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I recently took my wife's Enclave for preventive maintenance and they said the brakes needed flushing. I'm 58 yrs old and I've never heard of having to do this. I've always thought brakes were a closed system and if anything you only had to add a little when your brakes wear. If this IS a thing, then I'm assuming my 04 Jeep needs it also. I thought it was B.S., but then thought I would ask you guys on this forum. What say ye?
 

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Hi Rusty. Brake fluid can absorb water over time so flushing every so often isn't a bad idea. If there's too much water in the fluid and you are stressing your brakes the water can boil and cause loss of braking effectiveness. Synthetic fluid might not be as susceptible to water contamination - IDK.

Tell us about your '04 Jeep.
 

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I have an 04 and about a year ago I replaced the calipers. At that time it made sense to me to flush the system. While I was educating myself with all this I learned that brake fluid absorbs moisture over time. The moisture is what causes wear. To be honest, I have no plans to do another flush in the future. I’m open to change that if someone on here shames me 😀

Your wife’s car may have sensors that don’t like moisture, but my guard would be up as is yours. Consider future warranty implications. Their bringing it up sounds like something on a list.
 

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Synthetic brake fluid has a higher boiling point and that is why they use it for race cars. It does not adsorb water so it is not good for regular use. If you were using synthetic fluid and water got into the system it would not mix but sit and corrode whatever metal pieces it came into contact with.

No one used to flush brake fluid because you would be doing a hydraulic repair like calipers or hoses with what seemed like every other brake repair.

As brakes got better the repairs turned into pads or rotors only. Then the quick lube places started selling flushes of all fluids. The normal repair shops jumped on the bandwagon, if their customers wanted to pay then they wanted the money.

I am a stickler for maintenance but don't change my brake fluid unless I have a problem. If you have a vehicle under warranty then open your owners manual and see what the manufacture recommends.
 

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I just bought a used '07 Nissan Frontier and two years ago an '04 Dodge... one of the first things I did was replace all the fluids, including the brake reservoir/lines flush and bleed. The Nissan I did a couple days ago was the color of iced tea and had suspended particles in it.
Never hurts to have good fluids in your systems.... and it's not really that difficult a process.
 

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Last year I had to replace hard lines on the 1982 CJ-8. When I did, I bought a master cylinder cap that allows me to pressurize the brake system and bleed the brakes by myself (crack the bleeders). That cap works on my TJ and the wifes JK as well. Since it is so easy to bleed brakes now, I flushed the TJ's system before going on a trail run. It was old fluid, but I didn't feel any difference later on the trail.
 
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Synthetic brake fluid has a higher boiling point and that is why they use it for race cars. It does not adsorb water so it is not good for regular use. If you were using synthetic fluid and water got into the system it would not mix but sit and corrode whatever metal pieces it came into contact with.

No one used to flush brake fluid because you would be doing a hydraulic repair like calipers or hoses with what seemed like every other brake repair.

As brakes got better the repairs turned into pads or rotors only. Then the quick lube places started selling flushes of all fluids. The normal repair shops jumped on the bandwagon, if their customers wanted to pay then they wanted the money.

I am a stickler for maintenance but don't change my brake fluid unless I have a problem. If you have a vehicle under warranty then open your owners manual and see what the manufacture recommends.
You meant it does absorb water and is not good for a daily use vehicle.
I bought some when I was going through my brake fiasco, then I read the water absorbtion trait of the stuff.
I ended up just using my Dot 4 stuff.
 

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Yes, Dot3, 4 and 5.1 are hygroscopic, they absorb water which is good because it will remain suspended in the fluid. Dot 5 does not so the water could settle and corrode what it comes into contact with.
But really if you did a flush then the only moisture would be what the air had in it that was trapped in the reservoir after you put the lid on. Even in a moist environment what would that be? A couple drops?
 

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On my 2014 Wrangler Rubicon ABS module went bad and the Jeep dealer changed it out. That was less than 2 years ago. Last week the front end alignment shop told me I needed new brake fluid because it contained moisture.

The shop mechanic said the fluid should still be good if the dealer did the job right. I don't expect the dealer will accept that they are responsible. Anyway this is something I need to deal with. Step one, buy a testing tool and see for myself, two, call the dealer and see what they say, and third, probably have a flush job to do myself.


74901
 

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FYI if you buy a e-tester or use test strips compare them to some new fluid also, just so you know they are accurate.
 
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Wow. Shiver me timbers. I’ve never seen or heard of this tool until this thread.
Me either. When I picked up my Jeep from the shop the desk guy had a print out of the test and the cost to replace the brake fluid, over $100! First thing I said was how did you test it and he said a test tool. When I got home I googled and found a bunch of testing tools and cheap. I figured the shop figured out a way to make some more revenue with little investment using a cheap tool.

So not sure about the legitimacy of the whole thing. I haven't cross checked with my own tool yet and it is still in my cart but will be looking at this in the future.
 

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Last summer I was experiencing poor braking in my 2006 LJR. I pulled a wheel and discovered that the brake pads had been replaced, but installed upside down and backwards (wrong sides). I replaced the pads and decided to flush the fluid. It came out black. Not dark brown, not milky, black. I flushed it until it was clear. Two weeks later it was black again, I assume from junk in the master cylinder. I flushed it again, and it's still clear. BTW, the braking improvement was noticeable and impressive. I have heard good mechanics take both sides of the brake fluid flush discussion. However, all seem to agree that if your fluid is very dark or black, it should be flushed.
 
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