Brake fluid replacement?

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J295
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Brake fluid replacement?

Post by J295 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:33 am

Lexus recommends break fluid replacement every 30,000 miles. Opinions on the Lexus forum are mixed on whether this is necessary.

At this point, I have had it replaced at the dealership at 30,000 miles and 60,000 miles. As a point of reference, this vehicle gets a lot of highway miles – – 70k miles in 2.5 years, with the original brake pads still at 6mm. I also follow all the other recommended maintenance intervals, handling simple matters like replacing air filters and checking fluid levels myself

Curious from those here in the know on whether having this replaced at 30,000 mile intervals is “necessary”?

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Alexa9
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by Alexa9 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:47 am

From what I’ve read, they are less likely to fail if you change it every few years. Some people never change it and get lucky but it is a costly fix and dangerous if it does happen. Also be sure to replace pads and rotors when needed.

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bottlecap
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by bottlecap » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:53 am

I don't know why a Lexus would be different from anything else, but changing it every three years should do the trick.

JT

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whodidntante
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by whodidntante » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:55 am

Brake fluid takes on water and other contaminants and will boil at a lower temperature. Boiling is very much bad, because you will experience sudden brake fade. I have boiled my brake fluid on the track so I have experienced this first hand. And that brake fluid was specialized (higher boiling point) and had been replaced 10k miles ago.

Don't follow my advice or the advice of anyone else on a forum. Do what the manufacturer says,.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:58 am

Interesting.

I have owned vehicles for 40 years. I have gone as long as 15 years in owning a vehicle. I have never replaced brake fluid ever. I follow the guidelines in the manuals. My 2013 F-150 and my 2018 Fusion Energi have no mention of ever replacing the brake fluid.

Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines in the owner's manual. Never follow the dealer's guidelines when different from the manufacturer's guidelines. Dealers recommend services that manufacturers state are unnecessary, as well as lowering mileage intervals that disagree with the manufacturer's recommendations. Dealers are in business to get as much service money out of you as possible.

Shallowpockets
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by Shallowpockets » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:25 am

I have never replaced brake fluid in my life. I presently have a 2005 Honda Element and original brake fluid.
Funny you are concerned about the brake fluid but are still running the original brake pads.
Brake fluid replacement is a new thing over the past few years. They will,tell you that when you get oil changes. Also antifreeze, steeriing fluid. Plus, they will push a flush of those.
I just make sure they are at the proper levels.
The auto industry can suggest anything for replacement way before you need it. This causes concern. A clever marketing ploy. Worry. Safety? In our worry wart world all they have to do is suggest and we are there, paying for it.
This forum will be full of both sides of what you should do. I say, if you are concerned and have the money then do it. Because that is your choice, you either do or you don't. There is no in between. Flip a coin.

Frisco Kid
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by Frisco Kid » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:37 am

The shop that I use typically tests the moisture content of the brake fluid as part of their inspection, above 4% they recommend changing it. While I typically have this service done have not studied at what moisture % safety becomes an issue. Has anyone looked into this?

Olemiss540
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by Olemiss540 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:04 am

Brake fluid can go a LONG time. It is less effective under high temp use the longer it ages (due to water content increase) but "work" as long as it is not overheated.

In a lexus on original pads, I would be surprised if you could go the rest of your vehicle's useful life without getting a soft pedal from boiling fluid. It isnt a single hard break that boils fluid, but SUSTAINED PERIODS of successive hard braking to get all brake components hot enough to transfer the heat into the brake fluid.
Last edited by Olemiss540 on Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Morgan Dollar 1921
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by Morgan Dollar 1921 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:05 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:58 am
Interesting.

I have owned vehicles for 40 years. I have gone as long as 15 years in owning a vehicle. I have never replaced brake fluid ever. I follow the guidelines in the manuals. My 2013 F-150 and my 2018 Fusion Energi have no mention of ever replacing the brake fluid.

Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines in the owner's manual. Never follow the dealer's guidelines when different from the manufacturer's guidelines. Dealers recommend services that manufacturers state are unnecessary, as well as lowering mileage intervals that disagree with the manufacturer's recommendations. Dealers are in business to get as much service money out of you as possible.
Excellent advice, many dealers and chemical reps, spiff the dealer's service advisor on their flush sales using their products. I have seen both in - house and chem rep monthly spiff sheets in my time in parts. Not uncommon for an aggressive service advisor to pocket $40 to $200 a month. It makes for an easy area to abuse, dealers turn their head, and watch the bottom line. OEM's took a stance maybe 8 years ago that we may be flushing our customer base out the door. I thought to myself, "do you think?" Next time to your dealers service write up area, ask the advisor if they get paid on the "effective" labor rate or the base flat rate?

Blake7
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by Blake7 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:23 am

Car dealers make most of their money on financing and shop maintenance. I always look at the manufacturer’s guidlines, not the dealer’s. Brake fluid does attract moisture. That said, in 35 years of driving, I’ve never replaced brake fluid. YMMV.
Last edited by Blake7 on Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

260chrisb
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by 260chrisb » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:25 am

In general brake fluid lasts a long time under normal conditions. I too have experienced the thrill of boiled brake fluid on a track due to excessive heat. Normal conditions will never cause this to happen. A good rule of thumb is every 4-5 years. Brake fluid can be tested for moisture but frankly a good independent mechanic can completely flush (or simply bleed it) fluid from the system at reasonable cost. Next time you do a brake job have them bleed or flush the system. Automakers all are over the board with recommended intervals for fluids changes and over the years have extended them due to extended "free" maintenance programs offered for new cars. I've always got a big kick out of oils and fluids based on the dollars and years spent by manufacturers refining, developing, racing, testing, and marketing these products and telling us how great they are and then telling us to change them way before their service life has expired.

indexonlyplease
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by indexonlyplease » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:28 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:58 am
Interesting.

I have owned vehicles for 40 years. I have gone as long as 15 years in owning a vehicle. I have never replaced brake fluid ever. I follow the guidelines in the manuals. My 2013 F-150 and my 2018 Fusion Energi have no mention of ever replacing the brake fluid.

Always follow the manufacturer's guidelines in the owner's manual. Never follow the dealer's guidelines when different from the manufacturer's guidelines. Dealers recommend services that manufacturers state are unnecessary, as well as lowering mileage intervals that disagree with the manufacturer's recommendations. Dealers are in business to get as much service money out of you as possible.
I knew this was a scam when Jiffy Lube started recommending this. I have owned many cars and never changed the fluid. Years ago I started going to the dealer for all repairs even oil changes. I want someone working on my car that has experience in the vehicle. Last week the Honda dealer wanted to change my sons break fluid for $130.00. He has 20k miles. I did not understand why. So yes one must be smart with maintenance and repairs.

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Fletch
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by Fletch » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:29 am

whodidntante wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:55 am
Brake fluid takes on water and other contaminants and will boil at a lower temperature. Boiling is very much bad, because you will experience sudden brake fade. I have boiled my brake fluid on the track so I have experienced this first hand. And that brake fluid was specialized (higher boiling point) and had been replaced 10k miles ago.

Don't follow my advice or the advice of anyone else on a forum. Do what the manufacturer says,.

Plus 1
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david9117
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by david9117 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:32 am

I bought a brake fluid tester on amazon for 10 bucks. Let's you know when the moisture content is more than 4%. Time to change fluid. Or every 3 yrs if you want to be safe and not invest in a tester or bothered with it.

sport
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by sport » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:34 am

The owner's manual for my 2010 Camry does not mention anything about changing brake fluid. It just says to keep the correct level. My independent mechanic who specializes in Toyotas does not recommend changing brake fluid.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:42 am

In January 2017, Ford sent its dealers a letter scolding them for pushing unnecessary services. I have highlighted several relevant passages.

January 2017

To: All Ford and Lincoln Dealers, Service Managers and Parts Managers
Subject: Ford Motor Company Position on Scheduled Maintenance Business
A world-class customer service experience is fundamental to the success of Ford and Lincoln
Dealerships and Ford Motor Company. As we jointly pursue a leadership position in customer
retention, a primary goal at FCSD is to provide your team with the products and services
necessary to continuously enhance the customer service experience that you deliver.
Dealerships that consistently deliver prompt, competitive, high-value service will be one step
closer to enjoying the benefits of lifetime customers.
Top performing dealerships attain a profitable fixed operations business by offering a quality
customer service experience using Ford scheduled maintenance procedures. Ford Motor
Company does not support the sale of unnecessary services, including dealership repair services
that significantly deviate from our recommended maintenance guide, service intervals or shop
manual procedures.

