Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

Brake Fluid flush? &how often should you change your brake fluid?

I've been doing alot of reading, car maintence is crucial and i havent been the best with it. I was curious if anyone has ever had abrake fluid flush? and the pros and cons? is this just a money maker for mechanics or is this a legit thing nowadays? it seems tom e its not even a reccommended service from thecar companies themselves and you knoww how they like to make money.. anyone with any suggestions
<br/> p.s. how often should one change their brake fluid? im not the most car savvy.. and i dont know if you change it or fill it..anyones advice would be hgreatly appreciated.. thank you, oh and i read brake fluid should be changed every 24,000 that true? thank you all, havea good day!


  • edited January 2011
    The advice I hear is usually 2 or 3 years. I suggest you start by checking your owner's manual and follow the advice there.
  • edited January 2011
    brake master cylinders are not 100% sealed. therefore air gets into the system. air contains moisture and dirt. this gets into the other hydraulic parts and can cause corrosion. the dirt settles into the lowest point in the brake system IE calipers/wheel cylinders and can cause damage to the seals. it is a good thing to flush every couple of years to rid the system of the dirt and any moisture
  • edited January 2011
    I was rather surprised by this, but here's what my mechanic recommends:

    If you flush the brake fluid every 25-30K miles FROM NEW, keep doing it.

    If the brake fluid has never been flushed and the vehicle has significant mileage, leave it alone.
  • edited January 2011
    What's the logic there? Isn't that like saying "change your engine oil every 3,000 miles, unless it's never been done, in which case never change your oil?"
  • edited January 2011
    The moisture that brake fluid absorbs over time can cause corrosion/pitting to the internals of various brake system components.

    In cars prior to ABS, worst case you were looking at needing to replace wheel cylinders, calipers, and a master cylinder. A bit costly, but not prohibitively expensive.

    Now you run the risk of pitting the internals of your ABS unit. Do you really want to be paying for a replacement ABS unit, which could have been avoided with routine brake fluid flushes?

    You will find many who do not believe brake fluid needs to be changed. My experience puts me in the camp of those who believe it's beneficial.

  • edited January 2011
    I didn't say it was logical. I just explained what my mechanic recommended to me.
  • edited January 2011
    Vehicles with ABS brakes (and that is most cars today) should have the brake fluid changed. Honda recommends every 3 years (as per the manual for an '03 Civic) regardless of mileage. This fluid change is based on time only. I'd say every 3 years for your car is a good change interval.
  • edited January 2011
    I have mine flushed (front and rear) every time I need brake work, such as new pads. Of course if you don't do much city or hilly driving, or enough total miles, this won't be often enough.
  • edited January 2011

    I have my brake fluid changed at the 30k, 60k, 90k, and 120k service intervals.
    Even if your Owner's Manual does not specify it, I would suggest that you follow this type of schedule.

    In addition to preventing damage to the ABS pump, calipers and master cylinder, changing your brake fluid on this type of schedule will help to prevent loss of braking ability when the brakes get very hot, as on a long downgrade.

    Incidentally, DO NOT allow a quick lube place to do this work, or any other maintenance on your car. The probability of them screwing up the procedure is very high and they rarely stand behind the quality of their work.
  • edited January 2011
    I change brake fluid every 3 years.
    If I had a car with ABS I would do it every 2 years.
This discussion has been closed.