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Old 12-21-2017, 06:18 PM   #1
dave mac
 
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Question About Brake Fluid Condition

Hey, question about brake fluid condition. I'm familiar w/brake fluid getting dark, even black, if it gets old. The fluid in this car is clear though. Did Toyota use some special brake fluid that stays clear even when old, or is the fact that this is clear mean it must have been flushed/replaced in recent history? The car was bought new in April '06 (it is an early '07), so it's over 11 1/2 years old, and I don't see how this fluid can be that old.... or is that possible? Car has 76k mi. See pix. The fluid actually looks more clear than the way the pix came out. Thx! Dave-
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Old 12-21-2017, 09:14 PM   #2
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It has likely been replaced sometime in the cars lifespan
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Old 12-21-2017, 10:12 PM   #3
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Many people I know never replace the brake fluid. The only real way to know is get a cheaper tester for a few bucks online. It will tell you the moisture content. I do think the brake fluid toyota uses is a little better quality because I notice it takes much more years to discolor than other cars that have never replaced it.

This comes in handy sometimes:

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Auto-Brake-F...4AAOSwmiZZv6cj
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Old 12-21-2017, 11:50 PM   #4
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cool thanks guys! and for the link to the tester on Ebay, very cool. best regards,
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Old 12-22-2017, 03:29 AM   #5
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If you are not sure about the last date when the brake fluid has been change, I would suggest it is about time to change it or have it changed.
Not only the brake fluid absorbs water over time (which makes it dangerous in case of intensive breaking - water boils - pedal softens - cars does not break) but there are also particles of worn-out hoses in it that may potentially clog the brake lines.
It is one of the cheapest operations in the whole car maintenance (even if performed by certified Toyota car service) yet one of the most important in terms of security.
Just make sure it really is changed properly (not just sucking the reservoir out and filling it in but also opening all valves for all wheels+clutch and bleeding out the old fluid).
Once done you can forget about the brake fluid for 2-3 years (the generic recommendation is to change it yearly, however my fluid after 3 years is in perfect shape, both visually and water-meter-wise.
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Old 12-22-2017, 01:30 PM   #6
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brake fluid question

ok Komichal, yes better safe than sorry & brake fluid is cheap. Thanks for the reply! veselé Vánoce. David-
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Old 12-22-2017, 01:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by komichal View Post
If you are not sure about the last date when the brake fluid has been change, I would suggest it is about time to change it or have it changed.
Not only the brake fluid absorbs water over time (which makes it dangerous in case of intensive breaking - water boils - pedal softens - cars does not break) but there are also particles of worn-out hoses in it that may potentially clog the brake lines.
It is one of the cheapest operations in the whole car maintenance (even if performed by certified Toyota car service) yet one of the most important in terms of security.
Just make sure it really is changed properly (not just sucking the reservoir out and filling it in but also opening all valves for all wheels+clutch and bleeding out the old fluid).
Once done you can forget about the brake fluid for 2-3 years (the generic recommendation is to change it yearly, however my fluid after 3 years is in perfect shape, both visually and water-meter-wise.
I do a full bleed to all my vehicles about every 18 - 24 months. I haven't done my 2008 yet but tested the fluid with one of the testers linked above. More on the tester in a sec... I had less than 1% water in the brake fluid and it's crystal clear, so might go a bit longer. I can't definitively say if the fluid was ever changed out, but suspect it has been given its condition.

Re: brake fluid tester - they work great but the case is very cheaply made. At least the one I bought was and the end broke off it within a couple of weeks. The plastic is extremely thin. That said, I think I only paid a few bucks for it. There are no doubt better quality ones available.
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Old 12-22-2017, 03:32 PM   #8
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I too have one of those testers, and concur. It is very cheaply made. But it does the job.

I can tell you without a doubt that my Mustang needs the fluid changed, LOL. It instantly reads bad. The Yaris is still good to go though.
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Old 12-22-2017, 04:41 PM   #9
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I also have a tester and my 09 Yaris tested 1%original brake fluid and ditto the wifes 05 Camry both never changed. The Yaris has 46k and the Camry 150k.

Now...do you trust the chinese made tester? I dunno. Im too old and decrepit to change it anymore unlessI have help and I dont. When I was young I changed it every couple of years on the cars and once a year on the bikes. But I havnt had trouble on the two cars without changing it and at this point a seized caliper on the Camry couldnt be related to the brake fluid also might be the piston just wore out.

Neither owners manual calls for changing it. I guess its a judgements call...
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Old 12-22-2017, 05:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by dave mac View Post
it's over 11 1/2 years old, and I don't see how this fluid can be that old.... or is that possible?
Yes it is possible. My 2006 has over 314,000 kms on original brake fluid. I rely on pedal feel, and twice annual brake inspections when I swap tires for the seasons, to tell me that maybe I should address it.
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Old 12-22-2017, 11:47 PM   #11
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water content is important to check for, but another factor is copper content. sometimes the moisture in brake fluid corrodes the copper lining of brake hard lines. the corrosion will not show up as moisture on a the tester, but the fluid is contaminated. copper will not corrode under pure brake fluid contact.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:27 PM   #12
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I have a 2007 and also did not change the brake fluid, how much liquid to produce a complete replacement
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:38 PM   #13
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Approx 2 quarts will give you more than enough for a full flush.

I bleed/flush my brakes every year as of last year but this is due to a lot of dding with a heavy foot and 4 hour track days with approx 180km of mileage on each session and 30 min sessions.

I would at least crank each nipple once per year if you live in the salt belt. If not then your next bleed or flush will likely involve new calipers and cylinders.
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Old 12-23-2017, 12:46 PM   #14
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last summer when replacing the rear brake pads grabbed a little air in the system. The air was removed by pumping . Unscrew the nipple well
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