Brake fluid change interval car vs motorcycle

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Project84, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto aka: trailer Rails Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    27,043
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    FYI: braided lines are still rubber, just with a nice steel braid overtop to keep them from being able to expand under pressure.
    #41
  2. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,625
    Location:
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.

    Not really....:

    https://www.essexparts.com/brake-lines
    #42
    JCool likes this.
  3. alexw

    alexw n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    The master cylinder has to breathe in air to allow for pad wear.
    Because pad wear lowers the fluid level.
    This is one way that water enters the system (humidity)
    Edit: already said.
    #43
  4. jb882

    jb882 13HP of fury.

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2014
    Oddometer:
    952
    Location:
    Peoples republic of Taxachusetts
    i do a full flush on my 4 wheeled vehicles any time i service the brakes. I just did fronts and rears and a full flush on the truck at 50k on the odometer and a little under 3 years old need to do the fronts on the wifes Santa Fe real soon. I also do my boat trailer annually as well as the bikes.

    I did the same with my old 05 Silverado and it could be the reason i never changed the brake lines. The 99-07 Silverado's were notorious for rotted brake lines and mine never failed, still have not. Truck has over 200k on it now and my nephew still drives it. Roads get salted here pretty heavy in the winter too.

    I have this power bleeder from motive products that makes the job really easy. It came with an adapter to fit my GM truck and i bought adapters for my wifes Hyundai, my Brembo caps on the Ducati and my trailer. I'm into the thing for a little over $100 with all the adapters so its not cheap but the time and aggravation it has saved me over the 5 years i have had it make it worth it, especially for the trailer and the Ducati which is a real PITA to get a good bleed on the rear doing it the old fashioned way. I just wish they had a adapter for the older Japanese style square top masters i have on our Yamaha's.
    [​IMG]
    #44
  5. Project84

    Project84 I can haz adventure?

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5,201
    Location:
    Florence Y'all, KY
    I own and use this one:
    https://www.harborfreight.com/pneumatic-brake-fluid-bleeder-61912.html
    [​IMG]

    Only hiccup is the rubber part on the end of the hose pushes down over the bleeders, when you crack the bleeders open and use the air gun to effectively vacuum out the old fluid, the bleeders on calipers tend to suck air around their threads rather than pull fluid. Easily remedied by smearing RTV around the base of the bleeders.

    Once a car is in the air I can change brake fluid in 15 minutes on all 4 corners. Bikes take maybe 5 min.
    #45
  6. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,625
    Location:
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
    I wonder how m
    Yes and moisture/water is often found between the MC covers and rubber gasket.

    Clean gasket and "red rubber grease" on it+ all them rubber bits in contact with brake fluid and/or moisture when rebuilding brake systems.

    And clean all the residual brake fluid left around bleeders and such?Hygroscopic so attracts moisture.Causes corrosion.
    #46
  7. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,446
    Location:
    central USA
    There are differences in the additives in brakefluids. GM supreme always seemed extra good for corrosion resistance. I will.not use house brands.
    #47
  8. concours

    concours WFO for 47 years

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,934
    Location:
    Kensington, NH USA
    Nope. There is s flexible rubber seal in the cap specially designed to travel the ENTIRE VOLUME of the master cylinder, as the pads wear.
    #48
    Carlos M, JCool and Project84 like this.
  9. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,625
    Location:
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
    Is that the greenish stuff? All flushed out of my car.Replaced with leftovers from the bike yearly flushes.

    Switched the bike from too often recommended on forums regular Dot4 to Super Dot 4 (Dot 4 LV).Noticed the ABS engagement is smoother now.

    Good specs Super DOT4 is the Bosch brand.Available at most Autoparts in the US.$13.00/Liter at Advance Auto Parts???

    Or Pentosin? Lordco in western Canada usually stocks it.
    #49
  10. C Squared

    C Squared Now with TURBO! Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,466
    Location:
    FDL WI.
    Love the opinions. I teach this stuff every day. I have a lot of training. The leave it alone and replace parts opinion is humorous.
    Bad brakes kill you. worn out or??? brakes cost $$$ you didn't need to spend. Take care of your stuff people.
    Over 70% of the brakes (on cars) that we service as an inspection in my shop have issues that should be dealt with and the "customer" doesn't have a complaint. Most cars brakes could last at least twice as long as they do if serviced properly.
    #50
    concours likes this.
  11. concours

    concours WFO for 47 years

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,934
    Location:
    Kensington, NH USA
    Let's not forget how 75% of the motorists I observe accelerate, steer, and STOP as if they are ANGRY at their transmission, fuel tank, tires & BRAKES!
    #51
    WYO George likes this.
  12. aldend123

    aldend123 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    5,082
    Location:
    Bristol County MA
    There's a big difference between using them until the rotor's become two pieces with the piston is serving double duty as a brake pad, and just doing the brake fluid by the 'its been a while' interval. I'm not saying that's a good philosophy. But don't think it's as dramatic as you're trying to suggest either.
    [​IMG]
    #52
  13. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    8,419
    Location:
    Concord, CA
    For those with a clear/translucent reservoir, it's a constant reminder that the fluid has turned dark.
    Some of my bikes have just spring clamps holding the rubber hose to the reservoir above the master. Others are one piece or use nice clamps.
    All of them have tiny little rubber seals in the caliper that will ingest dirt, water, and other crap as the piston slides in and out.

