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Old 08-05-2010, 09:13 PM   #1
Henry H
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Default How often do you change brake and power steering fluids

I RARELY change these two, it doesnt seem that important to change often. How often do you guys change them?

Brake fluid: I only change them if braking starts to get too spongy.

PS fluid: I only top off if it needs it.

I don't think I've ever changed them on my 94 Accord and they've never been a problem. I could never think of what could go horribly wrong if I've never changed them. I don't track my car so its mostly DD with mild spirited-ness.

Any other opinions, consensus?
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Last edited by Henry H; 08-06-2010 at 03:19 AM.
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry H View Post
I RARELY change these two.

Brake fluid: I only change them if braking starts to get too spongy.

PS fluid: I only top off if it needs it.

I don't think I've ever changed them on my 94 Accord and they've never been a problem. I could never think of what could go horribly wrong if I've never changed them. I don't track my car so its mostly DD with mild spirited-ness.

Any other opinions, consensus?
for your subaru...

any dot 3/4 brake fluid will do nicely.....and your car uses dexron ATF as power steering fluid...do NOT put 'power steering fluid' in it!!!!!
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:09 AM   #3
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or something equivalent, yes, it's DIII type
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Old 08-06-2010, 03:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
for your subaru...

any dot 3/4 brake fluid will do nicely.....and your car uses dexron ATF as power steering fluid...do NOT put 'power steering fluid' in it!!!!!
Ha! I'll make my title clearer. I was actually asking about your thoughts on CHANGING frequencies of these fluids. They are pretty much lowest on my list of regular maintenance.
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Old 08-06-2010, 03:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry H View Post
Ha! I'll make my title clearer. I was actually asking about your thoughts on CHANGING frequencies of these fluids. They are pretty much lowest on my list of regular maintenance.
brake fluid - 2-3 year (if used DD, if u push it on the track, u have to flush it more often)

PSF - if we believe subaru, manual says 100k KM
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:24 AM   #6
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In the DD, I change the brake fluid every 4-5 years and the PS fluid around 100K.

In the race car I change the brake fluid every year and the PS fluid at least every 2 years.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:24 AM   #7
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Brand new brake fluid can take on as much as 1-2% water per year once in the brake system.

I read a disturbing statistic that 75% of cars with over 100k miles on the road have the original brake fluid it in.

Anyway, I do my brake fluid every other year and PS ATF every 3-4 years.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:18 PM   #8
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I personally don't see much importance in PS fluid only because I've never heard of damage or failure due to old fluid. Can someone enlighten me on stories or findings?

Brake fluid: I only change if it feels different when brake. I'm guessing that feeling is when my brake fluid starts to boil at the caliper and I am compressing the vapor? A direct consequence of water getting into brake fluid I venture. Come to think of it, I should change my brake fluid more often if I go up and down the mountains. Mountain driving will heat up my fluid pretty quick and I don't need any spongy feeling while braking downhill.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:24 PM   #9
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If you work your PS pump hard (autocross or track days for instance) it can overheat the fluid. Once it's been overheated it's never the same anymore. Similar to brake fluid but not as bad as the steering just gets really heavy.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:43 PM   #10
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That doesn't surprise me those are 2 neglected fluids in autos

Quote:
Originally Posted by 09rexwagon View Post
Brand new brake fluid can take on as much as 1-2% water per year once in the brake system.

I read a disturbing statistic that 75% of cars with over 100k miles on the road have the original brake fluid it in.

Anyway, I do my brake fluid every other year and PS ATF every 3-4 years.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedyHAM View Post
If you work your PS pump hard (autocross or track days for instance) it can overheat the fluid. Once it's been overheated it's never the same anymore. Similar to brake fluid but not as bad as the steering just gets really heavy.
Yep, I've already changed my PS fluid to M1 ATF and my car only has 10k miles on it. I started noticing the steering getting very hard in fast transition elements in autox. I did the drain and fill method about 6 times.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:49 PM   #12
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Brake fluid is every 30k.

PSF I would replace it if it is dirty, usually it takes about 45k or so to get there.
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedyHAM View Post
If you work your PS pump hard (autocross or track days for instance) it can overheat the fluid. Once it's been overheated it's never the same anymore.
which is why Mobil1 syn ATF or Motul ATF is the way to go....much higher resistance to heat
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:17 AM   #14
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I do my brake fluid every 30k, but if by a time basis, I'd say every 2-3 years or so.

Beats me with the power steering fluid. Probably every 60k wouldn't hurt.
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Old 08-17-2010, 07:33 PM   #15
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very interesting. i didnt know my power steering fluid was actually automatic transmission fluid!
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:27 PM   #16
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SOME cars use power steering fluid for PS pump SOME cars use ATF for PS pump. Make sure what's what.
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:38 PM   #17
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Default Frequency of fluid change

You'll get a host of opinons...I generally "over maintain" my cars, changing fluids more often than the "recommended" intervals. I rationalise my regimen this way: he fluids are cheap and easy to replace. What is the harm in having new P/S, P/brake / tranny fluids? None. What;s the harm using contaminated fluids? Can be very costly!