MAINTENANCE INTERVALS
Promoting maintenance intervals that significantly deviate from those published in the Scheduled
Maintenance Guide are unnecessary and may damage credibility and result in lost customers.

 Ford Motor Company recommends specific maintenance intervals for various parts and
component systems based on extensive engineering and testing.
 Ford relies on this testing to determine the most appropriate mileage for replacement of oils
and fluids needed to protect the vehicle at the lowest overall cost of ownership to the
customer.
Reducing maintenance intervals does not improve vehicle durability.
AFTERMARKET OIL & FILTERS
Improvements in engine and lubricant technology have led to increased recommended oil change
intervals. Dealerships should use Motorcraft® Oil & Oil Filters, which are approved by Ford
Engineering to ensure optimal performance:
 Motorcraft Premium Synthetic Blend Motor Oil is manufactured with high viscosity synthetic
base oils and specifically designed performance additives to ensure optimal performance
over the entire oil change interval.
 Motorcraft Oil Filters use superior seals, pressure relief valves, anti-drain back valves,
polyester and cellulose media with the capacity to handle today’s extended drain intervals.
 Aftermarket oil and oil filters are not recommended by Ford Motor Company.
Ford & Lincoln customers purchasing “The WORKS” package expect to receive Motorcraft Oil &
Oil Filters. Those dealerships not using Motorcraft Oil & Oil Filters are not eligible to participate in
“The WORKS” nationally advertised offers and consumer rebates.
CHEMICALS AND ADDITITVES
Ford Motor Company recommends against the use of all chemicals, treatments or additive
products not identified in the owner guide or unless specifically recommended in publications
such as Technical Service Bulletins. Only approved chemicals, when used as instructed, are
compatible with a vehicle's components and systems.

SYSTEM FLUSHES
The following should be understood related to the topic of engine, transmission, steering, brakes
and fuel system fluid flushing services:

Demonstrating to a customer that specific fluids should be changed because of a change in
their color is a misleading practice. Darkening of many fluids is normal in most cases.

 If flushing is required in conjunction with a transmission component repair, the dealership
should flush the transmission with only the recommended transmission fluid. Use of chemical
transmission flushes can damage the vehicle's transmission.

 Utilizing fluid exchange equipment is acceptable as long as Ford approved fluids are used.
Fuel injection system flushing is not considered scheduled maintenance by Ford Motor
Company.
Should the fuel injection system require cleaning to resolve a specific condition,
chemicals meeting Ford requirements are recommended, such as Motorcraft Premium Fuel
Injector Cleaner, Motorcraft Pressurized Injector Cleaner or Motorcraft Power Flush Injector
Fluid.
Engine oil system flushing is not a Ford Motor Company approved maintenance procedure
and is considered an unnecessary expense to your customers. Use of chemical/crankcase
flushes can damage the vehicle's engine.

To assist you in growing your needed customer-paid sales, Ford has established very competitive
pricing on key maintenance and wear parts; including brakes, batteries, tires, filters, as well as
many other products. Additionally, we have worked collaboratively with Dealer Council, PSMAC
and the Dealer Advertising Associations to deploy and continually enhance significant Tier I, II
and III service marketing initiatives.
Customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention are more important than ever in today's business
environment. Selling high-quality Ford and Motorcraft products builds customer loyalty to your
dealership and reinforces the brand promise implied by your Ford or Lincoln franchise. The entire
Ford Team stands ready to help you achieve your consumer experience and dealership profit
goals!

david9117
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by david9117 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:45 am

My honda odyssey manual says replace every 3 yrs.

ETadvisor
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by ETadvisor » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:55 am

260chrisb wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:25 am
In general brake fluid lasts a long time under normal conditions. I too have experienced the thrill of boiled brake fluid on a track due to excessive heat. Normal conditions will never cause this to happen. A good rule of thumb is every 4-5 years. Brake fluid can be tested for moisture but frankly a good independent mechanic can completely flush (or simply bleed it) fluid from the system at reasonable cost. Next time you do a brake job have them bleed or flush the system. Automakers all are over the board with recommended intervals for fluids changes and over the years have extended them due to extended "free" maintenance programs offered for new cars. I've always got a big kick out of oils and fluids based on the dollars and years spent by manufacturers refining, developing, racing, testing, and marketing these products and telling us how great they are and then telling us to change them way before their service life has expired.
^This. General rule is every 4 years. General rules always have exceptions.

