Is it true...

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
Is it true that the brake lines and fluid need to be flushed every year or two? And is it supposed to smell like acetone and be green?

This is probably the only fluid I don't know much about. We haven't added anything to it, and what's in it now is what was in it when we bought it. I'm just looking for clarification on the brake lines needing to be flushed every year or so, as I have been told.

Thanks!
 

ksimm92

Member
Apr 28, 2012
166
defiantly should not be green, the fluid should be as close to clear as possible, and not smell like anything really. I change the fluid when I replace the pads. I use a turkey baster and suck all the old fluid out of the reservoir, then add new fluid and bleed all the lines until it comes out clear (and add new fluid as I go along).
 

Wooluf1952

Member
Nov 20, 2011
2,663
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
ksimm92 said:
defiantly should not be green, the fluid should be as close to clear as possible, and not smell like anything really. I change the fluid when I replace the pads. I use a turkey baster and suck all the old fluid out of the reservoir, then add new fluid and bleed all the lines until it comes out clear (and add new fluid as I go along).

It's important not to let the reservoir get empty.

There are also brake fluid test strips (google it) to check the fluid. They test for copper in the fluid.
 

northcreek

Member
Jan 15, 2012
3,335
WNY
Voymom said:
Is it true that the brake lines and fluid need to be flushed every year or two? And is it supposed to smell like acetone and be green?

This is probably the only fluid I don't know much about. We haven't added anything to it, and what's in it now is what was in it when we bought it. I'm just looking for clarification on the brake lines needing to be flushed every year or so, as I have been told.

Thanks!

You could also replace the fluid with dot5(silicone) brake fluid.It's expensive but, you would only have to do it once.This is what the military and classic car guys use,as well as motorcycles...Mike.
 

NJTB

Member
Aug 27, 2012
612
Flemington, NJ
Yes, it's true brake fluid needs to be changed, but not every 1 to 2 years. About every 3 to 4 is good as long as the car isn't driven in major dust, etc.. As another poster said, there are test strips available to check the condition of the fluid. I change mine if it looks too dirty.
Be careful with silicone brake fluid. It don't mix with DOT 3 or 4, which is what the TB calls for. It's written on a label on the filler cap.
 

northcreek

Member
Jan 15, 2012
3,335
WNY
NJTB said:
Be careful with silicone brake fluid. It don't mix with DOT 3 or 4, which is what the TB calls for. It's written on a label on the filler cap.

And I did say replace not add silicone brake fluid.Silicone fluid is for the most part inert so it won't attack seals and metals.I have used it with great results over the years,the problems arise when people put dot 3or4 in an originally designed slicone system, then the gremlins get to work....just sayin',Mike.
 

Wooluf1952

Member
Nov 20, 2011
2,663
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I've always been told not to use silicone brake fluid in ABS systems.
Something about foaming when the ABS kicks in. Just recently, again, on the Goss's Garage segment of Motor Week.
 

northcreek

Member
Jan 15, 2012
3,335
WNY
Wooluf1952 said:
I've always been told not to use silicone brake fluid in ABS systems.
Something about foaming when the ABS kicks in. Just recently, again, on the Goss's Garage segment of Motor Week.

You are right,I wasn't thinking ABS:redface: Actually DOT 5.1 is for ABS but,it's not silicone and just another variation of Dot 3&4,not really any advantages to it...sorry if I misled anyone...Mike.
 

meerschm

Member
Aug 26, 2012
1,079
Motive Products #1 Selling DIY Brake Bleeder

These guys make it a lot easier to flush the brake fluid. they sell versions for one master cap size, or one with a fitting to change in and out from several, (in my case, a Chevy and a VW).

you can do it without, but almost need three people, one to make sure the master does not run out of fluid, one to open and close the bleeder valve, and one to press the brake pedal in coordination with the bleeder screw turner.

with a bleeder and bottle, you can set it up, (check for leaks, which i was a little lax on last time I did it) and proceed around, bleeding out the old bad, while the new flows into the system.

or you can pay someone for the service.

my VW specs to change brake fluid every two years. not a bad idea to do this on any car or truck with over 5 or 6 years on it.

there is a video someplace.
 

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