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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking in my manual, and don't see a recommended brake fluid flush interval. I know that the fluid is hygroscopic, and needs to be changed. I called the Toyota dealer, and they said that they usually only change it when the replace the pads. That seems like a long time.

How often do you change it?
 

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Oh, about 130K miles and 10 years later....fluid started turning green from the grease contaminating it within the master cylinder. :D

I'll probably start doing it every 50K or 3 years, personally now. Had a 95' T100 goto 75K miles without a change that I sold at 50K to my brother. Got trashed due to external rust to the chassis and brake lines that made it cost ineffective to fix the suspension and brake lines after 15 years.

I've seen people next to never change it and never have an issue on older cars (holding onto them for 7+ years). I'm sure there's some corrosion within the lines, but it's up to the individual and what they're willing to tolerate since I'm guessing corrosion may start after 2 years from the above statements.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok, so far the consensus is between 2 and 3 years, or 50k miles. I am behind the curve a bit, as I am at 45,000mi but the truck is coming up on 6 yrs old.

What about brake fluid. As long as it's DOT 3, right? Does anyone have a favorite, and does it make a difference?
 

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Ok, so far the consensus is between 2 and 3 years, or 50k miles. I am behind the curve a bit, as I am at 45,000mi but the truck is coming up on 6 yrs old.

What about brake fluid. As long as it's DOT 3, right? Does anyone have a favorite, and does it make a difference?
I don't think it's a mileage thing. I just stated 50K because that's typically 3 years for me. More of a time thing and due to the fluid being hydroscopic absorbing water over time.

6 years? Probably time to do the change.

I think DOT 4 is less hydroscopic than DOT3, but don't quote me on that.
 

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I don't think it's a mileage thing. I just stated 50K because that's typically 50K miles for me. More of a time thing and due to the fluid being hydroscopic absorbing water over time.

6 years? Probably time to do the change.

I think DOT 4 is less hydroscopic than DOT3, but don't quote me on that.

I believe DOT 4 just has a higher boiling point...

As stated, absorbs water over time, plus brake lines deteriorate will cause contaminates...

Personally, I just watch to color and check the texture... If it starts turning brown/black, time to change...

Hard braking, towing, etc. also come into factors too...
 

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I got mine done at between 2 and 3 years and will probably stick to that. I was told by 2 different dealerships that just like their tranny fluid, Toyota brake fluid is magical and lasts forever.

They basically refused to do it, and I had to take it to an independent shop to get it taken care of. If the manufacturer says it's good for 10 year or 100K or doesn't give a specific interval for something, Toyota dealerships around me will always try to talk their way out of touching it.
 

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I got mine done at between 2 and 3 years and will probably stick to that. I was told by 2 different dealerships that just like their tranny fluid, Toyota brake fluid is magical and lasts forever.

They basically refused to do it, and I had to take it to an independent shop to get it taken care of. If the manufacturer says it's good for 10 year or 100K or doesn't give a specific interval for something, Toyota dealerships around me will always try to talk their way out of touching it.
They talked their way out of performing maintenance tasks? What do they do all day at the shop then?
 

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I was told brake fluid is good forever and when I mentioned I was curious how much they charge for tranny fluid the guy strongly encouraged me not to bother until 10 years or 100K or whatever the interval is.

They really don't want to do anything but oil and filter changes for the first 80-100K around here. Make sure it's well outside of the factory and any extended warranties before disturbing any of the other fluids.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I find it strange that Toyota doesn't provide an interval for changing brake fluid. It would seem that the only maintenance that is required on brake fluild would be the general checking and topping off fluids.

I agree with a previous post that most of the time, dealers find every way imaginable to get you into their service department as often as possible.....
 

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I agree that it is weird. My Ford and Dodge dealers never had a problem doing anything on a truck that I was willing to pay for. Toyota dealers get wierd about doing certain stuff early.
 

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I've had several vehicles over 200k on the odometer and never have changed brake fluid in any of them. Never have had a brake problem either. I changed the brake fluid in my 84 Ford Ranger, only because I had to replace brake lines so I had no choice while bleeding the brake system afterwards, not to mention the fluid draining out during the line change.
 

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my 95 T-100 with 260K has never had a brake fluid change. Still got the original rear drums and never any brake issues
 

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I get it done every 3 years at a shop, though I've never had brake failure it's pretty inexpensive for preventative work
 

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When I change the brake pads.
 

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The biggest reason to flush out and change the brake fluid every 2-4 years is to get the moisture out as many have said. Moisture in the fluid isn't really bad in itself other than it is more compressible than brake fluid and may cause a slightly spongier pedal. But, the moisture will cause the cast iron caliper piston bores to rust resulting in the pistons freezing so the pads don't retract. The pads rub, heat up, wear out and warp the disks in short order. This was a big problem in the 70's & 80's, not as bad now but still a potential problem. Rust and pitting in the caliper bores also damages the O-rings which can then weep fluid. Rusty drum brake slave cylinders in the rear wheels are more prone to this leaking from pitting and corrosion.

It's cheap insurance. Some manufactures have better corrosion resistant castings than others and as some have reported their vehicles have gone 10+ years with no problems. But without corrosion testing each new models caliper bores, you never know when a new model, with the relentless cost savings changes built in, results in more corrosion prone calipers. Remember the frames!
 

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It's supposed to be a sealed system except for the top of the reservoir, right? So where is this water coming from?
 
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