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whodidntante
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by whodidntante » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:59 am

whodidntante wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:55 am
Brake fluid takes on water and other contaminants and will boil at a lower temperature. Boiling is very much bad, because you will experience sudden brake fade. I have boiled my brake fluid on the track so I have experienced this first hand. And that brake fluid was specialized (higher boiling point) and had been replaced 10k miles ago.

Don't follow my advice or the advice of anyone else on a forum. Do what the manufacturer says,.
Ooh! I'm replying to myself to clarify something.

Do what the manufacturer says, not what the dealer says, when it comes to maintenance schedule. Your "service consultant" is a salesperson.

Topic Author
J295
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by J295 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:47 am

To all who have generously responded. Very helpful ... thank you.

I am following the manufacturer's recommendations (not dealership, which hasn't ever suggested anything different).

For $130 every 30k miles I think I'll play it conservative (like our asset allocation, haha) and get it done as I have these first two times.

jpelder
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by jpelder » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:24 pm

I was curious, so I checked for my Chevrolet. No mention of brake fluid changes at all in the maintenance schedule. I'm still on the original brake pads (90k miles, but mostly highway), and the wisdom I'd always heard was to flush brake fluid when changing pads. Definitely follow the manufacturer's recommendation in your owner's manual

tibbitts
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by tibbitts » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:34 pm

I think changing fluid is probably a good idea, but I'm afraid to have anyone do it (including me) because of how complicated and different the process is for different models. There are so many check valves and passages in the ABS module that I can see where you can end up with air in the wrong place and completely defeat what you're trying to do - maybe make things worse.

neilpilot
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by neilpilot » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:06 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:34 pm
I think changing fluid is probably a good idea, but I'm afraid to have anyone do it (including me) because of how complicated and different the process is for different models. There are so many check valves and passages in the ABS module that I can see where you can end up with air in the wrong place and completely defeat what you're trying to do - maybe make things worse.
You can do a poor man's fluid change. Using a turkey baster, withdraw as much fluid as you can from the reservoir and then top off with fresh compatible fluid. Drive for a few weeks and then inspect the fluid and, if still wet and/or discolored, repeat this process. This is certainly not perfect, since the fluid in the system maybe stagnant, but it will remove any moisture that has collected and/or migrated into the reservoir.

BTW don't fill to the top, just to the level you initially found. The fluid level goes down as the pads wear, and If you fill with worn pads then the fluid can overflow when and if you push in the calipers when installing new pads.

andypanda
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by andypanda » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:19 pm

My 2016 4Runner has a simple service schedule for brake fluid. Every 15000 miles or 18 month interval and every 30,000 miles or 36 month interval - check the condition of the brake fluid. That's it.

My wife's 2016 Avalon Touring says the same thing. Just keep having it checked.

I'm 68 and I can't remember the last time I heard about brake fluid going bad in a street vehicle that wasn't used to tow something big and heavy up hills. And down hills of course. Maybe back in the '60s.

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Toons
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by Toons » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:21 pm

Brake fluid?
It could mean your life,,,
Follow the recommended schedule.
Its pennies in the scheme of things.
:happy
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IowaFarmBoy
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by IowaFarmBoy » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:28 pm

Beyond the issue of boiling due to too much moisture, there is an issue of potential corrosion to the components of the system. Items like the ABS control unit can be very expensive and I think changing to minimize the chance of corrosion affecting a unit like this makes sense. Volvo has recommended brake fluid changes for at least 25 years (per our 1993 manual). I personally try to do it about every 4 years.

MotoTrojan
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by MotoTrojan » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:32 pm

15 years without changing is frankly nuts. It’s hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture from the air. Moisture (water) boils under extreme use and can cause failure when you need your brakes most (overheated on a steep descent).

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F150HD
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by F150HD » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:43 pm

J295 wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:47 am
To all who have generously responded. Very helpful ... thank you.

I am following the manufacturer's recommendations (not dealership, which hasn't ever suggested anything different).

For $130 every 30k miles I think I'll play it conservative (like our asset allocation, haha) and get it done as I have these first two times.
+1, and you should, esp a vehicle with ABS.

