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Old 01-25-2010, 05:30 AM   #1
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Smile Brake Fluid Change

I was talking to a certified mechanic in our area about brake fluid change. He said that brake fluid does not necessarily need to be change/flush as we do with engine oil. The original fluid should last with the car. Even hitting past 100k miles, the original brake fluid will works as designed. He said that it is just a waste of time and money to change it. What do you think about it for a Porsche? Thanks


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Old 01-25-2010, 05:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itoy
I was talking to a certified mechanic in our area about brake fluid change. He said that brake fluid does not necessarily need to be change/flush as we do with engine oil. The original fluid should last with the car. Even hitting past 100k miles, the original brake fluid will works as designed. He said that it is just a waste of time and money to change it. What do you think about it for a Porsche? Thanks
First, you need a new mechanic; he is dead wrong as well as a “poster child” for what is wrong with the automotive repair industry. Brake fluid is hydroscopic; it absorbs water from the air and retains it, reducing the boiling point of the fluid and its ability to stop the car. The water also corrodes the Hell out of little items like your ABS/PSM system, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.

The fluid should be flushed and changed at least every two years, more frequently if you track the car.........
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:47 AM   #3
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Wrong! Brake fluid is hygroscopic meaning over time it absorbs moisture. Under heavy braking the heat buildup can boil water in the brake lines into gas bubbles. As gasses can be further compressed in the line (unlike the brake fluid) the result is loss of effective stopping power when you need it most. In a high performance car that can ruin your day.
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:12 AM   #4
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Can you go 100K miles? yes. should you? probably not.

I know people that have gone 200K and 10+ years without changing the brake or transmission fluid. I think 2 years a bit excessive, most manufacturers seem to recommend 3 year intervals. Porsche brake components are no different than a honda's.

My old '89 Toyota PU get's it every 10 years whether it needs it or not! No problems so far.

Track driving would make it more critical. Let your conscience be your guide!

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Old 01-25-2010, 06:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by stephen wilson
Porsche brake components are no different than a honda's.
I really wouldn't bet on that.....................
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:04 AM   #6
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What's so special? A caliper is a caliper, master, ABS controller, etc. They're sure to be more expensive than a "lesser" car, but many cars have brake systems and controls that are complex, with stability & traction control, etc.

Having said that, I'll flush mine every 2 years because it's still under warranty, and service records help with re-sale. I actually look for brake fluids with a high wet boiling point, more than by dry boiling point. With normal street use and change intervals, it's likely to spend more time "wet" than dry.
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:29 AM   #7
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copper contamination in brake lines

Here's an interesting article I found a while back that supports [frequent] brake fluid changes.

Regards,
paul...
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:36 AM   #8
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My question is, "Why would you skip a brake fluid change?" Once you have the bleeder (which costs $55), every change will cost you about $15 and take about an hour, maybe less. It's easy, doesn't take much work or getting dirty, and is a good chance to take a look at the condition of your rotors and pads.

If you every track your vehicle, you MUST change your brake fluid. I had a friend tell me that I only needed to replace the fluid that was in the calipers. His theory was that the fluid didn't circulate through the system, so only the stuff near the actual calipers got hot. I didn't think it through and we changed just a bit of the fluid before my first track day. Of course, my brakes failed as a result. We quickly changed all of the fluid at the track, and the car was fine for the rest of the day. BTW, the fluid that failed had about 45k of normal, road miles on it.
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:48 AM   #9
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I did a complete brake and clutch slave flush per pedros instructions this past Saturday. It had last been done by the p-dealer I bought the car from on 2/07, almost three years. It looked brand new when I started flushing it out. I figured it probably didn't need it. When I was done... wow! what a difference in the brake pedal feel! It can still look ok and not be ok is basically what I learned. Flushing your brakes is a very easy diy. Especially if you have a bleeder machine. I'll have to say, the clutch slave was a bit of a nightmare to get to. I knew what I was getting into reading other posts. I'd rather spend a few $ on brake fluid and a Sat. afternoon doing it myself than say.... I don't know, $1k on brake work at a dealer after it's too late..... I would find a different mechanic.

