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Is it time for a brake fluid flush? #5218467 09/21/19 03:22 AM
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A_A_G Offline OP
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I’m at 31k miles and vehicle in question is only 2.5 years old. I’ve suddenly noticed the brake pedal is more spongy and braking distance has increased. Is my fluid the culprit?

I haven’t inspected the pads or rotors just yet, but there is no grinding or any odd vibrations. Just a mushier than before pedal and really having to mash on the pedal for the brakes to bite in emergency situations.

Last edited by A_A_G; 09/21/19 03:25 AM.
Re: Is it time for a brake fluid flush? [Re: A_A_G] #5218473 09/21/19 04:39 AM
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Lubener Offline
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A brake inspection should be your priority. Brake fluid is not going to cause your issue after only 2.5 years/31k miles. You will not have air all of the sudden. You could be needing pad replacement depending how you drive.

Last edited by Lubener; 09/21/19 04:42 AM.

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Re: Is it time for a brake fluid flush? [Re: A_A_G] #5218513 09/21/19 06:10 AM
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Char Baby Offline
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+1
And if all looks good then lube the pads & sliders and clean up any rust then, proceed to the fluid flush.


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Re: Is it time for a brake fluid flush? [Re: A_A_G] #5218518 09/21/19 06:17 AM
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demarpaint Offline
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A brake flush won't hurt but I don't think it's your problem. I do mine about every 24 months or so. As mentioned a thorough brake inspection is in order. Then follow Char Baby's suggestion.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: Is it time for a brake fluid flush? [Re: A_A_G] #5218529 09/21/19 06:32 AM
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ARCOgraphite Offline
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Take a look at your master level.

If you have not added any fluid, it is indicative of your pad wear. But pad wear does not make for spongy brakes.

Some times easy braking or riding causes glazing and a few hard hot stops could break that glaze.

But as all have said above, do a thorough inspection first.

And yes you are due for a fluid flush, and in an ABS system this will likely require ABS actuation through the harness or OBD to properly purge the system. OTW you will likely end up with spongy brakes still.

My wifes subaru is right where you are but the Dealer service messed up the brake bleed somehow.

Last edited by ARCOgraphite; 09/21/19 06:34 AM.

2019 VW Jetta S 6MT OCI#1 5885mi-Castrol Edge Prof? VW508+VW Service Filter; '17 Subaru Crosstrek CVT OC#7 52665mi-Castrol GTX Magnatec 5W20 + SOA Filter
Re: Is it time for a brake fluid flush? [Re: A_A_G] #5218553 09/21/19 07:01 AM
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People don't realize that their brakes need inspection every year or two regardless of mileage; the grease on the caliper pins sometimes dries up or gets washed out. I've also seen caliper Pistons seize at low mileage. I've seen brake pads get hung up on the mounts, I've seen clips broken or missing entirely. There's more things that can go wrong than people think. And I can't stand some aftermarket pads and rotors. Noise...pads hanging up, clips rubbing against a rotor...rotor just a little bit off and hitting a backing plate. It seems like the machining/manufacturing tolerances get worse every single year.

Re: Is it time for a brake fluid flush? [Re: Railrust] #5218569 09/21/19 07:17 AM
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HangFire Offline
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Originally Posted by Railrust
People don't realize that their brakes need inspection every year or two regardless of mileage; the grease on the caliper pins sometimes dries up or gets washed out. I've also seen caliper Pistons seize at low mileage. I've seen brake pads get hung up on the mounts, I've seen clips broken or missing entirely. There's more things that can go wrong than people think. And I can't stand some aftermarket pads and rotors. Noise...pads hanging up, clips rubbing against a rotor...rotor just a little bit off and hitting a backing plate. It seems like the machining/manufacturing tolerances get worse every single year.


I heartily agree with this post.

At 2.5 years, I think a full 4 wheel brake pull-down, clean, lube and inspection is in order (no matter the mileage), along with a brake bleed.


Various musings: http://hangfire.net
Re: Is it time for a brake fluid flush? [Re: A_A_G] #5218608 09/21/19 08:18 AM
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eljefino Offline
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+5 it's a mechanical problem like a hung-up pad.

Re: Is it time for a brake fluid flush? [Re: A_A_G] #5218624 09/21/19 08:39 AM
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Mad_Hatter Offline
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You can check the moisture content using a voltmeter. (Google that).. anything over .3vdc and new fluid is recommended...but I'd say you're due for a flush and get them inspected at that time.

Re: Is it time for a brake fluid flush? [Re: A_A_G] #5218631 09/21/19 08:47 AM
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Honda says to replace brake fluid every 2-3 years (can't recall which it is at the moment). Other car makers don't refer to ever changing the brake fluid (Ford). Got into a debate with a Ford person who said basically, "the manual doesn't say I need to change it so I'm not going to" when I suggested to someone else to do a replacement.....

Replacing your fluid is a maintenance procedure that should be done routinely, not just when a problem occurs. Is it the cause of your issue ? Maybe not.

Re: Is it time for a brake fluid flush? [Re: hallstevenson] #5218703 09/21/19 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by hallstevenson
Honda says to replace brake fluid every 2-3 years (can't recall which it is at the moment). Other car makers don't refer to ever changing the brake fluid (Ford). Got into a debate with a Ford person who said basically, "the manual doesn't say I need to change it so I'm not going to" when I suggested to someone else to do a replacement.....

Replacing your fluid is a maintenance procedure that should be done routinely, not just when a problem occurs. Is it the cause of your issue ? Maybe not.

Incredible that someone would actually make the case for NOT replacing the brake fluid regularly... it's not like your life depends on a brake system that functions optimally or anything. Just wow...

Re: Is it time for a brake fluid flush? [Re: Lubener] #5218713 09/21/19 10:22 AM
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CT8 Online Content
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Originally Posted by Lubener
A brake inspection should be your priority. Brake fluid is not going to cause your issue after only 2.5 years/31k miles. You will not have air all of the sudden. You could be needing pad replacement depending how you drive.
This +1.


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Re: Is it time for a brake fluid flush? [Re: A_A_G] #5218732 09/21/19 10:41 AM
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eljefino Offline
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In fact I would not bleed the system until you're done doing the mechanical inspection, in case you get air *in*, and then have two problems to diagnose.

Re: Is it time for a brake fluid flush? [Re: A_A_G] #5218756 09/21/19 11:01 AM
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Tahoe4Life Offline
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I put between 200-300K miles on all my vehicles. I have never done a brake fluid flush or a Power steering flush. I calls those flushes a wallet flush....That is just IMHO. To each their own.


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Re: Is it time for a brake fluid flush? [Re: Tahoe4Life] #5218768 09/21/19 11:17 AM
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Leo99 Online Content
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Originally Posted by Tahoe4Life
I put between 200-300K miles on all my vehicles. I have never done a brake fluid flush or a Power steering flush. I calls those flushes a wallet flush....That is just IMHO. To each their own.


Still have the factory fill in my Rav4's power steering pump. It's black and the steering is a little hard. My wife has grown accustomed to it. I'm not touching it.


I drove my wife's Rav4 and the pedal was mushy. Had to hit the brakes hard but not too hard when someone cut me off and the ABS kicked in unexpectedly. My wife says it does that now and then. Yeah, that's not normal. Turns out one of the rear calipers was frozen. Inspect the brakes before you mess with the fluid or master cylinder.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

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2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
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