Hey guys, I took my 1997 Nissan Altama ( no ABS) in for oil change, and the guy at Sullivan tire suggested I should flush my brake fluid, however, when I took my car to the local shop, the mechanic over there told me to leave it alone. I look at the brake fluid myself, and they look dirty, and with 87,000 on the car I am not surprise Sullivan tires suggested me to change it. Here is my question, who should I listen to? I found discussions online, but they mainly focused on cars with ABS, since my car doesn’t have one, does the same recommendation apply? knock on wood, my brake is working fine right now, and it is not loose or anything.
Change out your brake fluid once every 2-3 years. If yours has never been changed out then absolutely do it. “Flush” is a misnomer. It just amounts to fluid replacement - you empty out the master cylinder, fill with fresh fluid and then bleed until you get fresh fluid. It needs to be done.
They sell test strips that measures the contamination level of moisture of the brake fluid. However, these test strips aren’t cheap. If the brake fluid has never been changed with that amount of miles on the vehicle, it probably requires replacing. Besides, which do think is cheaper to do? A brake fluid flush? Or possibly replacing a master cylinder, wheel cylinder or a caliper, AND then a brake fluid flush?
Brake fluid collects moisture and debris.
I’m sure you’ve read about how moisture lowers the boiling point of brake fluid.
It can also cause corrosion of brake system components.
I change (bleed) brake fluid out every 3 years on my non-ABS car.
Your brakes will work fine … until they don’t.
If you do it yourself, bleed the brake line farthest from the master cylinder first, then work back to the closest. If the master cylinder is on the firewall in front of the driver, do passenger rear, driver rear, passenger front, and driver front in that order. It’s not hard, especially if you get a pal to pump the brakes while you bleed them.
Better to change fluids more often than necessary rather than less often than necessary.
You only need to change the brake fluid if you expect the brakes to work properly each and every time that you step on the brake pedal.
As Clint Eastwood’s character said…Do you feel lucky today? Well…do you, punk?"
Don’t try to save a few bucks in a way that will compromise the safety of you, your passengers, and all of the other folks who have to share the road with you.