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#2570600 - 03/17/12 11:52 AM How often to change brake and power steering fluid
powayroger Online   content


Registered: 12/29/06
Posts: 245
Loc: california
The stuff is orginial and I got 60,000 on the civic. When should the fluid levels be changed? Should the both be flushed (I know that some places will just sipon from the cyclinders).
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#2570604 - 03/17/12 11:56 AM Re: How often to change brake and power steering fluid [Re: powayroger]
LT4 Vette Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 12681
Loc: USA
Around 80K miles for my cars.

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#2570605 - 03/17/12 11:56 AM Re: How often to change brake and power steering fluid [Re: powayroger]
JRed Offline


Registered: 06/01/09
Posts: 1635
Loc: Virginia
For power steering fluid I'd just siphon the reservoir down to the low mark (or just below it, fill it back up, turn the wheel back and forth a few times, repeat a few times, and be done. My Subaru turns the PSF a nasty brown color, so I know when I've gotten enough new stuff in it because it'll start becoming clearish red again. PS pump still works fine.

Most people never do anything to the power steering until it fails, so it doesn't need much maintenance.

For brakes, you'll want to flush them - you need to get the fluid out of the lines, not just the reservoir. Siphoning the fluid out of the brake reservoir doesn't do much in that regard.


Edited by JRed (03/17/12 11:57 AM)
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#2570606 - 03/17/12 11:57 AM Re: How often to change brake and power steering fluid [Re: powayroger]
EricF Offline


Registered: 07/14/09
Posts: 1609
Loc: SF Bay Area
There's always your owner's manual to refer to..

but I would halve what the honda manual says if I owned a honda.
their tranny fluid doesn't last 80,000 miles, I would change it honestly every other oil change simply because it's cheap insurance and there's a drain plug for the tranny anyway, you're only putting in 2-3 quarts, and the tranny will last longer and you'll be happier about that.
the p/s fluid I would simply do a siphon & refill every oil change, or if you want sipon & refill until it comes out clean. only would take about 4 quarts to be super sure you got it all.
brake fluid, well I would swap that out via siphon and refill as well only because I can and it won't hurt to do so.
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#2570631 - 03/17/12 12:26 PM Re: How often to change brake and power steering fluid [Re: powayroger]
mongo161 Offline


Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 3226
Loc: Coney Island, NY
At 60K, I would have the power steering system flushed along with the brake fluid.

If you can't do it at home then go to a reputable shop for these services....and bring your own fluids. You want the right fluids used and you want to make sure that the brake fluid is in an unopened container. I've seen some shops where the brake fluid bottles are left uncapped and on the workbench. Brake fluid is hygroscopic and you don't want any moisture in the fluid.

After the PS fluid system has been flushed, then every 6 months siphon out the reservoir and replace with clean fluid.

I'd do the same with the brake fluid....have the system and line flushed and replaced with clean fluid.....then every six months or so...when the color changes....siphon out the reservoir and replace with clean fluid.

IMO...The total system flush and fill for brake fluid should be done every 2 to 3 years....depending how hard you are on the brakes. Maybe sooner if your in a lot of stop and go traffic.

IMO...The total system flush and fill for the power steering fluid should be done every 3 years.
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#2570632 - 03/17/12 12:30 PM Re: How often to change brake and power steering fluid [Re: powayroger]
Tegger Offline


Registered: 03/20/06
Posts: 1470
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: powayroger
The stuff is orginial and I got 60,000 on the civic. When should the fluid levels be changed? Should the both be flushed

Not "flushed", but changed. The term "flush" refers to chemical cleaning procedures, which Honda proscribes.

Your Owner's Manual will tell you the brake fluid should be changed every 3-years regardless of mileage. I can't remember the interval for the transmission fluid, but I'll bet you're due.

Bear in mind there is a special sequence for changing the automatic transmission fluid in a Honda, and I would _strongly_ suggest you stick with OEM (Genuine Honda) ATF DW-1.
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#2570635 - 03/17/12 12:33 PM Re: How often to change brake and power steering fluid [Re: powayroger]
dubie2003 Offline


Registered: 01/20/11
Posts: 494
Loc: Melbourne, Florida
Use a turkey blaster or similar on the PS system every other OC.