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Old 01-25-2010, 08:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephen wilson
What's so special? A caliper is a caliper, master, ABS controller, etc. They're sure to be more expensive than a "lesser" car, but many cars have brake systems and controls that are complex, with stability & traction control, etc.
Vehicles, like the Boxster, with ABS and stability management systems are more prone to issues due the system pump, the number of valves in the control network, etc. in the PSM/PASM technology. You want to see big repair bills, screw up the hydraulic control network in the PSM. Conveniently, the replacement or removal for cleaning of any of the hydraulic pump or control valve system requires cycling the system electronically with the PIWIS computer system just to get the air out of it; hardly a “backyard” project. This is why the standard maintenance schedule for the 986/987/Cayman and other models included brake/clutch system flushes at least every two years. Astute shops actually pull fluid samples and test them rather than depending on a fixed schedule; and some cars actually need to have the fluid done more frequently due to environmental or usage related issues................

Considering how low-cost a system flush is, it also qualifies as cheap insurance……
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Yi
My question is, "Why would you skip a brake fluid change?" Once you have the bleeder (which costs $55)...
You can also get a one-man bleeder kit for under $10. I've used mine on several cars, and it works great.

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Old 01-25-2010, 11:58 AM   #12
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Interesting article, it's a shame they stay very far away from mentioning any sort of timeline, such as typical levels in 5 year old fluid. The pictures are not very helpful either, except as extreme examples. There is no mention of the cars they came from, or their service history. They could have come out of a 20 year old car from the junk yard.

I'm well aware of the bad thing that can happen, fluid testing is wise, and replacement cheap insurance. But there is a bit of paranoia, if I don't flush my system every 2 years the brake system will explode and fall out of the car.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by stephen wilson
But there is a bit of paranoia, if I don't flush my system every 2 years the brake system will explode and fall out of the car.
Not paranoia, just recognition that the braking performance will deteriorate, and that ultimately the ABS or PSM systems may not function as designed when you needed them most, and that eventually you will be in for some costly repairs that could have been avoided....

If you are not into doing the scheduled maintenance (routinely flushing the system is common practice in many OEM maintenance schedules these days), that’s fine, it is your car after all. But at least test the brake fluid once a year; you just might be surprised at what you find………….
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:34 PM   #14
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Well, I will flush every 2 years on the Boxster, and plan on testing my "less valuable" vehicles ( aka. beaters ).

Sorry, it's Monday, and I guess I'm feeling a bit contrary!

Come on Friday!
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:48 PM   #15
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I too, think you can get by on longer schedules...in fact, I have. I've gone 3 yrs. without a flush, but do I recommend it? No, because your brake pedal begins to feel squishy. If you're not going to use the car in a spirited fashion, I think it's fine for light use to just do it at a longer interval. To me, it is a pain in the arse to get it done because you have to jack the car up, get the wheels off, etc., etc.,... And you do have to make sure you don't spill it, because brake fluid is some nasty stuff.

Again, I don't recommend waiting longer than the 2 yrs min. recommendation, but I do know a lot of people don't ever get their brake fluid changed, and don't even know that this is a regularly scheduled item to replace.
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itoy
I was talking to a certified mechanic in our area about brake fluid change. He said that brake fluid does not necessarily need to be change/flush as we do with engine oil. The original fluid should last with the car. Even hitting past 100k miles, the original brake fluid will works as designed. He said that it is just a waste of time and money to change it. What do you think about it for a Porsche? Thanks
I hope this is not your mechanic. So... what else did he tell you about car maintenance?
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:55 PM   #17
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that putting a little bit of coolant in the oil helps regulate heat in hot climates.
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:02 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Lobo1186
that putting a little bit of coolant in the oil helps regulate heat in hot climates.
Really? I didn't know that. Luckily I keep a gallon of Porsche coolant at the office. Hold on, I'm going to go try it. Will let you know how it goes ...

[disclaimer: seriously people, don't do this!!!]
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:55 AM   #19
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Thank you for all the comments. I really don't like to follow the mechanic's suggestion about the break fluid. I have a feeling that there is something wrong of not changing the brake fluid since it will not cost you a lot of money. besides, changing it is easy to do for DIY. I will go to AutoZone and buy me a litter of brake fluid and wait for the perfect weather to work on it. Happy New Year to all !!!!
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Old 06-25-2010, 03:23 PM   #20
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Question is brake fluid the same as clutch fluid

I took my car to a dealer because the engine light was on and i needed a smog check. my mechanic was unable to diagnosis the engine problem. dealer fixed that problem, but told me i had dirty clutch fluid. He'll replace for $250.00

Is that the same as brake fluid?

Car is a 1997 with 75,000 miles. I did the 70,000 mile checkup at 53,000 in 2006 on the recommendation of my mechanic (although the mileage was low, the car was older and he felt it was necessary)

Thank you for the help.

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