Braking News: ATE Super Blue Deemed Illegal for US Distribution

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



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51 responses to “Braking News: ATE Super Blue Deemed Illegal for US Distribution”

  1. FЯeeMan Avatar

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

  2. bhtooefr Avatar

    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.

    1. Kamil_K Avatar

      Ferrari just says "buy a new car, this one isn't good any more and will self combust momentarily"

    2. joedunlap Avatar

      Its actually just 200, but I go 250-300 on Touaregs

  3. themagicboltbox Avatar

    Time to stock up on food coloring.

  4. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    I thought all brake fluid was rust colored.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      I thought it was black.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        What is brake fluid?

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          <img src="; width="450">
          I assume it's a fancy name for that stuff that lubricates brake cables. I just call it grease.

      2. Glenn Avatar

        After 6-8 years it is black; little like aging wine. Unfortunately, the manufacture recommends replacement after 2 years. LOL

        1. Sam Avatar

          What the manufacturer recommends and what the manufacturer gets are two completely different things lol

  5. RustyCSX Avatar

    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 Avatar

    the WRC Libertarians are not amused.

  7. krazykarguy Avatar

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

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Do I smell a Hooniverse Stupid Rule Sunday recurring discussion theme?

  8. jonathan Avatar

    First, crushing grey market imports ( 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.

    1. MVEilenstein Avatar

      The federal government is ridiculously out of touch on federal matters, never mind automotive.

  9. discontinuuity Avatar

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

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

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

      1. MVEilenstein Avatar

        I would rather do without than eat margarine. Vile.

      2. Irishzombieman☆ Avatar

        My mom, dead ten years now, was the only person I've known who called it oleo. Frickin' weird–I see that word in print here and I can smell her perfume.

  10. dukeisduke Avatar

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

  11. rennsport964 Avatar

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

  12. JayP2112 Avatar

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


    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.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Actually it is time for the federal government to get out of our lives all together.

  14. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    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.

    1. Kamil_K Avatar

      You're car illegal and too unsafe for American roads. We should smash it!!!

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        But for Leviathan's sake, don't use the black coloured hammer. Silver is the mandated colour. Or was it pink?

  15. Moparmarv Avatar

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

  16. Chris_B Avatar

    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.

    1. Scandinavian Flick ★ Avatar
      Scandinavian Flick ★

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

    2. Joe Avatar

      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*

    3. Terry S. Avatar
      Terry S.

      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 Avatar

    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.

    1. bhtooefr Avatar

      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.

      1. Drew Avatar

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

      2. Scandinavian Flick ★ Avatar
        Scandinavian Flick ★

        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 Avatar

    I just put that in my car this week, LOL

  19. LTDScott Avatar

    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 Avatar

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

  21. Alff Avatar

    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.

    1. joedunlap Avatar

      very simple fix for that. there is a $25 electronic fluid tester on the market that measures moisture content of brake fluid. Problem solved. Tech inspectors should carry one.

  22. Name Avatar

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

  23. Bob Avatar

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

  24. Eric Avatar

    Government making good decisions again. 😉 This stinks I loved the super blue so I could easily be safer on the road by knowing I had good new fluid in my system.

  25. Daníel Rúnar Jónasson Avatar
    Daníel Rúnar Jónasson

    I just stumbled upon this article and I just had to comment on the title. Classic! Well done.

  26. Mrd Avatar

    laat part of the notice says it color is set to make it distinguishable from other fluids before its put in he car. So Amber, the same color as every other fluid put in the car. Awesome.

  27. anoynamouse Avatar

    So why cannot we buy it for race cars that are not on the road then?

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