nice, sturdy 3 ml trash bag and pour the brake fluid on it. Throw the bag (securely twistied) into your trash bin and take to curb.

      Works great for small engine oil changes, too. If you don’t have a cabin.

      Cats rock.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        Thanks, I never knew what to do with that crap – you can’t mix it with used engine oil, nobody offers recycling, you can’t drink it (well, maybe, never tired).

        Brake fluid is the “Aqua Non Grata” of the automotive world.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          You’re Welcome. You gotta get creative when you don’t have a cabin.

          Actually, we have a huge garden area in the back yard that could serve, but I know my wife would spot me burying something and think..”Ahhh… he LOVES working out there..”

          When in fact all I love about it is the beautiful extruded concrete border in a red sandstone color. And all I want from the garden is for plants to stay the hell away from my beautiful concrete.

  • avatar
    JD321

    Your public schools are doing a great job of turning you into government slaves. Unplug from the Matrix.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbp6umQT58A

  • avatar
    old fart

    I know of an old lady who put motor oil in the brake reservoir ( what a mess ), so color coding didn’t help

  • avatar
    vanpressburg

    I just read a great article about Germany. It describes dozens ridiculous thinks they banned or they suggest to banned in Germany:
    1.New taxes for fat food
    2.banned running with stroller
    3.banned electronic cigarettes
    4.banned small packages of half&half
    5.Seller of fishes has duty to write a warning, that the fish got bones
    6.banned jumping to swimming pool, from side, when you can be blinded by sun
    7. in Penzberg,Germany they banned running horses during ceremony, they banned shooting with cannon and then they banned throwing flowers and candies in air

    IT IS WORLDWIDE EPIDEMY. NEW TOTALITARIAN REGIME OF 21. CENTURY
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!FIGHT FOR THE FREEDOM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 0 avatar

      A lot of these sound like ideas under consideration rather than in force BUT you can’t cut your lawn on a Sunday and you need a certificate that you are familiar with rules and etiquette before you are allowed to play a round of golf, or rent a windsurfer here in Germany. So it’s not just all Porsches and Apfelstrudel here…

  • avatar
    chaparral

    If your brakes have to be used for anything other than “Uh Oh!” moments, then you don’t have enough downforce.

  • avatar
    CGHill

    If you ever deem yourself insufficiently annoyed by life, spend a couple of hours in the Cars & Transportation section at Yahoo! Answers. You are virtually guaranteed to hear at least one anguished plea from some yutz who poured a bunch of Fluid A into a place where only Fluid B should go, and “What do I do now???”

    A sensible tyranny would observe that these people are obviously too dumb to be operating motor vehicles, and would revoke their licenses forthwith. (And, because it’s sensible, it would send them a bus pass good for 12 months or 1 year, whichever comes first, and which would probably confuse them further.) Unfortunately, mankind has not quite figured out sensible tyranny just yet, and is unlikely to do so.

  • avatar

    And yet they continue to allow these fruit flavored, I mean scented, cleaning products on any supermarket shelf. http://www.buzzfeed.com/copyranter/introducing-new-delicious-fabuloso-fruit-drinks

  • avatar
    lon888

    Hell, while everybody was arguing about who’s the blame and political parties and such, I did the All-American thing. I went on amazon and bought a couple of cans. I’ll keep them under my bed for a couple of years, bring ‘em out, put ‘em on ebay and double my money. I figure the German fanbois will start going through withdrawal in that time.


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