Saturday, November 20, 2010

How long does brake fluid last? (after replacing it)?

I have a 1998 Toyota 4 Runner.

Back in January (this year). I went to a local car dealer shop because I had brake problems and was told it was a brake cylinder which I had replaced. I've had no problems since with the brakes.

At the time I replaced it, they also %26quot;replaced brake fluid%26quot; (as it says on the receipt I have).

Today, I went to my car dealer shop which I do every few months to get an oil change. The one requirement they made is to change the brake fluid because it was %26quot;dark%26quot;.

What the heck? I had it replaced (at least I HOPE the local place did what they told me they did). I have driven LESS than 5k since replacing the brake fluid.

Any suggestions? Kinda worried about bringing it back to the local shop since they A) probably never replaced it or B) say %26quot;the fluid is dark again because you need to fix.....%26quot; ugh.

If I changed the fluid oil less than 5k miles ago, shouldn't it still be OK? Thanks!How long does brake fluid last? (after replacing it)?
When they replaced the master cylinder, they transfered the old reservoir to the new master cylinder, this is a common practice. The inside of the reservoir is still dirty from the old fluid and was not properly cleaned. So from a first glance, the fluid looks to be dirty. Remove the cap and put your finger into the fluid, it will be clear and look like water. If it is dirty, the repair was never performed. Some times the fluid will stain the plastic reservoir and make it appear to be dirty. Typical life of brake fluid is 3 to 5 years according to the humidity of where you live. Hope this helps.How long does brake fluid last? (after replacing it)?
Absolutely should be ok with 5K. If you had a cylinder replaced, hopefully you meant the master cylinder, then the fluid was replaced when bleeding the system. If it was a wheel cylinder then only a small amount of the fluid was replaced when bleeding that one cylinder.

I would go back to the Original dealer and ask about show them the recommendation from the oil changer facility.How long does brake fluid last? (after replacing it)?
You need to have your brake fluid %26quot;flushed%26quot; now if the shop that replaced the master cylinder only topped off the brake fluid and didn't do a complete brake line bleeding and flush procedure (which costs extra and wouldn't be done normally if you didn't specify that it be done). Brake fluid gets darker as it absorbs more and more moisture and eventually needs to be completely drained and refilled to extend the life of your braking system.How long does brake fluid last? (after replacing it)?
Don't listen the other user, brake fluid must and SHOULD be changed at regular intervals.

If you just go to the dealer, the will add more, but I definetely should be changed at least once every 2 years, as it attracts moisture, and that can lead to a less responsive brake.

Don't take my word for it, go to walmart and check some of the bottles of brake fluid, some will be spilling a blue thing or similar, that's because of moisture.

Besides, brake fluid is so cheap, that it would be stupid not doing so, it is prevention.

EDIT - I forgot, some companies add color to their brake fluids, as some do in their coolants. So I wouldn't worry about the %26quot;dark%26quot; thing.How long does brake fluid last? (after replacing it)?
If they replaced your master cylinder they had to put new brake fluid in it. I mean they're not gonna drain your old fluid from the old cylinder and put it in the new one. But I know these places like to drain your wallet so maybe your fluid was dark and maybe it wasn't. My advise is to watch everything they do to your car and make sure they're not giving you something you dont need or charging for something they didnt do. My brother works at a place like this and while he is an honest person he has seen some others that work there do people wrong like that.How long does brake fluid last? (after replacing it)?
On Asian cars, the brake fluid is a light pee yellow. WHoever did this work should have used ONLY genuine Nissan brake fluid, or fluid from another Asian dealership. IT has a different chemical structure than just any DOT 3 fluid. IF your fluid is dark, then they probably did not change it at all. Or, they used the wrong type of fluid. Brake fluid DOES spoil with time and DOES require replacing. If you read your OWNER's MANUAL, it will tell you so, and at what intervals. IT is designed to absorb moisture. After it has done it's job, it darkens and gets more acidic. It will cause brake system problems if left in the system for too long. It is the number 1 cause of master cylinder and brake piston failures. It can actually crystallize and deposit goo around piston seals. Once again, READ your manual!!How long does brake fluid last? (after replacing it)?
1) They had to replace your brake fluid when they changed the cylinder because they had to siphon most of it out (or let it run out), and then it probably lost some more when they bled the brakes.

2) Brake fluid lasts virtually forever - and whoever is telling you that the fluid is 'dark' is a f**king moron.

It might be suggestable to occasionally change it - like maybe every 50K or so - but I wouldn't ever do it arbitrarily.