Google and read the issues Harley Davidson is having w/ its ABS modulator failures because owners were not flushing their brake fluid at appropriate intervals, causing failure of the entire braking system.

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Flymore
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by Flymore » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:05 pm

It's the fluid in the reservoir of the power steering and brake system that becomes contaminated.
These reservoirs have to be open to the air, therefore moisture and dirt get in.
I use a shop syringe to suck out the fluid in these reservoirs and put in fresh brake fluid in the brake reservoir and fresh power steering fluid in the power steering reservoir every year or so.

6Pack
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by 6Pack » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:47 pm

Brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs water. The fluid, even if you don’t drive, will wear down because it absorbs water over time. I change mine around every 2-3 years myself.

The problem with water in your brake fluid is that it’ll wear out your master cylinder, which is an expensive fix.

Learn to change the fluid yourself. I’m doing all new brakes and rotors (both front and rear) on my wife’s car for less than $300.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by ClevrChico » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:39 am

Changing brake fluid does give one a firmer pedal and reduces the risk of brake fade due to boiling fluid on mountain roads. It also reduces corrosion risk in the brake system.

Most people do not change brake fluid ever and it probably doesn't matter much for the typical flat land driver.

I do change mine because it's under $10 to DIY, and I like the feel of factory fresh brakes.

Every 30k miles seems like a reasonable interval.

letsgobobby
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by letsgobobby » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:11 am

at the 140k mile service, the dealer told us our 2012 Prius brake fluid had tested too high in moisture and they recommended replacing. For $130 I didn’t argue, what would I say?

that’s the only brake fluid I’ve ever replaced, I think.

Nissanzx1
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by Nissanzx1 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:41 am

I have a 2003 Honda with 277K. I service it myself and about every 2 years I use a turkey baster to suck out the old fluid from resoivoir and I replace it wil new clean fluid up to the Fill line. It's costs $2 and works great for me.

Good Luck.

Swansea
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by Swansea » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:00 am

Brake fluid, just like engine coolant and oil, deteriorates with age. I change mine every two years. My 20 year old vehicle still has original calipers and master cylinder.

ponyboy
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by ponyboy » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:36 am

2009 corolla currently has 167k miles on it. Just replaced brakes/rotors for a 3rd time...never once changed brake fluid. Never had to, levels have never been low.

marstaton4
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by marstaton4 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:52 am

I try to change mine every 3 to 4 years, always when I install new pads. I DIY so it only cost me $5 and an hour or two of time.

neilpilot
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by neilpilot » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:54 am

ponyboy wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:36 am
2009 corolla currently has 167k miles on it. Just replaced brakes/rotors for a 3rd time...never once changed brake fluid. Never had to, levels have never been low.
Your statement “never had to, levels have never been low” is totally illogical.

A low brake fluid level is typically due to a leak and isn’t related to wet or contaminated brake fluid. BTW a gradual decrease in fluid level as pads wear is normal.

3-20Characters
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by 3-20Characters » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:17 am

whodidntante wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:55 am
Don't follow my advice or the advice of anyone else on a forum. Do what the manufacturer says,.
+1

I keep cars at least 15 years and usually longer. My approach is to follow the manual. Manufacturers may be conservative in their recommendations but I doubt that they’re trying to gin up profits for dealers by overstating maintenance requirements. Compared to random internet opinions, I’d go with the manual, especially with something like brakes.

neilpilot
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by neilpilot » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:20 am

3-20Characters wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:17 am
whodidntante wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:55 am
Don't follow my advice or the advice of anyone else on a forum. Do what the manufacturer says,.
+1

I keep cars at least 15 years and usually longer. My approach is to follow the manual. Manufacturers may be conservative in their recommendations but I doubt that they’re trying to gin up profits for dealers by overstating maintenance requirements. Compared to random internet opinions, I’d go with the manual, especially with something like brakes.
I do draw the line on “lifetime transmission fluid”, and will change lifetime tranny fluid at 80k-100k miles.

fundseeker
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by fundseeker » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:17 am

Our ripoff Honda dealer has taken things to a new level. They do not flush the lines, but they charge you for a brake fluid flush and all they do is replace the fluid in the master cylinder and charge you about $70. AND, the work order falsely reflects that they flushed the lines. I could have easily done that myself for less than $8. I usually do my own bleeding but thought I'd just let them do it.

