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Braking News: ATE Super Blue Deemed Illegal for US Distribution

Bradley Brownell August 16, 2013 The News!

Super Blue

Last night, we heard through the grapevine that Alfred Teves Enginieering (ATE, a division of Continental) would be discontinuing the sales and distribution of the popular “Super Blue” variant of its DOT 4 brake fluid.  Apparently the Super Blue fluid has run afoul of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard after nearly 15 years on the market for being blue.  For the correspondence Continental sent to their distributors, and more of the story, click through the break.

It seems that the federal government has taken 15 years to figure out that Super Blue fluid is, in fact, blue in color.  Evidently there is a stipulation that all brake fluids distributed in the US must be either clear or amber in color.  This begs the question, why is that a law? The blue color was one of the major selling points of Super Blue fluid, as it made a complete bleed of your braking system much easier to accomplish. I would use ATE Super Blue and ATE Typ 200 fluids alternately (Typ 200 is the amber version of Super Blue), filling the master cylinder with one color, and when the color coming out through the caliper changed, it was easy to tell that all of the old fluid had been expunged from the system.

As this is effective immediately, the supply line for this brake fluid has already dried up.  That said, there are likely some retail establishments that will continue to have it on their shelves until it is sold out, and some of those retailers will likely continue importing Super Blue under the auspices of “For Off-Highway Use Only”, but we’ll see.  In the long run, I guess these are the brakes…

 

ATE Super Blue now discontinued

 

 

Currently there are "46 comments" on this Article:

  1. FЯeeMan says:

    Stupid law is stupid.

    Makes me want to go stock up on it even though i have no practical use for it.

  2. bhtooefr says:

    Although, flushing until it changes color isn't actually the best way to do things.

    IIRC, VW calls for getting 500 ml out of each bleeder, to make DAMN sure that everything is flushed.

  3. Time to stock up on food coloring.

  4. Van_Sarockin says:

    I thought all brake fluid was rust colored.

  5. RustyCSX says:

    Wow, that is DUMB. I used this stuff in my old WRX and it made it super easy to tell when the new fluid was in there.

  6. IronBallsMcG says:

    the WRC Libertarians are not amused.

  7. krazykarguy says:

    There are a LOT of stupid FMVSS rules, this is one of them…

  8. jonathan says:

    First, crushing grey market imports (http://goo.gl/XrrvRX). Now stopping the sale of a perfectly good high performance brake fluid because it is blue. The federal government is ridiculously out of touch on automotive matters.

  9. discontinuuity says:

    They should start selling clear fluid packaged with a smaller bottle of blue dye. Problem solved!

    • dukeisduke says:

      Like when they first started selling margarine ("oleo") . It was white, and came with a packet of yellow food coloring.

  10. dukeisduke says:

    So, according to the email, if you still want some (on the sly), email Howard Laster?

  11. rennsport964 says:

    Hi Ho. Hi Ho. It's off to Canada I go.

  12. JayP2112 says:

    Last week I bought my first can of ATE Gold.
    Is that irony or just unfortunate?

  13. CABEZAGRANDE says:

    Well, that's bad news. I love Super Blue, run it in every car I've had for the past 5 years or so. It's not a huge deal, since you can get the same formulation in the approved colors. But the color made it easy to bleed dammit. And who in bloody hell cares what color it is? It's time for the government to go back and really evaluate the validity of some of the old laws, like this and the 25 year importation ban.

  14. Mad_Science says:

    I've got Super Blue in my Falcon right now, meaning I'm set because I'll use the non-blue stuff on my next flush…After which I'm screwed.

  15. Moparmarv says:

    Whats next? I guess outlaw blue paint because it is blue and we did not notice it until now/

  16. Chris_B says:

    The government didn't do anything. Continental's lawyers figured out the fluid violated FMVSS. It leaves them legally exposed if this ever came up in a courtroom, so they shut it down. The color part of the standard has been around for over 40 years, so nothing new here. This particular fluid is nothing very special anyway, so life easily goes on.

    • Scandinavian Flick ★ says:

      But… I just went out and bought a new pitchfork… What am I supposed to do with it now…?

    • Joe says:

      I'm not so sure about this. I have two cans in my garage that came clearly marked as being for off road use only because of the color. *shrug*

    • Terry S. says:

      ATE Super Blue brake fluid has always been illegal in the U.S. for registered motor vehicles and was only sold here as a "wink, wink" off-road/race-only use only deal. It would still be technically legal for race cars, since they don't have to to conform to the FMVSS.

      Continental is doing what all big corporations do: Covering their ass.

  17. Drew says:

    Just a guess, but I'm betting that blue is outlawed because it looks yummy and some kid might drink it. I think I've heard that kind of "logic" about something else (or brake fluid) before.

    • bhtooefr says:

      I believe it's actually for preventing mixing of incompatible fluids.

      DOT 3, 4, and 5.1 need to be colorless to amber. DOT 5 needs to be purple, and hydraulic mineral oil (think Citroens using LHM) is green.

      • Drew says:

        You may well be right. I'm real color-blind and blue and purple are virtually the same to me.

      • Scandinavian Flick ★ says:

        Interestingly enough, it says exactly that in the 2nd to last paragraph in the statement from Continental.

        Methinks most people in the comment section here didn't read the official statement…

  18. Blake says:

    I just put that in my car this week, LOL

  19. LTDScott says:

    Well that's a bummer, I love that fluid and have always run it in my race car. Oh well, the gold stuff is just as good.

  20. smokyburnout says:

    I can't say I've ever wondered why Royal Purple doesn't make brake fluid, but I guess that's it?

  21. Alff says:

    I know a number of autoxers who will be impacted – track rules dictate that fluid be changed annually, alternating colors each year was an easy way to prove that had been done.

  22. Name says:

    Why should a *volunteer* tech inspector be forced to purchase a $25 tool?

  23. Bob says:

    Beer and piss are the same colors, so all beer must by dyed a different color, or piss must be outlawed.

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