Use a MotivePowerBleeder or similar on the brakes every 2yrs.

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#2570920 - 03/17/12 06:41 PM Re: How often to change brake and power steering fluid [Re: powayroger]
Ken2 Offline


Registered: 12/02/02
Posts: 6258
Loc: Washington St.
The brake fluid absorbs moisture and may vaporize under the heat of heavy emergency braking. If that happens, you have no brakes. Renewing the fluid every two years is the common recommendation, and always good advice.

The power steering hydraulic oil deteriorates from the heat of operation and won't protect the steering parts as well. It is smart to siphon out and refill the reservoir when you do a tune up...30,000 or whatever the recommendation is. Adding an in-line filter to the return line (Magnefine or SPXfiltran) is smart--every hydraulic system need clean, filtered fluid. Use fluid labeled for Hondas. After the mileage you have, I'd siphon out & refill, drive around the block, empty & refill again, drive, empty and refill again to get the system clean and filled with good fluid.
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#2571013 - 03/17/12 08:38 PM Re: How often to change brake and power steering fluid [Re: powayroger]
BearZDefect Offline


Registered: 08/15/05
Posts: 1942
Loc: Lexington, KY
I'd change them both every two or three years for daily drivers, a similar interval to ATF. There are variables such as your usage, climate (humidity and temperature extremes), and the particular vehicle (some are more likely to overheat the PSF, for example).

I have helped a friend flush the power steering fluid (the actual fluid was ATF) on a car with 150k miles and over 10 years old. The fluid was completely black. The power steering on that car had been and continued to work flawlessly, and with no leaks. I don't recommend such a long interval, but I also think once or twice a year is way too often unless the particular unit overheats the fluid frequently.

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#2571074 - 03/17/12 09:43 PM Re: How often to change brake and power steering fluid [Re: powayroger]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 17838
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
I would do both every 3 years or 60k. I would also do the coolant at 60k.

For ATF, I prefer every 30k.

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#2572187 - 03/19/12 07:58 AM Re: How often to change brake and power steering fluid [Re: powayroger]
mechtech2 Offline


Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 19479
Loc: Chicago Area
New car mfrs say the fluid is good for at least 6 -7 years.
I like to change it out no more than 3 years initially [brake bleed].
Remember, BF absorbs some water, but you have to have water to absorb. Tell me where water is coming from in the sealed system. It is not a huge problem.
Dirt/sediment are my concerns.
At 60k, a turkey baster change [a number of times] for the PS and a real brake bleed/flush are very good maintenance things o do.

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#2578230 - 03/24/12 03:55 PM Re: How often to change brake and power steering fluid [Re: mechtech2]
aualtima3.5 Offline


Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 113
Loc: Tn
Originally Posted By: mechtech2
New car mfrs say the fluid is good for at least 6 -7 years.
I like to change it out no more than 3 years initially [brake bleed].
Remember, BF absorbs some water, but you have to have water to absorb. Tell me where water is coming from in the sealed system. It is not a huge problem.
Dirt/sediment are my concerns.
At 60k, a turkey baster change [a number of times] for the PS and a real brake bleed/flush are very good maintenance things o do.


If I can help it, I wouldn't wait 7 yrs to change brake fluid. In that time, my G35 seized a caliper, and it had the OEM pads on it when I went to do the job.

Brake fluid is definitely a time sensitive fluid. I would say every 2 yrs. It gets gross fast in high humidity places. It also helps prevent sticking calipers when brake jobs come due.

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#2578560 - 03/24/12 09:28 PM Re: How often to change brake and power steering fluid [Re: powayroger]
JZiggy Offline


Registered: 10/12/10
Posts: 734
Loc: GA
Moisture can absorb through the rubber caliper piston seals and the plastic of the fluid reservoir. Polymeric materials are usually not moisture proof.
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