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Old 11-06-2011, 07:21 PM   #1
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Flush brake lines??

My mechanic has told me I need new rear pads and rotars. Fair enough, i havent changed them in several years.
However he is saying that at the same time he will flush my brake lines.
I looked through the maintenance schedule for my Jeep and it's not even mentioned that this ever needs to be done.
Should I tell the mechanic to just not bother flushing the brake lines? I don't drive in any sort of horrid dusty conditions, no city driving. I think he's just padding the bill.
2005 TJ 4.0 with 75,000 miles

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Old 11-06-2011, 07:30 PM   #2
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All you need is a wrench, bottle of brake fluid, a hose, and a container to drain the fluid into (and a friend, depending on how you do it, gravity drain or pump and bleed).

The service manual on my motorcycle says to flush the brake fluid every two years, or whenever the fluid starts to darken. brake fluid absorbs moisture and I've had 4 brake lines rust out on me on various vehicles.

Its the same as bleeding the brakes, except you siphon the fluid in the master cylinder out first, then refill it with fresh fluid. then bleed each brake until the new fluid starts coming out.

How much is he charging for it? or how much "shop time". more than a half hour or so seeing as he is already there and he is jerking your chain. like I said its no harder than bleeding your brakes, you just need more fluid and to make sure you NEVER LET THE MASTER CYLINDER GO DRY!

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Old 11-07-2011, 05:20 AM   #3
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Correct, flush your brake fluid every two years. Brake fluid absorbs moisture (the technical term for this is hydroscopic) which means it can corrode your brake system. You will also notice a difference in pedal feel with fresh fluid. P.S. My personal policy is never to cheap out on brakes, they are kind of important. Especially on Jeeps, which have pretty crappy brakes to begin with compared to other vehicles.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:38 AM   #4
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You may want to use synthetic brake fluid. It is not prone to absorb moisture. I have two other vehicles that has synthetic fluid and I'm happy with it. Other people say the same thing about synthetic fluid. As previous poster has said, "don't cheap out on something as important as brakes."
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:39 AM   #5
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I have a 1997 wrangler and have had to replace the front (year or two ago) and rear (last month) break lines that had rusted out. Very very expensive. I was told to have the fluid flushed every couple of years to avoid water in the lines and rust.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:57 AM   #6
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You can get a "one-man" brake-bleed kit for under $10 from (I think) Horror Fright. If not them, probably Tractor Supply or Northern Hydraulic would have something similar. Looks kind of flimsy IIRC, but hey, how often will you use it ?

It's a hand-operated pump, some tubing, and a receiver bottle. You still need to be careful not to suck the master cylinder dry, or it's back to the very beginning all over again.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:40 AM   #7
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Like the rest said, it definitely needs to be done at some point, but whether or not you do it yourself is up to you. If you aren't going to be changing your own brakes I'd say let him do it, but make sure you're not getting ripped off. It's not a hard job to do (and neither are the brakes; disc brakes are a 1 banana job if that).
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billybobjoe View Post
Correct, flush your brake fluid every two years. Brake fluid absorbs moisture (the technical term for this is hydroscopic) which means it can corrode your brake system. You will also notice a difference in pedal feel with fresh fluid. P.S. My personal policy is never to cheap out on brakes, they are kind of important. Especially on Jeeps, which have pretty crappy brakes to begin with compared to other vehicles.
Some will disagree due to it being used incorrectly so often by the unknowing, but the correct term for the pedantic among us is hygroscopic.

A hydroscope is a bucket with a glass bottom for peeking at things underwater without getting wet.

The reason it absorbs moisture is to slow down corrosion and keep the water isolated from the components that can corrode or rust.
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Old 11-07-2011, 06:59 PM   #9
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thanks very much for your replies, very enlightening!!

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