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Topping brake fluid vs flushing it

SteveBrickNJ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I stopped at Mr. Tire before arriving here at the Honda Dealership. I was told that if I have never done anything with the rear brakes it is certainly likely at 61,000 miles today new pads will be suggested. Assuming that takes place, should I also 1) Have the brake fluid topped? or pay more and have it flushed/ replaced?
20220917_094202.jpg
 

SteveBrickNJ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
My 2016 Honda Accord does NOT have anti lock brakes. It seems I could request to top the brake fluid. Here us something I found online...
20220917_095140.jpg
 

SteveBrickNJ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Since I posted my question I was told...they refuse to top it.
They only flush.
Also told it is not needed today.
Needed next time...in another 6,000 miles
I might go somewhere else....get the same service but for less.
 

SteveBrickNJ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Yes you have ABS antilock brakes.

Yes, I checked. You are correct. This is my wife's car. I drive a Mazda CX-9. I feel the Mazda's brakes are better than the Honda....yet I was wrong when I said the Honda does not have ABS....it DOES have it. Thanks for setting me straight.
 
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Lilofan

Well-Known Member
Since I posted my question I was told...they refuse to top it.
They only flush.
Also told it is not needed today.
Needed next time...in another 6,000 miles
I might go somewhere else....get the same service but for less.
Dealer will put Honda factory fluids. Be careful if you go independent mechanic. Maybe ask them to use Honda fluids or ask to see what they are using. Sometimes it is poor quality fluids and not exact spec recommended by Honda. There is a reason why some charge less.
 

Santa Racoon 77

Bonjour.
Premium Member
Dealer will put Honda factory fluids. Be careful if you go independent mechanic. Maybe ask them to use Honda fluids or ask to see what they are using. Sometimes it is poor quality fluids and not exact spec recommended by Honda. There is a reason why some charge less.
Just because it doesn't say Honda on the bottle doesn't make it an inferior grade fluid. Just makes it cheaper because you aren't paying for the logo.
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
Just because it doesn't say Honda on the bottle doesn't make it an inferior grade fluid. Just makes it cheaper because you aren't paying for the logo.
I’d be more aware of what spec fluid the independent uses. Use the wrong one and one is going to have issues. Some car makes even state on their book manuals recommending using dealer fluids only.
 

SteveBrickNJ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I trust a Joe blow mechanic at an independent to put in inferior oils at the wrong spec fluids which has happened to others in my area? No thanks.
Once the 6,000 miles beyond today take place...that will take quite awhile....I will see if this Honda Dealership has another coupon. If so, I will just use them. If no coupon, I have a service manager at Mr. Tire that I have known for years
He will make sure everything is to spec or he will tell me to go to the dealership. I trust him to advise me properly.
 

SteveBrickNJ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So I just want to say that I appreciate the 2 men who have posted multiple times to help me. It IS a COMFORT to me to have people to be my sounding board on car maintenance topics. Thanks!😎
 

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
Once the 6,000 miles beyond today take place...that will take quite awhile....I will see if this Honda Dealership has another coupon. If so, I will just use them. If no coupon, I have a service manager at Mr. Tire that I have known for years
He will make sure everything is to spec or he will tell me to go to the dealership. I trust him to advise me properly.
I’ve asked since I am a regular customer in service and sales at the dealer for 10% off my service bill even for parts. They know me and give it to me the discount. Saving money any which way I can.
 

Smiley/OCD

Well-Known Member
I’d be more aware of what spec fluid the independent uses. Use the wrong one and one is going to have issues. Some car makes even state on their book manuals recommending using dealer fluids only.
Of course they recommend using their own fluids…they also recommend their own motor oil…they want you to spend 20 bucks a quart. Use a good garage/mechanic NOT a chain like Mr.Tire, Pep Boys, Firestone etc. and you won’t have any problems.
One word of advice…when you replace the pads/shoes, you should also replace the rotors/drums too. Because of the metals used in them, they don’t respond well to cutting and new pads with old rotors = pulsating pedal. My ‘03 Suburban with 402k miles had the fluid changed only ONCE pre pandemic ONLY because a brake line had to be changed. Brake fluid (contrary to what the chains tell you) usually never has to be changed, just topped off.
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
Of course they recommend using their own fluids…they also recommend their own motor oil…they want you to spend 20 bucks a quart. Use a good garage/mechanic NOT a chain like Mr.Tire, Pep Boys, Firestone etc. and you won’t have any problems.
One word of advice…when you replace the pads/shoes, you should also replace the rotors/drums too. Because of the metals used in them, they don’t respond well to cutting and new pads with old rotors = pulsating pedal. My ‘03 Suburban with 402k miles had the fluid changed only ONCE pre pandemic ONLY because a brake line had to be changed. Brake fluid (contrary to what the chains tell you) usually never has to be changed, just topped off.
I was with your up until the last bit. Brake fluid is glycol based and it is hygroscopic so it pulls water out of the atmosphere. Each time you press the brake pedal a tiny bit of fluid is exposed to the air, the system breathes to prevent unwanted pressure buildup. This exposure allows the water in the air to be captured in the fluid. Water is heavier than glycol so it settles to the lowest parts of the system.
You suburban rotted under the driver's door area? Common and often the rot starts inside the lines. A full fluid flush not a top off will remove the water from the system slowing corrosion. The other effect of water is it boils at 212F and brake fluid boils at 400F, brake temp can exceed 212F and if that happens with water in the fluid your brakes go bye bye.
Get the fluid changed out every 3 years or 50K whichever comes first. DOT 4 fluid is the only requirement
 
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Smiley/OCD

Well-Known Member
I agree, brake fluid is hygroscopic and absorbs water but if the system has no leaks, and the master cylinder fill cap is kept clean and tight, there really is no reason to flush the fluid. Like I said, I had about 350k miles before the line failed. If you as an automobile owner feels better changing it, go for it. I change my tranny fluid religiously every 50k whether it’s brown or burnt looking or not. My truck doesn’t owe me ANYTHING. I bought it brand new for $36,100…now a new one is 60k stripped. I’ll drive it and duct tape it together until it falls apart like the blues mobile outside the Richard Daley building in Chicago…lol
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
I agree, brake fluid is hygroscopic and absorbs water but if the system has no leaks, and the master cylinder fill cap is kept clean and tight, there really is no reason to flush the fluid. Like I said, I had about 350k miles before the line failed. If you as an automobile owner feels better changing it, go for it. I change my tranny fluid religiously every 50k whether it’s brown or burnt looking or not. My truck doesn’t owe me ANYTHING. I bought it brand new for $36,100…now a new one is 60k stripped. I’ll drive it and duct tape it together until it falls apart like the blues mobile outside the Richard Daley building in Chicago…lol
The cap is vented to the atmosphere......
This is not a sealed system......
 

John park hopper

Well-Known Member
I have 170,000 miles on my Dodge Dakota truck first brake job-- just did the brakes replaced front rotors and pads, rear drum replaced drums and break shoes and both leaking wheel cylinders. Up until now I never replace break fluid just topped it off. Since I had leaking rear cylinders I did a flush. Rear breaks wear less than front---personally I would ask how much wear is there on the rear pads.my 2 cents
 

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