do the brake and power steering fluids need to be flushed and how often?
If you are talking about a specific car, the owner’s manual for that vehicle will give the correct advice.
Until about ten years ago, these fluids were considered good for the life of the car. Recently some manufacturers started to advise a brake fluid flush every few years. And some owners do it anyway every 3-5 years or so because, well, just because. Power steering fluid, on the other hand, can be considered permanent.
IN GENERAL, on a car with anti-lock brakes, the brake fluid should be changed whenever you do a brake job; I would not recommend it more often. Power steering fluid is checked and topped up when ncessary. If the pump goes bad, there will be debris in the fluid; at that time a complete flush is needed. Luckily this does not happen very often.
Power steering should be done according to the manufacturer's (not dealer) recommendations as found in the owner's manual or a TSB. Generally modern brakes should be done every two or three years. Best to follow the owner's manual. Brake fluid absorbs moisture. That moisture can turn to steam under certain conditions like coming down a mountain and cause the brakes to fail, which is not a good thing to happen when coming down a mountain. It can also damage some of the brake parts, so go with the fluid changes, especially if you are having the brakes worked on.
I have a '99 Tacoma, 2.4 4 cyl. with almost 180K miles. I’ll have the brake fluid flushed and check the manual for the steering.
Thanks! I thought they were just trying to run up the bill.