I know because I asked them after I saw that they had not messed with the bleed screws, and they told me this is all they do. I notified Honda about it and they said it is a dealer service issue. No doubt!

My next stop may be the BBB.

Hiker-Biker
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Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by Hiker-Biker » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:25 am

Swansea wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:00 am
Brake fluid, just like engine coolant and oil, deteriorates with age. I change mine every two years. My 20 year old vehicle still has original calipers and master cylinder.
The answer as always is, It depends. I use Mobile 1 Synthetic for all my oil changes. The Mobile 1 statement is the oil is guaranteed for 1 year or 15k miles if you buy the extended use version.

Guess what? The manufacturer statement is most likely predicated by legal advice. I have used the same oil in my Mazda Miata and "violated" the oil mfr's advice. To check on engine wear, I ran an oil analysis and there was no excess wear detected. None whatsoever.

Think about it. If you regularly maintain your car and you don't drive it 15k miles a year - will the oil become contaminated by sitting in your driveway? Oil becomes contaminated by running your engine, especially if you make many short trips or drive primarily in the city vs. highway. I have gone up to two years leaving Mobile 1 our two cars before changing it out. This is because I have to travel 90 miles to use my parent's garage as I cannot change my oil in my parking lot (prohibited and dangerous). I don't trust other shops changing my oil because they often just fill your engine using an oil dispenser that has preset volumes. If your car does not have a standard fill volume, I have experienced overfills. Not good and I have a marine oil extractor to siphon out excess oil if the shop cannot get the oil to the right level.

Or worse, the "oil change guy," usually the lowest paid and least experienced person in the shop, under fills your engine oil. Trust but verify if you use a dealer/local shop. Time is $ for repair shops and it's been my experience that many do not care. :twisted:

YMWV.

H-B

rtree
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:34 am

Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by rtree » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:40 am

fundseeker wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:17 am
Our ripoff Honda dealer has taken things to a new level. They do not flush the lines, but they charge you for a brake fluid flush and all they do is replace the fluid in the master cylinder and charge you about $70. AND, the work order falsely reflects that they flushed the lines. I could have easily done that myself for less than $8. I usually do my own bleeding but thought I'd just let them do it.

I know because I asked them after I saw that they had not messed with the bleed screws, and they told me this is all they do. I notified Honda about it and they said it is a dealer service issue. No doubt!

My next stop may be the BBB.
^^^ This is definitely something to watch out for.

I get the brake fluid changed every 3 years on our Hondas/Acuras per factory manual and I've tried various dealerships and independent shops. At same Honda dealer, but two separate visits, first time the car ended up in the service bay near the window so I got to watch the tech perform the service and he really did bleed from the calipers (looked like he was using a Mityvac). Second time with another car, I dropped the keys off and was done faster than an oil change ... made me suspect the tech that time did the master cylinder "turkey baster" swap method described above. At a well-reviewed all-makes all-models independent shop, they did bleed from all 4 calipers but left a mess on the tire inner side walls and failed to replace 3 bleeder screw caps.

I usually ask for a tire rotation at the same time as brake fluid service to encourage the tech to do it the right way (having wheels off gives easier access to bleeder screws). I then check if the bleeder screw caps have been disturbed after picking up the car (usually the road grime is smeared off). If they do a true brake bleed, you can definitely feel a difference afterwards. My best experiences have been with an independent Honda mechanic. They charge more than the dealer, but I always had peace of mind that it was done right. The only reason I didn't use that shop more is because it was pretty far away for me.

jebmke
Posts: 8534
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:44 pm

Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by jebmke » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:52 am

ponyboy wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:36 am
2009 corolla currently has 167k miles on it. Just replaced brakes/rotors for a 3rd time...never once changed brake fluid. Never had to, levels have never been low.
When I look at the Toyota maintenance manual for my 2008 RAV4 there is no mention of brake fluid. The schedule goes out to 120,000 miles.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

The Wizard
Posts: 12589
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Reading, MA

Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by The Wizard » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:34 am

andypanda wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:19 pm
...I'm 68 and I can't remember the last time I heard about brake fluid going bad in a street vehicle that wasn't used to tow something big and heavy up hills. And down hills of course. Maybe back in the '60s.
Same with me on all counts.
And I DOWNSHIFT on my F-150 when needed to maintain or reduce speed. My brakes and fluid could quite possibly last forever...
Attempted new signature...

