In the Shop
As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.
In The Shop: Vinegar Smell Means Caution When Working On Electronics
May 15, 2011
Ever notice that some RTV silicone sealants sold in auto parts stores are labeled, "Safe For Oxygen Sensors"? That's because some RTV silicones (RTV stands for "Room Temperature Vulcanizing, by the way, which means they cure at normal room temperature without special curing agents or need for baking in an oven) create acetic acid vapors as they cure. Acetic acid vapors can corrode exposed metal on electronic circuitry.
There have, in the past, been problems when RTV silicones were used to seal engine components during repairs, and acetic acid fumes from the curing silicone damaged the oxygen sensor elsewhere on the engine. Hence the development of RTV silicones that don't create acetic acid during the curing process.
FYI, acetic acid smell like vinegar. If you're using silicone sealant during repairs to vehicles or farm equipment and smell vinegar, consider if those fumes could damage nearby electronics.