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Hello - apologies if this has been posted a million times and will delete if another thread exists.

I have a 2013 T&C with 66k. Runs and drives great. Brake fluid is as black as your hat and is original factory fill. Was thinking about flushing it to the nipples, but I believe it's a lifetime fluid. Is it worth the bother? I have a Nissan Altima 2016 with 34k on it and I got it flushed at the dealer today as was recommended in Nissan service schedule. Any idea why Chrysler believe they can recommend not changing it in the vehicles?

Thanks folks.
 

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My experience is that if it's that dark, you should change it, but that was on my 1986 Dodge Caravan LE. The brake fluid was so bad that I had no brakes.
 

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I have never seen black brake fluid and I don't change mine very often, just when I replace calipers. That's just fluid replacement per line, not an overall bleed.

Better check the light when you are looking at the brake fluid. :)

Another Thread on this: Brake Fuild - Time to change?

From Why Change Brake Fluid
A number of import car makers do recommend brake fluid changes for preventive maintenance at specific time/mileage intervals:
Acura: 36 months
Audi: 24 months
BMW: 24 months, or when indicated by Service Inspection Indicator
Honda: 36 months
Jaguar: 24 months all models except 2009 XF (36 months)
Land Rover: 36 months
Lexus: 36 months or 30,000 miles, which ever comes first
Mercedes-Benz: 24 months
MINI 24 months
Saab: 48 months (all models except 9-7X)
Smart: 24 months or 20,000 miles, which ever comes first
Subaru: 30 months or 30,000 miles (normal service) or 15 months/15,000 miles (severe service)
Suzuki: 24 months or 30,000 miles, which ever comes first (Forenza & Reno), 60 months or 60,000 miles (Grand Vitara and SX4)
Volkswagen: 24 months (New Beetle, City Gold, City Jetta), 36 months (all other models except Routan)
Volvo: 24 months or 37,000 miles (Normal), or 12 months (severe service)
Source for fluid change recommendations: Vehicle Manufacturer service information & owners manuals
 

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bigbadbill, I change the brake fluid around 62k miles on my 2014 T&C. Sucked out most of the fluid from the reservoir and refilled with new fluid. Attache a clear rubber hose to each brake bleeder. Open bleeder screw. Drain the fluid until clear. DO NOT let the reservoir get to low. Danny
 

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Brake fluid is not a lifetime fluid, it should be changed periodically as it absorbs moisture which leads to rust and that reduces the life of the system. Sites on google recommend ~30K miles, but I change mine about every 60K miles or so now, and if i see it getting slightly dirty I will change it right away. It's not a bad idea to flush the brakes, dark fluid is a result of seals/hoses getting worn and as a result it stays in the fluid, hence the fluid going dark. With brake fluid, one thing to watch out for is make sure the cap is closed well and tight to prevent moisture and other debris from entering the fluid itself. Moisture will make rust in the system, which does not help the system last longer and allows seals and such to wear out faster by adding more particles into the fluid. Just remember that all the darkness are particles in there that rub those seals and hoses which helps them wear out a lot faster!
-It's slightly worrying that your brake fluid is black, maybe they used some cheap seals or something. My 09 GCV has 100K miles and it had clear fluid at 80K miles when i did the flush. Only time i ever saw black fluid was on an 90's ford truck which never had it's fluid changed, and that stuff caused the system to fail but it had chucks i could visually see.
-I would recommend you to suck out as much fluid as you can from the master cylinder, then refill the reservoir with brand new dot-3 brake fluid (I think it's dot 3 but check owners manual)
Then I would recommend flushing the brakes on each wheel until clear fluid comes out. It's helpful to have a helper, that way no clear tube is needed and makes it faster and easier.

-I checked my owners manual and I found no brake fluid flush interval, however, it does mention "Inspect brake linings" every 20K kilometers or 12K miles, and part of that would be check the fluid state and fluid level. I'm not sure what qualifies to replace the brake fluid but if it's dark it's a good idea.
-The "Flush procedure for all 4 brakes is the same as bleeding the brakes, except you aren't removing bubbles from the system but rather all the old fluid.
-As mentioned above, keep refilling the master cylinder as you flush the brakes because you do not want air bubbles in your system.
 

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I'd flush it. Brake fluid is hygroscopic--it attracts water. Water in the brake system promotes corrosion of brake lines and other brake system components. If the brake fluid looks nasty, then it's likely water got in there along with whatever is making it look nasty. Use the fluid type in the owner's manual. And brake fluid itself is corrosive...it'll eat car paint, your hands, etc. So study the label.

