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Old 10-21-2013, 08:44 AM   #1
landoficensnow
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Default 2013 WRX: 35K Maintenance (Brake Flush?)

Hi,

I wanted to know if I should flush my brakes at ~30k per the maintenance schedule. My local guy said it was good for 10 years as long as it was clear--and he wouldn't recommend it. However, in my own research, because I live in the mountains (Vermont), I should change this fluid more regularly.

Any thoughts or opinions?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:08 AM   #2
JonnyV2889
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landoficensnow View Post
Hi,

I wanted to know if I should flush my brakes at ~30k per the maintenance schedule. My local guy said it was good for 10 years as long as it was clear--and he wouldn't recommend it. However, in my own research, because I live in the mountains (Vermont), I should change this fluid more regularly.

Any thoughts or opinions?

Thanks in advance.
If you're doing it yourself, $15 for decent fluid, it's not going to hurt anything. Fluid picks up water over time.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:09 AM   #3
landoficensnow
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Yeah I've got the fluid. It's just whether its worth the $50 to do it in a garage---don't have the equipment to do it unfortunately.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:12 AM   #4
JonnyV2889
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Originally Posted by landoficensnow View Post
Yeah I've got the fluid. It's just whether its worth the $50 to do it in a garage---don't have the equipment to do it unfortunately.
That's up to you and how you drive. It's quick as long as you don't let the reservoir go dry, still probably going to be an hour of labor at a shop. If you just baby the thing it won't be a huge deal.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:25 AM   #5
landoficensnow
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I drive moderately--I live at 1200ft and my driving conditions are very mountainous. That and I'd like to adhere to the maintenance schedule to maintain resale value tc.
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:52 PM   #6
Domain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landoficensnow View Post
Hi,
My local guy said it was good for 10 years as long as it was clear--and he wouldn't recommend it. However, in my own research, because I live in the mountains (Vermont), I should change this fluid more regularly.
10 years on brake fluid? Maybe if the car was never driven.

Subaru's maintenance guidelines call for 3 years/30,000 miles, or 15 months/15,000 miles in high humidity/mountainous areas.

If Subaru's TDS is to be believed, then their fluid manufacturer calls for a 3 year replacement... and the boiling points are on the low end of the DOT4 specs.

Having seen first hand what the factory stuff looks like > 3 years, I would not recommend it
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:01 PM   #7
04swagonwrx
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Honestly I wouldn't worry too much about it. I would just keep checking up on it inspect the lines, fluid, brake pressure if it feels normal I wouldn't worry.
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Old 10-21-2013, 06:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04swagonwrx View Post
Honestly I wouldn't worry too much about it. I would just keep checking up on it inspect the lines, fluid, brake pressure if it feels normal I wouldn't worry.
You are nuts!

Here is a little lesson for everyone on how brake fluid works.

Brake Fluid is hydroscopic. That means that is absorbs moisture from the air over time into the fluid itself. Under normal driving conditions this moisture won't cause issues with braking. It will however rust your brake system from the inside out. That will take quite a bit of time though.

The more important part is that the moisture effectively waters down the brake fluid and lowers the boiling point of the fluid. So when you come down a mountain or have a bunch of panic stops in the winter, the fluid will literally boil in the lines. This will lead to air bubbles in the lines. When you press on your brakes the air bubbles will compress instead of pushing your brake pads against your rotors. This in turn will cause you not to stop. Then you will slam into something hard to help you stop, like a tree or a pole or another car.

So is it worth it to change the fluid every 3/30k? For the $50 or $100 it costs it is well worth it.

At 30k you should also be changing your gear oil and trans fluids if you haven't already done so.

-Mike Paisan


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Old 10-21-2013, 07:18 PM   #9
CRAZYHAWK
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Check the fluid on clear dry days. Open the reservoir and add when low.

Flush the system when changing pads for an axle. This should occur around 60K mi.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:06 AM   #10
landoficensnow
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Gear oil and trans fluids?

Hmmm... I was going to wait till 60k for that. I'm just sticking the Subaru TDS--not at Subaru thought.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landoficensnow View Post
Gear oil and trans fluids?