OK...with that long-winded intro, I change my brake fluid each time the brakes are replaced (bleeding them out should be standard protocol, but you'll be surprised how many "brake specialists" will only top off the reservoir).


I change the P/S fluid every 12,000 mi. At the same time I change the air filter.

I change oil every 3,000.

I change coolant every 24,000 and hoses every 48,000. The "extended" versions (100,000+) are fine, but really...the issue isn't the cooling capacity of the fluid (it doesn't change much) the real issue is the buffering capacity. Coolant also needs to neutralize the acids in the system. Basically the cooling system is battery-like since it is composed of mixed metals: usuially an aluminum radiator and a copper heater core, as well as iron in the some engine blocks.

I change drive belt every 60,000. But I noticed that the Imprezza doesn't use a serpentine belt system. That's too bad. It is real nice thing. That also mans that you need to change belts more frequently since there is no tensioner to keep them perfect.







Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry H View Post
I RARELY change these two, it doesnt seem that important to change often. How often do you guys change them?

Brake fluid: I only change them if braking starts to get too spongy.

PS fluid: I only top off if it needs it.

I don't think I've ever changed them on my 94 Accord and they've never been a problem. I could never think of what could go horribly wrong if I've never changed them. I don't track my car so its mostly DD with mild spirited-ness.

Any other opinions, consensus?
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:47 AM   #18
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is there a drain valve somewhere to drain the power steering, or do you pump it out of the reservoir and just pour new fluid in?
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toofast4u View Post
is there a drain valve somewhere to drain the power steering, or do you pump it out of the reservoir and just pour new fluid in?
Some people just do 'drain and fill' (turkey baster it out of the reservoir, fill) and then drive around and repeat 3-4 times.

Some people get under the car and remove the low pressure hose from the steering rack with the tires off the ground and have someone else spin the wheel back and forth to get all of the fluid out...this method requires thorough bleeding afterward.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 09rexwagon View Post
Some people just do 'drain and fill' (turkey baster it out of the reservoir, fill) and then drive around and repeat 3-4 times.

Some people get under the car and remove the low pressure hose from the steering rack with the tires off the ground and have someone else spin the wheel back and forth to get all of the fluid out...this method requires thorough bleeding afterward.

so for the turkey baster method, I just remove as much as the liquid I can then refill with new fluid, then drive around a do it over several times? Is there something I should be worried about when doing the fluid change, like getting air into the system? The dealer is trying to charge me $100 for a power steering fluid change.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:30 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toofast4u View Post
so for the turkey baster method, I just remove as much as the liquid I can then refill with new fluid, then drive around a do it over several times? Is there something I should be worried about when doing the fluid change, like getting air into the system? The dealer is trying to charge me $100 for a power steering fluid change.
If you do the turkey baster method, it is effectively fool proof.....no risk of getting air in the system either (just make sure you refill what you removed). The draw back, obviously, is that you never truely get all the old fluid out but if you do it frequently enough, it's fine.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:46 PM   #22
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I've been looking up PS fluid changes too. I think I'll do that when it starts to get dark...I was helping my brother look at his PS fluid and it looks like a triple pull espresso with heavy cream (he RARELY takes care of his car).

That in itself compels me to flush it. He gets a whirring noise that seems to coincide when the steering wheel turns. I wonder if a thorough flush will help. I'll have him get plenty of ATF.
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:49 PM   #23
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changed clutch fluid at 55k cause i changed the clutch. (its break fluid it counts)

power steering at about 75k cause it was making squeaking sounds which was really just a belt slipping at startup. (i did the ****ty siphon method instead of drain, demo please) but i figured it wasnt really important cause most ps pumps die around the same time whether or not u change the fluid (probably no longer true).

still havent really changed brake fluid, though i did change my rotors and pads and mixed about half new fluid in at like 40k.

just changed rear diff fluid at 75k for the first time

changed tranny fluid at 55k with the clutch.

changed the coolant twice in the last week. for the first time at about 80k (do this sooner )

i changed my belts cause they ripped apart to shreds when i put in my utec.( just coincidentally at the same time probly at like 60-65k)

still have yet to change washer fluid, can anyone tell me how often im supposed to do that?? does this mean my windshield is going to need replacing?

Last edited by ucfchuck; 08-20-2010 at 03:58 PM. Reason: (sp)
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:54 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 09rexwagon View Post
Some people just do 'drain and fill' (turkey baster it out of the reservoir, fill) and then drive around and repeat 3-4 times.
This is what I do.

I change the brake, clutch, and power-steering fluids once every two years. Oil every 3-months, coolant once every 3-years, and the transmission and rear differential oils once a year, but I'm going to move the rear differential OCI to once every two years.
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Old 08-22-2010, 05:46 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
for your subaru...

any dot 3/4 brake fluid will do nicely.....and your car uses dexron ATF as power steering fluid...do NOT put 'power steering fluid' in it!!!!!
Really? I just put Redline power steering fluid in mine. It's sticking really bad and shuttering. But I have nothing to compare it to since this is the first time I've driven it.

What happens if you use power steering fluid?
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