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- Bubba Bubbs
April 11, 2006, 3:51 pm
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2001 Corolla CE (automatic). Denver, CO; city driving, 20K miles/year.
Is there re recommended Power Brake fluid or Power Steering fluid
There is no mention in the official Toyota maintenance guide.
I've asked a very good local independent repair shop that specializes
in Toyotas (Charley's Garage in Boulder, CO), and they say they are
not aware either. Their customers don't get PS or PB drain/refill as
regular maintenance items.
A couple of authorized Toyota dealers in the area told me 30K miles for
power brake fluid change, but I don't trust those guys as they like
to recommend unnecessary service/repairs.
Should I just check the PB and PS fluids, and not worry as long as they
Re: 2001 Corolla - PB, PS fluid change interval?
AFAIK, Toyota does not publish an official recommendation to change power
steering fluid and brake fluid. I believe that the PS fluid in your car is
automatic transmission fluid and does not need to be changed.
On the other hand, brake fluid can absorb water, and water can cause
corrosion in internal brake parts. It is a good idea to flush brake the
brake fluid every so often, I do it every other brake pad replacement, or
about 80,000 miles, or 5 or 6 years.
(correct punctuation to reply)
Re: 2001 Corolla - PB, PS fluid change interval?
On Tue, 11 Apr 2006 17:30:44 -0500, "Ray O"
I follow the same timeline for your brake fluid changes. I embellish
it though with changing the power steering fluid at 100,000 miles and
then every 50,000 afterwards. It may not be needed but it's cheap
insurance in my mind.
Re: Q: 2001 Corolla - PB, PS fluid change interval?
Terminology Alert: There is no special 'power brake fluid' - it's
all regular brake fluid, the power is added by the vacuum booster, the
big drum on the back of the master cylinder. The power booster has a
big rubber and fabric power diaphragm and rubber seals inside, and
there are rubber seals in the brake master cylinder, too.
There are no 'hard and fast' intervals for either, but generally you
do the power steering and the brake fluid every 30K or 60K Major
Service, or 'every few years' if the car is not driven much.
(You're safe.) And there are good reasons why you want to do this,
I'll list the big ones below.
The PS system doesn't generate much dirt, but it's a hydraulic
system and you don't want what dirt has built up to stay in there
forever. And like the transmission, you need the fresh fluid to
replenish the lubricant and seal conditioner qualities, and keep it
from oxidizing and developing varnish - hydraulic fluids do nasty
things when they get old.
The brake fluid in most cars is hygroscopic, meaning it'll absorb
any moisture out of the air whenever exposed. And the reservoir on
the master cylinder has a vent to expose it every time you press the
brake pedal... That water in solution gets down into the steel lines
and the cast iron cylinders and calipers, and rots them out.
DOT-5 Silicone brake fluid will not absorb water, but few cars use
it. If any water does get in it settles to the bottom in droplets
with the same effects, but it's harder to flush out. And to confuse
the issue even more, there's a mineral based DOT-5.1 brake fluid that
will absorb water.
And as an extra added bonus >_< if the water concentration in the
brake fluid gets high enough, and you stress the brakes on a long
steep downhill stretch without downshifting (trailer towing adds even
more stress) you can boil the brake fluid in the lines and have brake
failure. Steam doesn't work real well in a hydraulic system...
(Want to experience what those "Runaway Truck Escape Lanes" with the
big pits full of pea gravel are for? That's how you find out...)
You don't 'change' the brake fluid, you have them do a deep bleeding
with lots of fresh fluid and pump all the old fluid out of the lines.
Another maintenance item that isn't on the list is changing belts
and hoses, because rubber components deteriorate over time and with
exposure to Ozone and contaminants.
Gates says to change the belts and hoses every six years (of course,
they want to sell more belts and hoses) but 10 to 12 years is a more
reasonable interval - or the first time you snap a belt or pop a hose
sooner, you have the mechanic go through and change them all. Heater
hoses and vacuum hoses, too.
Brake system wheel hoses too, they're rubber. And have the brake
system wheel cylinders or calipers rebuilt with fresh rubber seals and
cups at least every 10 years at the next brake job for that axle. And
get a rebuilt master cylinder or power booster at the first hint of
troubles, especially if they're past the 10-year mark.
Changing rubber items on a time or mileage interval (or when they
start looking dry and showing cracking or checking) is always better
than having an unplanned breakdown.
--<< Bruce >>--
Bruce L. Bergman, Woodland Hills (Los Angeles) CA - Desktop
Electrician for Westend Electric - CA726700
5737 Kanan Rd. #359, Agoura CA 91301 (818) 889-9545
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