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 Flushing or Did I Get Flushed?

edited November -1 in Repair and Maintenance
2002 Merc Mountaineer, 135K miles:



I've been taking my car to the local town tire shop for years for my regularly scheduled maintenace. Just the usual oil changes, tire rotations, etc. If they saw some minor adjustments needed, they would just take care of it.



About 2 years ago, when the economy tanked, they started hitting you with "The Form" - a checklist of all the recommendations needed for your car. For the past 3 oil changes, they said your brake fluid is black and needs to be flushed. Never heard of this so I always declined. Last week I dropped the car off for an oil change and planned to pick it up later that afternoon. I got the call about 2 hours later, and you know when you get a call before you expect, they always have found something wrong. This time it was "the brake fluid is really, really black" and needs to be flushed.



I caved in and said OK do it and it was one of those XX.99 prices. Is this a needed maintenance or did I get flushed?
«13

Comments

  • edited April 2011
    You should change your brake fluid every 30k-50k miles, or when you have a brake job, so if it hasn't been done, it was good to do.
  • edited April 2011
    I flush my brake fluid every 2-3 years regardless of mileage. Yours was overdue. It's easy to do so don't pay too much for the service though.

  • edited April 2011
    Never before have I seen the country gripped by such "they are out to get me fears". Just this morning there was the deal with the Presidents birth certificate, and the Apple phone that tracks you, and this type of constant "rip off" fears about auto servicing. I can accept that people do get real nervous when the economy stays bad for so long but this level of fear is unusual to my eyes.Remember to secure your wireless router.It does seem that someone(s) is(are) playing the fear card every day now.

    Yes it is OK to change your brake fluid occasionaly
  • edited April 2011
    You should replace, flush, and bleed your brake fluid every 2 years.
    Its written right in your owners manual.

    Doing this will increase the lifespan of your brake components, which as you know, are really, really, REALLY important to making sure that you and everyone else on the road along with you is able to get where you are going safely.

    BC.
  • edited April 2011
    The system should be fludhed with fresh fluid every now and then. I like every 5 years, others suggest shorter timespans. Yours was clearly due.

    Your perception of "the form" is correct. And it has been a major contributing factor to the fears/beliefs suggested by Oldschool.

    By the way, brake fluid doesn't usually get black like that unless it's overheated. Did the shop mention anything about this?
  • edited April 2011
    Brake fluid should be changed at least every 3 years.
    Every two years is a good idea if you have anti-lock brakes.
  • edited April 2011
    They really are out to get you.

    Like the dealership service writer who advised me to get my manual trans "power flushed".
    Even though I had drained & refilled 2000 miles earlier.
  • edited April 2011
    Any car with ABS brakes and other features such as traction control and stablility control should have brake fluid changed periodically. Honda recommends every 3 years regardless of miles, and other mfg's are similar.

    Brake fluid "flushing" isn't the rip off that transmission flushing is, and a brake flush doesn't cause problems unlike a poorly done transmission flush. You probably should have done it earlier, so sometimes it is good to cave in.
  • edited April 2011
    Good point. Like the old saying says, "it isn't paranoia if they're really out to get you?"
  • edited April 2011
    You included something that probably did not belong on the list, old school. The birth certificate issue. This first became an issue when an elderly female member of Obama's family said she was there when he was born in Kenya. In Kenya, got it? And, then Obama waited years before responding to what was a reasonable response by the public to her comment. I for one do accept the birth certificate as valid. He could have acted like an adult years ago and it would not have been an issue.
This discussion has been closed.