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1996 993 old brake fluid discovery

Brakes

Vehicle Information: Model: 993; Year: 1996; Body Type: Coupe; Total Mileage: 60,000;

I don't have a question so much as some information others might find useful. A few months ago I started noticing a sticky clutch pedal. Also, my mechanic had warned me to watch the brake pedal that seemed to be getting soft after first use.... YES it was the dreaded old fluid problem. I had been looking forward to a clutch job and a new ABS pump when I started reading the tech section here on the PCA site. First, I thought I'd just try bleeding the system and see what difference it might make.Sure enough, the fluid had NEVER been changed. Still had black laquer on the rubber nipple covers. The fluid looked like mollasses with whip cream, and the resevoir had what looked like petroleum jelly in the bottom. Not good.Here is the miraculous thing. I hadn't had time to order some decent brake fluid, and ended up using some off-the-shelf Dot 3 fluid, planning to later flush the system with ATE super blue. Immediately, the clutch was better, but the brake problem persisted. I drove it for a week like this while waiting for additional parts (part of a larger upgrade project). After one week, the brake pedal suddenly firmed up! No more sinking! This weekend, I went ahead and drained the system while installing new shocks and brake lines. The resevoir was no longer filled with jelly... the dot 3 fluid seems to dissolve this stuff! While I'm sure you wouldn't recommend running long term with the dot 3, my theory is that the sludge that's accumulating in some of these cars may the the silcone added to the fluid to raise it's boiling point... it's settling out as it ages. The dot 3 fluid, which does not contain the silicone, may dissolve the stuff back out of the system. In which case, it is a MUCH cheaper fix than replacing the ABS pump and brake cylinders. Perhaps someone else experiencing this problem might want to try this first, before going the replacment route.Thanks-Mark FlamingSan Rafael, CA

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