    Braided lines or not, sealed aluminum master/reservoir or plastic and hose clamps seems to not make a ton of difference.
    I use a speedbleeder IV bag and don't even bother with the speedbleeders anymore. the fluid in the bag prevents air from returning if you just get the air out.

    Takes 2, maybe 3 minutes to service each caliper if you go real slow and can't remember if it's a 6, 8 to 10mm nut on the bleeder.
    I change the fluid every other oil change. It's cheap and I have to toss the bottle anyhow since even storing inside 2 ziplocks and it still gets moisture after a year or so.
    Why is 5.1 so hard to find? With the much higher boiling temps, you would think it would be a standard by now.

    my problem is that I've got a pile of used fluid and apparently, I'm not to pour it in the motor oil like I've done my whole life. Oil was oil right?

    So now I've got 24 tires, 15 gallons of oil, 2 quarts of brake fluid and a bunch of oily rags to dispose of. Soon I'll be a superfund site!
    Oh an dozens of partial cans of house paint, several vehicle paint, etc.

    They make it so hard to get rid of out here.

    Anyhow, on a car, it's a pain in the ass to do it solo between wedging something on the pedal, keeping the master full and getting to the wheels.
    Trying to do it without a vacuum bleeder or speedbleeder/check valve is not worth it. My wife has a Honda minivan and it eats brakes.
    She also dives as @concours mentioned... pretty much stoplight racing and slamming on the brakes because that light that was 2 blocks ahead is still red when she gets close.
    There is no coasting time, either accelerating or braking. :lol3

    Oh, and I had the distinct pleasure of replacing original fluid recently in an 04 bike that had sat outside a long time. It reminded me of what happens when you mix baileys with Bacardi 151.
    That took a lot of cleaning but not a drop of corrosion except the sight glass had turned opaque. Even the pistons were in good shape.

    As to cars seeing 50x more rain and such... I don't buy that argument. Lots of us ride year round and don't let a little rain or powdered rain slow us down. A lot of powdered rain, sure... but it only snows in a relatively small portion of the world.

    Of course, I'm also in a temperate and dry climate, so maybe I could get away with more. When I see a bike with orange fluid in the master, I get twitchy.
    Saw a nice bike listed here for sale... am interested but it's a higher maintenance bike and says meticulously maintained, yet there is the orange fluid staring at me in the pictures.
    I just can't do it.

    Change the fluid man! It's 10 minutes and $6.
    #53
  14. Yamarocket630

    Yamarocket630 Honey Badger

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,438
    Location:
    Pleasant View, TN
    I have boiled brake fluid on a single disk EX500 after attempting to chase down a buddy on a GSXR and then realizing he was slowing and no longer accelerating. Fortunately, the brake went soft just as our speeds matched and we didn't collide.

    I have NEVER boiled brake fluid on a car no matter how old and nasty it was.
    #54
  15. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    8,419
    Location:
    Concord, CA
    You aren't having enough fun in your car then...
    well, I don't have a car anymore so mine was years ago on an old ramcharger with giant wheels and some steep downhill... but yep, boiled and eventually caught the brakes on fire before they completely died.
    #55
  16. Project84

    Project84 I can haz adventure?

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5,201
    Location:
    Florence Y'all, KY
    SCCA Solo-II racing - PS fluid would boil first, then brakes.

    Replaced both with synthetic, no more boiling.
    #56
  17. aldend123

    aldend123 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    5,082
    Location:
    Bristol County MA
    Did the lever become too light, and easy to pull straight to the bar (almost like it needs to be bled), or did the brakes just feel useless? Asking because I have a feeling you overheated the pads, not the fluid.
    #57
  18. Yamarocket630

    Yamarocket630 Honey Badger

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,438
    Location:
    Pleasant View, TN
    The lever lost all "tension" or resistance to being pulled and went straight to the bar. ALL braking action from the front brake ceased at the same time. I have experienced brake pad fade in cars and bikes before. That wasn't it.
    #58
    aldend123 likes this.
  19. Jack90210

    Jack90210 quia ego nominor leo

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    16,409
    Location:
    :jack
    Yes. More often for the daily drivers, in fact, because they live outside and not in a climate-controlled indoor environment.

    And the brake fluid in my '07 LX470 turns brown faster than in any other vehicle I've ever owned.

    I use a pump-up suction device at the bleeder. A little slow but works well.
    #59
  20. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2001
    Oddometer:
    6,396
    Location:
    New Zealand
    You can't tell the condition of brake fluid just by looking at it...well, if it's black with scum floating in it I think it'd be ok to change it. I have a brake fluid tester at work, yesterday had a car in that I'd changed the fluid in 3 years ago, but it looked clear and like new. My tester was off the scale, so did a flush.
    #60