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Old 05-24-2016, 08:05 PM   #41
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Now, how many of you ever think or actually do change your auto trans fluid? I do, every 30K I do a drain and refill. No filter change, the auto trans filter is not always accessible on some vehicles. There is no such thing as lifetime trans fluid fill, in spite of what mfrs may claim. By doing the drain and refill, I change out maybe 30-50% of the old fluid and my trans fluid is always nice and clean red color without burnt smell.
Same routine here -- drain and refill the CVT fluid every 30k miles (because that's when the monitor says I should).
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Old 05-24-2016, 08:05 PM   #42
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I have an auto service shop change my oil. 2001 corvette once a year or around every 7500 miles. Mobil 1.
2009 F-150 about every 5000 miles.


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Old 05-25-2016, 12:49 AM   #43
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Another question... If the last oil change was synthetic oil, is there a problem with adding a quart of non synthetic, when it's called for?
Have a case of regular oil, so it's not just a single $5 item.

I've done it with no ill effects that I know of. Years ago, I remember seeing synthetic/regular oil blends being sold. It's probably why I've mixed it in the past. Now, I just use synthetic.

In one car, I last put in synthetic rated for 15,000 miles. My problem is I'm not sure if it was 10,000 or15,000 miles ago. I'll have to check the viscosity to see how it's holding up. My youngest, who is in graduate school, finally took his car in after us hounding him for 1-1/2 years. When he finally took it in, they told him not to bother as the oil looked clean (he doesn't put many miles on it).


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Old 05-25-2016, 08:31 AM   #44
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Related, but a little to the side - what about changing brake fluid?

Some car manuals seem to be silent on this, I've seen others recc every 3 years (flush and change). My Uncle was an airline mechanic, he insisted on doing it, and I've heard that from other respected mechanics. Seems the recc is based on time, not miles - the brake fluid absorbs moisture, that can lead to corrosion. As your brakes get hot, the water can turn to steam, which is compressible, making your brakes near useless. The whole principle of hydraulic brakes is that fluids are not compressible, add in a compressible gas like steam, and your brake pedal just mushes down to the floor.

I think I've forgotten to ask if my shop does a brake fluid flush as part of a brake pad/rotor change. I hope so. Maybe some car manuals feel that is good enough?

Engines can be rebuilt, a human body rebuild due to brake failure can be a lot tougher.

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Old 05-25-2016, 09:02 AM   #45
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I need to check the svc manual but I think brake fluid is part of the 60K service. I usually go ahead and put in stainless steel brake lines when I flush the fluid.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:03 AM   #46
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Oh, stupid TMPS sensor came on today just after I put on my summer wheels.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:09 AM   #47
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Related, but a little to the side - what about changing brake fluid?

Some car manuals seem to be silent on this, I've seen others recc every 3 years (flush and change). My Uncle was an airline mechanic, he insisted on doing it, and I've heard that from other respected mechanics. Seems the recc is based on time, not miles - the brake fluid absorbs moisture, that can lead to corrosion. As your brakes get hot, the water can turn to steam, which is compressible, making your brakes near useless. The whole principle of hydraulic brakes is that fluids are not compressible, add in a compressible gas like steam, and your brake pedal just mushes down to the floor.

I think I've forgotten to ask if my shop does a brake fluid flush as part of a brake pad/rotor change. I hope so. Maybe some car manuals feel that is good enough?

Engines can be rebuilt, a human body rebuild due to brake failure can be a lot tougher.

-ERD50

I have heard this from quite a few people too...usually the service writer at the dealership. I have a very good friend who is the fleet manager for a fairly large municipal department (population of 60,000) and oversees the maintenance for police cars, utility trucks, fire trucks, pick up trucks, you name it. He doesn't recommend it...he says it's pretty pointless since the system is closed. He has several cars that well over 35 years old and he's never changed the brake fluid...and as far as I know he's never had any issues.

The longest I kept a car was about 15 years...200K'ish miles on it when I got rid of it. I never changed the brake fluid and never had any brake issues. As a matter of fact, in the 200K miles, I only had to change the pads ONCE!

Oh yeah...I have owned an airplane and was once an AF airplane mechanic. We never "changed" the brake fluid (hydraulic fluid that was also used for flight controls, steering, etc.) nor did I ever change it on my airplane. It wasn't recommended in the service manual nor was it ever even suggested by my inspector. Airplane maintenance schedules are one of the MOST detailed (sometimes to overkill), so if contaminated brake fluid was ever an issue, you would know about it. And as far as I know, there isn't a single airplane made that recommends changing brake fluid.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:15 AM   #48
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I have heard this from quite a few people too...usually the service writer at the dealership. I have a very good friend who is the fleet manager for a fairly large municipal department (population of 60,000) and oversees the maintenance for police cars, utility trucks, fire trucks, pick up trucks, you name it. He doesn't recommend it...he says it's pretty pointless since the system is closed. He has several cars that well over 35 years old and he's never changed the brake fluid...and as far as I know he's never had any issues.

