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Can Oil Soaked Brake Pads be Cleaned?

One of the short rubber oil lines going to the front oil cooler started leaking and it got oil all over the right front brake pads. It happened while I was driving and the car pulled to the left while braking.

Can the pads be cleaned or do I need to replace them?
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Old 07-11-2007, 01:32 PM
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I don't know if they cna be cleaned, but brake pads are relatively inexpensive. I would recommend going new.
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Old 07-11-2007, 01:39 PM
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they're ruined. You have to replace.
Old 07-11-2007, 01:49 PM
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Short answer: NO
Old 07-11-2007, 02:01 PM
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Longer answer: The oil soaks into the porous brake pad material. Removal is not as easy as wiping it off, as it will penetrate deep into the pad. Time for new brake pads!

George
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Old 07-11-2007, 02:08 PM
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Must be replaced. I would rather run to the parts store and gets some pads then use old oily ones anyway.
Old 07-11-2007, 02:25 PM
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If you had access to atypical organic solvents such as n-Hexanes or pet-Ether (pet stands for petroleum) you could remove the oil in a snap. They are typical in a scientific research environment but not easily accessed otherwise.
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Old 07-11-2007, 03:12 PM
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When I asked the same question a while ago on this board.....I got a different set of common answers. However, in my case it was a question of having some brake fluid dribble on some pads I had lying on the floor in proximity of the brakes while bleeding.....

General idea was to saturate with Brake Cleaning stuff...seemed to work..no ill after-affects.

I was trying to save some pricey Pagid Orange pads.....

- Wil
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Old 07-11-2007, 03:26 PM
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Cool Oil Soaked Brake Pads..........

Years ago I rebuilt a '62 Alfa Gulia spider. I had aluminum brake shoes with the linings rivited on. The linings were nearly new but were saturated with brake fluid and/or oil. Not wanting to risk breaking an aluminum shoe having them relined, I soaked the linings with gasoline and burned them off (several times). That got the linings hot enough to boil out the contamination and did not hurt the shoe. A little work with a wire brush and the linings became very useable. Just to make things interesting, each front hub had 3 brake shoes, 3 wheel cylinders and 3 adjusters! Once I got it all figured out, they were the best drum brakes that I ever used!
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Old 07-11-2007, 07:12 PM
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Re: Oil Soaked Brake Pads..........

Quote:
Originally posted by fred cook
Years ago I rebuilt a '62 Alfa Gulia spider. I had aluminum brake shoes with the linings rivited on. The linings were nearly new but were saturated with brake fluid and/or oil. Not wanting to risk breaking an aluminum shoe having them relined, I soaked the linings with gasoline and burned them off (several times). That got the linings hot enough to boil out the contamination and did not hurt the shoe. A little work with a wire brush and the linings became very useable. Just to make things interesting, each front hub had 3 brake shoes, 3 wheel cylinders and 3 adjusters! Once I got it all figured out, they were the best drum brakes that I ever used!
That's a cool (hot!) story.

Unless the pads are pricey (over $100 per axle), I'd just buy new pads.
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Old 07-11-2007, 08:36 PM
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Denatured alcohol - easily found at the hardware store - is what we used to use on rear shoes that had leaking axle seals. Several applications seemed to dry them out.
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:46 PM
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If the pads are not brand new or super precious, I'd agree with most others that you're better off just replacing them.

But I must also back up what Fred said about cleaning up the linings on his old Alfa.

When I first started out in the industry many years ago as an apprentice, I used to work in a heavy transport repair shop where it was quite common practice to clean up good, but oil soaked brake linings by washing and soaking them in either petrol or white spirit cleaning solvent, then setting them alight...

Due to the expense of replacing linings and reducing the down time this little "fix" was always considered an acceptable procedure. No further problems were ever encountered although I must admit the majority of the linings, to my memory, were riveted.

Cheers!
Old 07-12-2007, 03:01 AM
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At their best, the brakes on my '73 are only so-so by modern standards. Of course, this adds to that vintage feel that we all love. Imagine how exciting the car would be if the brakes were oil soaked! Get some new pads!!!
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Old 07-12-2007, 03:16 AM
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Just oil the other side for even braking
Old 07-12-2007, 07:18 AM
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NO! Replace them with some new ones and make sure to to clean the rotors aswell with a can of brake cleaner.
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:10 PM
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Oily brakes will make your car much faster....and wear out slowly....couldnt resist..sorry!!!!
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:33 PM
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:33 PM
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