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Old 01-25-2010, 05:09 PM
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Default Brake Fluid Flush interval

Anyone have reasons as to why there is such variability with vehicle manufacturers related to changing brake fluid? My wife's Honda product has a strict "every 3 years" service interval to flush and fill the brake system. My Tacoma, on the other hand, doesn't appear to have a service interval defined. And I can't recall ever having changed brake fluid in my old 4Runners (one of which I owned for 9 years and 150k miles....). We had my wife's Subaru from 0-96k miles, and never changed the fluid (because the manual never said we have to).

I get the fact that brake fluid will take on and retain moisture, and this can be bad for the system (performance, corrosion, etc.), so for something so simple yet critical for safe operation of a vehicle, I'm surprised there's not a more commonly adopted service interval across car makers. I mean, it's an easy DIY job, or for around $30 you can get it done at the local brake job chain. Facts? Theories? Discuss.
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:12 PM
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Standard for motorcycles (more aluminum) is 2 years. I have gone beyond that and destroyed a master cylinder simply from that neglect (corrosion).

Brake fluid is cheap and pressure bleeders make it a pleasure. I do mine every 2 years.

Hmmm... I think the DD is past due...
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:38 PM
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Dunno what you should do but I do mine yearly if not more often on systems that are "stressed" (like the 60 with 35's, mountain spirited driving, and stock brakes). Probably habit from racing days. Every day cars I do it when they need pads. Good question though and I wasn't any help.

Fancy fluid with higher boiling points i've found tends to be more hydroscopic also, so I run regular stuff to avoid any short term need to bleed/flush. Of course the trade off is a lower boiling point.

Has this been other's experience as well?
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:44 PM
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When it turns black in the reservoir, or starts leaking out the corroded cylinders, time to change it.
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:29 AM
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It is all about the appearence of no service to the 100k mile mark. Some companies like this more, customers are happy to not service.
If you looked back into older service manuals, 30k miles is a magic mark for servicing a bunch of things, like wheel bearing grease, gear lubes(diff, tranny), ATF, brake fluid, etc.
Service make the beast live longer and create less problems.
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powderpig View Post
It is all about the appearence of no service to the 100k mile mark. Some companies like this more, customers are happy to not service.
And then their junk really IS junk at 100K...

FWIW, I use Valvoline SynPower brake fluid. When I put it in I seemed to notice a slight improvement. Anywho, still DOT 4 but a high boiling point. Seems to stay cleaner too.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Chili View Post
FWIW, I use Valvoline SynPower brake fluid.
FWIW Valvoline no longer sells that

MUD Discussion on SynPower

Link to the "new" Valvoline brake fluid

Valvoline Brake Fluid


As to Matt's question...my interval went from "You're supposed to change the brake fluid " when I owned my Durango to every 2-3 years now on the 80s (~16-24k miles).

I need to flush the brakes on the 40 this summer...What fluid do people recommend using in older FJ40 systems? I think I remember reading that synthetic may not be so good for older systems?
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:42 PM
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Yep, about two years ago... LOL

OK, the bottle changed (and maybe some of the chemistry...). Valvoline synthetic then.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:40 PM
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Data I've compiled over the years on boiling points of various brake fluids. Some of these are very expensive, $20/quart or more. I do not spend that kind of money, but Summit has some of them.

Personally I'm using plain old Castrol LMA since the reformulation of Ford Heavy Duty fluid, p/n PM-1. The new Ford is PM-1C and has a lower boiling point than the old stuff (prior to 2007).

All the budget racers used to love Ford HD because it was fairly cheap (I was paying about $7.50/quart) DOT-3 with a high boiling point and came in metal cans. Last time I checked Ford was selling PM-1C in plastic bottles just like everyone else. Plastic is bad because it leeches where as metal cans can sit forever on the shelf. And being a lower grade of fluid it was no longer worth it. I get LMA from Pep Boys at Broadway and Alameda.

I flush my brakes and clutch roughly once a year.
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Last edited by DaveInDenver; 08-26-2010 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corsair23 View Post

I need to flush the brakes on the 40 this summer...What fluid do people recommend using in older FJ40 systems? I think I remember reading that synthetic may not be so good for older systems?

Doing a full flush, I've used DOT4 in my stock 40 brake brake system.
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