The longest I kept a car was about 15 years...200K'ish miles on it when I got rid of it. I never changed to brake fluid and never had any brake issues. As a matter of fact, in the 200K miles, I only had to change the pads ONCE!
Interesting - this is one of those things that I thought was not part of the dealership just fishing for revenue scheme, but a legitimate thing. But your experience (data point of one or two though) says maybe it isn't important?

My understanding about the 'closed system' - there are still seals, and water/humidity can work its way in? Could be unfounded, or so minimal as to not matter. I don't know.

Does 'Bob-the-oil-guy' have a cousin? We need a "Betty-the-brake-girl" resource (I hope the females appreciate my gender stereotype tear down there!).

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Old 05-25-2016, 09:16 AM   #49
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Don't forget tranny/gear oil.....
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:23 AM   #50
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Interesting - this is one of those things that I thought was not part of the dealership just fishing for revenue scheme, but a legitimate thing. But your experience (data point of one or two though) says maybe it isn't important?

My understanding about the 'closed system' - there are still seals, and water/humidity can work its way in? Could be unfounded, or so minimal as to not matter. I don't know.

Does 'Bob-the-oil-guy' have a cousin? We need a "Betty-the-brake-girl" resource (I hope the females appreciate my gender stereotype tear down there!).

-ERD50
I think it's like many things in life...the opinions are wide and varied. So...I would just do what you think is right for you. I personally don't see the point in changing the fluid, but that doesn't necessarily make me right...but I am comfortable in my decision.

As far as tranny fluid, if the manufacturer recommends it, I will have it done. If it's a sealed system, I leave it alone. My Infiniti (with 90K miles) has never been serviced and I haven't had any issues. The last vehicle I had that did recommend changing it had a complete transmission failure within 1,000 miles of the last service (a Ford F-150 with 60K on it). Thankfully, it was covered under warranty, otherwise, I would have been out several thousand dollars. The opinions on tranny fluid I think are as varied as they are for the brake fluid change!

Perhaps if I get bored, I will do a little research on www.truedelta.com to see what the transmission failure rate is on some models with sealed transmissions vs. serviced transmissions. But...I am rarely bored...so that probably won't happen.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:51 AM   #51
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I've never changed brake fluid as a normal routine. If I do a complete bake job (pads, rotors, bleeding), I will pump through enough new fluid to essentially "change" the old fluid out. I have a power bleeder also so it's pretty simple.

As far as corrosion goes, the only real item that can corrode and cause a leak is the piston bore in the brake caliper (or the bore in the wheel cylinder for those who still have drum brakes). Only one time in my life have I seen enough corrosion to warrant a bore cleanup with a hone, which was done to remove/clean up slight "pitting" in the bore from water corrosion. That was in my 1995 Chev. PU at around 200,000 miles. I was doing a complete brake service and decided to rebuild the calipers ($4 in pairs for new seals per caliper).

It's pretty easy to change brake fluid but the risk of having a failure (caliper leak) is very low in my opinion. But for those who wish to reduce as much risk as humanly possible, go ahead and spend the money and have it done. My recommendation is to have it done at "brake job" time rather than at a set time or miles interval.
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:45 PM   #52
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I replace my brake fluid every 3 years. I still have enough ATE Racing Blue left to alternate yellow and blue so it is easy to know when I'm done. The hardest part is getting the young wife to come out and pump the brake pedal.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:28 PM   #53
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Engine damage because of oil issues are really not going to kill any car built in the last 10 years. You will have computer/electronic issues that make owning the car too expensive...not from oil issues. In our Infiniti, I change it every 5K and in our Highlander, I change it every 10K...as recommended by the manufacturer.
I concur. Lubricity issues with name brand oil products have become very rare. I always use synthetics in differentials, transmissions, and transfer cases, but use 'dino' oils in the engine given the one year factory oil change mandate. I no longer self-change my own oil, but always discard the local 'jiffy lube' 3000 mile change sticker they put inside my windshield, and replace it with the mileage change recommended in my owners manual
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Old 05-25-2016, 07:19 PM   #54
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I think it's like many things in life...the opinions are wide and varied. So...I would just do what you think is right for you. I personally don't see the point in changing the fluid, but that doesn't necessarily make me right...but I am comfortable in my decision. ...
Based on this, and other feedback I've gotten, I think I'll just make sure that a brake job includes a flushing, unless the manual states otherwise. We don't do a lot of highway miles, so brake jobs are not so far apart as some might be.

