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 > Brake fluid change?

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JimK-NY

NY

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Posted: 11/10/19 07:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I checked my 2018 ram manual in detail. There is no recommendation to change brake fluid. There are several warnings. First only fresh fluid from a sealed container should be used. Second, the fluid level should be checked from the outside without opening the reservoir and finally the cap should be secure at all times. The manual also warns about adding fluid unnecessarily.

DFord

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Posted: 11/10/19 08:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It took a bit of searching but I found this on page 45 of the "2004 Scheduled Maintenance Guide" for Ford vehicles. You don't have to do anything but put gas in your RV and drive it but if you want to do the right thing, you'll change that brake fluid as recommended and every other fluid at the recommended intervals.

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Don Ford
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JimK-NY

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Posted: 11/11/19 06:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

But you are unlikely to find that in a newer model's manual. It seems that reservoirs are now made to be sealed. The bodies are made with clear plastic so levels can be checked without removing the cap.

ktmrfs

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Posted: 11/11/19 12:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

brake Fluid change seems to vary signficantly by mfg. Currently two of my cars state "every two years", while my truck is 10 years or 100K miles. Past vehicles have varied from every year on up. Every vehicle I have owned did have a recomended brake fluid change interval either by years or miles or both.


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mapguy

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Posted: 11/12/19 01:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hydraulic Brakes systems are not 100% sealed. They are better sealed today than in the past.

Fluid dynamics dictate that air does enter the master cylinder reservoir every time the pedal is pushed to activate the brakes. When the pedal is released air escapes the master cylinder as the fluid retracts.

This is a simplification of a complex work cycle in a complex engineered system.

To have a 100% sealed system would require the system have a fulltime pump and valve spool system to reverse the fluid flow.

Air entrance into the fluid happens several ways even in a properly maintained system. Cooling in high heat system cycles can entrap air in fluid. One of the many reasons why periodic fluid changes are needed.

Gjac

Milford, CT

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Posted: 11/13/19 06:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DFord wrote:

It took a bit of searching but I found this on page 45 of the "2004 Scheduled Maintenance Guide" for Ford vehicles. You don't have to do anything but put gas in your RV and drive it but if you want to do the right thing, you'll change that brake fluid as recommended and every other fluid at the recommended intervals.

[image]
I think what happens is when we don't understand something completely we look for yes and no answers. Some never change fluids and never have a problem. However there is always a middle ground, where you can check your fluids. The first time I changed the brake fluid after about 30k miles and 8 years it was black and I was going to Alaska so I changed it. I felt better descending steep hills with fresh fluid. The transmission fluid at 30k miles was dark and had a lot of chips and debris in it when I drained and replaced all the fluid. Next time at 60 k there were less chips at 90k there were still some debris. If I saw no chips or debris(clutch material) I would have extended the interval. Now if I stayed on the east coast and never climbed mountains out west maybe I would not have had to change it as frequently as I did. Some people change hoses and belts every 5 years I check mine for cracks and leaks every year and have only replaced 2 belts that were cracked so for, hoses are all original. Life and travel all have some elements of risk and some of us are more conservative than others but there is always a middle ground.

babock

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Posted: 12/08/19 11:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I change my brake fluid in all my vehicles every 2 or3 years. On my Lexus, I did it every 2 since the master cylinder/ABS unit was over $1000 And it was known that changing fluid increases its life.

It's cheap and easy.

Just draining the master cylinder and putting new fluid in it is kinda ridiculous. It's not the fluid that is going to be causing corrosion in your system.

otrfun

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Posted: 12/09/19 09:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

babock wrote:

I change my brake fluid in all my vehicles every 2 or3 years. On my Lexus, I did it every 2 since the master cylinder/ABS unit was over $1000 And it was known that changing fluid increases its life.

It's cheap and easy.

Just draining the master cylinder and putting new fluid in it is kinda ridiculous. It's not the fluid that is going to be causing corrosion in your system.
If the brake fluid (along with the water, moisture, and contaminants that are emulsified within the brake fluid) doesn't cause the corrosion, then what does cause the corrosion? How do you remove it? What's the point of changing the brake fluid in the first place?

Most would agree a total brake bleed/flush is the most effective maintenance approach. However, to say anything short of a total brake bleed/flush is "ridiculous", well, that sounds like someone who may have the luxury of excess time and/or money on their hands. For the rest of us, I think common sense says maintenance doesn't have to be all or nothing to be effective.

* This post was edited 12/09/19 11:22am by otrfun *

otrfun

Desert SW

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Posted: 12/09/19 11:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gjac wrote:

. . . there is always a middle ground . . . Life and travel all have some elements of risk and some of us are more conservative than others but there is always a middle ground.
^^Agree.

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