Fluid Replacement

I have a 1995 Bonneville with 175,000 miles. When I visited the dealership quick lube they told me that I needed to change my brake and power steering fluids. While I, of course, recognize that oil, and to a lesser extent, coolant and transmission fluid needs to be replaced periodically, I wonder about the need to replace these other fluids. What time or mileage needs to pass or what other criteria determines the need. Most important, can flushing the fluids on an old car create more problems than it solves.

Replacing brake fluid is very prudent and usually recommended by car maker. It absorbs moisture over time which makes your brakes less effective and may damage the braking system internally.

Power steering fluid IMHO is a lifetime item but someone may have better idea on that here.

As a general rule, brake fluid needs to be changed at least when the car is in for a brake job. Also, if the fluid is coffee colored, it really needs to be changed very soon. I would do it every 40,000 miles or with every brake job. In your case, yes I would change it soon.

Power steering fluid works less hard, and most manufacturers don’t have a change schedule. However, if the steering groans or acts up otherwise, have it checked out. If the pump needs replacement, the entire system should be drained and refilled wiht new fluid.

Personally, I would change both fluids in a car that age. The brake fluid is probably recommended for periodic replacement, but the power steering fluid my not be. IMO, there is no such thing as a “lifetime fluid.”