Transmissions, etc. - Again, I follow the manual. If they say it is a 'lifetime' lubricant, good enough for me. But if I were to put a lot of miles on a vehicle, and wanted to keep it a long time, I might have it changed halfway into my expected ownership. I've taken that approach with things like tires and batteries - if I only expect to keep the car a few more years, but I know those won't make it to the end, might as well replace them now, rather than take a chance trying to squeak out another year on them.

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Old 05-25-2016, 10:30 PM   #55
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As far as corrosion goes, the only real item that can corrode and cause a leak is the piston bore in the brake caliper (or the bore in the wheel cylinder for those who still have drum brakes). Only one time in my life have I seen enough corrosion to warrant a bore cleanup with a hone, which was done to remove/clean up slight "pitting" in the bore from water corrosion.
Not 100% accurate. (There are always exceptions I guess) I have replaced sections of metal brake lines several times over the years due to corrosion leaks. Admittedly this happened on vehicles that were at least 20 years old, but it can and does happen. Most brake leaks I have had to deal with have been the rubber seals on drum brake wheel cylinders.

Maybe I've been lucky but I can't recall having leak problems with any disk brakes. (but I'm sure it happens) Also, I don't flush and replace brake fluid unless I'm doing a complete or major brake system overhaul. (Typically on really old cars)
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Old 05-25-2016, 11:08 PM   #56
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Not 100% accurate. (There are always exceptions I guess) I have replaced sections of metal brake lines several times over the years due to corrosion leaks. Admittedly this happened on vehicles that were at least 20 years old, but it can and does happen. Most brake leaks I have had to deal with have been the rubber seals on drum brake wheel cylinders.

Maybe I've been lucky but I can't recall having leak problems with any disk brakes. (but I'm sure it happens) Also, I don't flush and replace brake fluid unless I'm doing a complete or major brake system overhaul. (Typically on really old cars)
I forgot about corrosion leaks on old steel brake lines. I haven't seen that problem since I left the snow/salt climates 30 years ago. And from my recollection, the corrosion was from the outside of the line being so rusty (but I could be mistaken here).
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:28 AM   #57
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I forgot about corrosion leaks on old steel brake lines. I haven't seen that problem since I left the snow/salt climates 30 years ago. And from my recollection, the corrosion was from the outside of the line being so rusty (but I could be mistaken here).
The ones I replaced were caked in road "crud" and usually attached or routed at points on the frame that allowed this "crud" to accumulate. No doubt road salt would contribute.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:30 AM   #58
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I just follow the manufacturers recommendations. My old VW Jetta TDI that I gave to my son has over 340k miles on it and I have always changed the oil at 10000 mile intervals.

As far as the brake system, I've never changed the brake fluid. When I do the brakes I just purge the lines at the wheels until it is clear and refill the reservoir as needed. So a little bleed and feed is good enough for me. I have replaced a brake line on my truck because it looked pretty bad. But the truck is 12 years old and everytime I crawl under it I cringe at the rust. Connecticut winters will do that to a vehicle.

Transmission fluid I generally change by just draining the sump and refilling it. The only time I had the dealer do a recommended flush of the tranny I ended up needing a new transmission at 40k miles. It was still under warranty thankfully!

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Old 05-26-2016, 10:23 AM   #59
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Regarding brake fluid -- A number of years ago I found a nice little Acura Integra for my MiL. It was about five years old but had low miles. I took the car out for a test spin after we brought it home and braked hard a few times. The brake pedal started getting mushy after the third or fourth hard stop -- brake fade caused by moisture in the fluid boiling off. I'd hate to be driving in the mountains with the brake system in that condition. Needless to say, I flushed the system with fresh fluid and fade was never a problem again.
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Old 05-26-2016, 11:11 AM   #60
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I Mobil1 synthetic in both the Caddy and Silverado truck. I think it is important to use a corresponding good oil filter at the same time so I usually go with K&N. Since Mobil1 is pricey I look for sales, usually Walmart has good prices to buy it in 4 qt. jugs. Caddy requires 7.5 quarts and the truck is 6 quarts so I usually go at least 9,000 miles between changes. I also service the trans and filter about every 40,000 miles and flush the radiator every 4 years or so.

I have never flushed brake fluid on any car ever owned and I have never known anyone else who has ever done it.
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