User avatar
F150HD
Posts: 1845
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by F150HD » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:40 am

Nissanzx1 wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:41 am
I have a 2003 Honda with 277K. I service it myself and about every 2 years I use a turkey baster to suck out the old fluid from resoivoir and I replace it wil new clean fluid up to the Fill line. It's costs $2 and works great for me.

Good Luck.
When you change your oil (assuming 4 quarts), do you drain and replace 1 quart? or do you drain and replace all 4 quarts?

neilpilot
Posts: 2008
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by neilpilot » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:51 am

F150HD wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:40 am
Nissanzx1 wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:41 am
I have a 2003 Honda with 277K. I service it myself and about every 2 years I use a turkey baster to suck out the old fluid from resoivoir and I replace it wil new clean fluid up to the Fill line. It's costs $2 and works great for me.

Good Luck.
When you change your oil (assuming 4 quarts), do you drain and replace 1 quart? or do you drain and replace all 4 quarts?
Well since that 2003 Honda presumably recommends periodic oil changes, and possibly no brake fluid changes, I'd say Nissanzx1 is doing fine to at least replenish the majority of the brake fluid rather than no service at all. Per a Google search "according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 20 percent of the cars it tested had brake fluid with 5 percent moisture content."

BTW I use a large turkey baster called a Mityvac to remove the spent oil from my VUE and Mercedes.

Nissanzx1
Posts: 398
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:13 pm

Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by Nissanzx1 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:18 pm

F150HD wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:40 am
Nissanzx1 wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:41 am
I have a 2003 Honda with 277K. I service it myself and about every 2 years I use a turkey baster to suck out the old fluid from resoivoir and I replace it wil new clean fluid up to the Fill line. It's costs $2 and works great for me.

Good Luck.
When you change your oil (assuming 4 quarts), do you drain and replace 1 quart? or do you drain and replace all 4 quarts?
I replace all 5 quarts and I would do the same on brake fluid if it was 1 bolt. It's not it's 4 and 2 people needed (unless I buy equipment). It's been working fine. I've used this method 20 years, never once experienced a single issue...

theplayer11
Posts: 619
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:55 pm

Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by theplayer11 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:53 pm

F150HD wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:40 am
Nissanzx1 wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:41 am
I have a 2003 Honda with 277K. I service it myself and about every 2 years I use a turkey baster to suck out the old fluid from resoivoir and I replace it wil new clean fluid up to the Fill line. It's costs $2 and works great for me.

Good Luck.
When you change your oil (assuming 4 quarts), do you drain and replace 1 quart? or do you drain and replace all 4 quarts?
drain and fill AT fluid is standard procedure...that doesn't get all old fluid out either.

User avatar
F150HD
Posts: 1845
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:49 pm

Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by F150HD » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:37 pm

theplayer11 wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:53 pm
F150HD wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:40 am
Nissanzx1 wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:41 am
I have a 2003 Honda with 277K. I service it myself and about every 2 years I use a turkey baster to suck out the old fluid from resoivoir and I replace it wil new clean fluid up to the Fill line. It's costs $2 and works great for me.

Good Luck.
When you change your oil (assuming 4 quarts), do you drain and replace 1 quart? or do you drain and replace all 4 quarts?
drain and fill AT fluid is standard procedure...that doesn't get all old fluid out either.
if you're only dropping the pan it won't.

theplayer11
Posts: 619
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:55 pm

Re: Brake fluid replacement?

Post by theplayer11 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:43 pm

F150HD wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:37 pm
theplayer11 wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:53 pm
F150HD wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:40 am
Nissanzx1 wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:41 am
I have a 2003 Honda with 277K. I service it myself and about every 2 years I use a turkey baster to suck out the old fluid from resoivoir and I replace it wil new clean fluid up to the Fill line. It's costs $2 and works great for me.

Good Luck.
When you change your oil (assuming 4 quarts), do you drain and replace 1 quart? or do you drain and replace all 4 quarts?
drain and fill AT fluid is standard procedure...that doesn't get all old fluid out either.
if you're only dropping the pan it won't.
not a fan of flushes

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