The manufacturer doesn't really care what happens after the warranty period. And most dealers and their service shops, where their "advisors" are on commission, sure don't. That's their design period. But if you do the maintenance, it should last far beyond the warranty period.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks guys - will go ahead and change myself on the weekend. DOT 3 is stated on the cap label. I'll let you know how I get on.
 

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I just read my owners manual and there is no mention of changing brake fluid.
I'm 75 yrs old and been driving since 1960 and never flushed brake fluid in any vehicle I have owned.
The brake system is sealed and can't get water into it unless there is a rupture/failure or you remove the master cylinder top.
 

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The fluid will go bad though. I had no idea until a few years ago when I took my van to a neighbor to have the brakes looked at because they all but stopped working.

In retrospect I wonder if that was what was wrong with my previous Brown Ford van and my previous white Ford van, both had very poor stopping power. The white van was especially bad. Both vans had new brakes all the way around and no signs of leakage. Both vans were more than twenty years old.
 

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I'm 75 yrs old and been driving since 1960 and never flushed brake fluid in any vehicle I have owned.
The brake system is sealed and can't get water into it unless there is a rupture/failure or you remove the master cylinder top.
Yes it can and it will.

Some fluids absorb more water than others.

Age doesn't make you wiser.

Sorry, I couldn't help. 🤣

Something to read:

 

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I just read my owners manual and there is no mention of changing brake fluid.
I'm 75 yrs old and been driving since 1960 and never flushed brake fluid in any vehicle I have owned.
The brake system is sealed and can't get water into it unless there is a rupture/failure or you remove the master cylinder top.
Good points. I guess you aren't going to change now. :)

The Master Cylinder does have a cap on it and it's basically a closed system except there is an air space. The concern with moisture was apparently with the rubber hoses allowing some moisture in.

Chrysler must know something. They did manufacture the vehicle and replacing brake fluid could easily be on their Maintenance Schedule but .............. it isn't. They are more concerned about the cabin air filter than the brake fluid.

Ford apparently changed from recommended intervals to nothing in their Maintenance Schedule.
Ford, for a time, recommended fresh fluid every 36,000 miles or three years, and to replace the fluid each time the brake pads are changed. Currently, however, Ford specifies no specific time or mileage recommendation for changing the brake fluid.
General Motors has a reason for not changing brake fluid at regular intervals:
A General Motors spokesman said Delco Supreme 11 DOT 3 brake fluid contains additives than many other brake fluids do not, so it is essentially a lifetime fluid. Starting in 1993, GM began using a new type of rubber brake hose with an EPM lining and outer jacketing that reduces moisture penetration by 50%. So GM does not consider fluid contamination to be a significant problem.
You are not alone but the naysayers will be in full bloom. :) Duck the arrows. From my point of view, a caliper replacement is an opportunity to replace fluid for that line. If a caliper doesn't fail, then the brake fluid must be in good shape. With older technology, i.e. wheel cylinders, that seemed to last forever without failure, perhaps planned fluid changes made sense.

From a scientific perspective, brake fluid change intervals varying from 24 months, 36 months, 48 months and even 60 months, lead one to believe that it's all nebulous.
 

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A clear tube is helpful to see when the new brake fluid coming out. It only takes one person to do this job. Open the brake bleeder screw and keep the reservoir full. Best when the temperature is warm. Danny
 

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A clear tube is helpful to see when the new brake fluid coming out. It only takes one person to do this job. Open the brake bleeder screw and keep the reservoir full. Best when the temperature is warm. Danny

It doesn't work as good as advertised.

When releasing the brake pedal, air is sucked in through the bleeder threads.

Better to get a helper.
 

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A clear tube is helpful to see when the new brake fluid coming out. It only takes one person to do this job. Open the brake bleeder screw and keep the reservoir full. Best when the temperature is warm. Danny
That's just a gravity bleed I believe. It works, but slow.

Put a board between the brake pedal and the seat, pushing the brake pedal down. Then crack the bleeder and retighten. Once the air bubbles stop, you should be okay.
 

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When I exchange the brake fluid it was about 80 deg.f. Open the bleeder screw and let gravity do its job. Didn't need to push the brake peddle. Started at right rear, left rear, right front, left front. Takes about an hour.
 
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