Hmmm... I was going to wait till 60k for that. I'm just sticking the Subaru TDS--not at Subaru thought.
Well in "severe" conditions it is suggested to be checked every 30k. If you are checking might as well replace and it is inexpensive insurance.

Mike
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:39 AM   #12
bottles
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I'll say this I live in a very Humid place and here we change brake fluid every 30k. I recently revamped my whole brake system on my 2012 WRX (35,498) and I would defiantly say you need to do this. My pads had plenty of life but the fluid had started building dirt in the reservior. Its a black slime, dont risk your safety. The motive brake bleeder is a tool you need to make this easy.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZP Installs View Post
This in turn will cause you not to stop. Then you will slam into something hard to help you stop, like a tree or a pole or another car.

So is it worth it to change the fluid every 3/30k? For the $50 or $100 it costs it is well worth it.
As Mike states, this is a safety item... the cost to replace it is trivial compared to brake failure leading to an accident. If you are worried about resale value, the car is going to be worth a lot less if it is in a collision because the brakes failed

The Data Sheet for the OEM fluid is here:

Subaru Brake Fluid TDS

Looks like some generic document from the manufacturer, as it makes references to Toyota in it, but the sheet is linked to from Subaru's site, and the manufacturer matches the MSDS information for Subaru's part number.

It shows some information regarding water absorption/boiling point/corrosion as Mike was discussing in his post.
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:36 PM   #14
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The reason flushing is recommended at 30K mi. intervals, has more to do with the ABS and stability control.

Brakes have to be applied and released 20 times a second. Contaminated brake fluid would prevent this.
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:58 PM   #15
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Default Food for Thought

Quote:
1. Under normal operating conditions, and without brake system modifications, typical OEM braking systems have been designed to NOT require bleeding for the life of the vehicle unless the system is opened for repair or replacement. If you're just driving around town or on the highway to work, there is really no need to bleed! There are a few European vehicles which do recommend replacement on a semi-regular basis for other reasons though, so be sure to check in your owner's manual or at your service center for your particular application.
From StopTech. These guys are no slouches. Quoted from bottom of page.

Agree that frequent mountain driving may make a difference from 'normal' conditions.

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Old 10-22-2013, 07:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Slimey View Post
From StopTech. These guys are no slouches. Quoted from bottom of page.

Agree that frequent mountain driving may make a difference from 'normal' conditions.

Except that when the manufacturer requires the brake fluid be replaced every 3yr/30k miles I think it is probably not a good idea to listen to stoptech!

-Mike Paisan


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Now we have an Online Catalog where you can purchase Parts! AZPParts.com
Like us on Facebook! | E-mail: sales@azpinstalls.com | 725 Fairfield Ave | Kenilworth, NJ 07033 | 908.248.AZP1 (2971) |AIM: AZP Installs
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:43 AM   #17
Uncle Scotty
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yeah....trusting brake fluid forever???

no ****ing way

i usually do a quickie bleed/fill every year....and a full flush/refill every 3
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:45 PM   #18
landoficensnow
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Thanks for all the responses. Every shop I've called has either flat out refused to do it or been apprehensive given the car is a year old. I finally found one that would do it for $35. Thanks for all the advice everyone.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:10 PM   #19
gpshumway
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$35 doesn't sound like enough to do it properly, unfortunately.

Doing it truly right requires exchanging all the fluid, cycling the ABS pump and then bleeding a second time. It's time consuming even if you have the computer tool to cycle the ABS pump, which most shops don't have.

Most shops who bleed the brakes don't exchange all the fluid, they just bleed a little out of each wheel to ensure there are no bubbles, then top off the reservoir. That's what my local Subaru dealer told me they do, despite my pointing out the service manual procedure. My dad's been fighting his dealer in Northern MN for the same reason trying to get them to fix the squishy pedal in his Outback.

To get them to do it right you have to explicitly ask them to exchange all the fluid and do the bleeding as if they are replacing the ABS unit.

Who knows, maybe you've found a good shop, but for $35 I doubt it. Ask the detailed questions to be sure.
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