I just went to a mechanic who informed me that my breaking fluid is
contaminated and that I need to change the whole breaking system. this is
what he did :
-he put some of the breaking fluid in a styrofoam cup and visually checked it.
after looking at its color and density... he concluded that it is
contaminated and it is a disaster.
he did not check any of the parts or any cealings in the breaking system.
I think someone (from the mechanics I go to) have topped my breaking fluid
with steering fluid??
any suggestions on what to do or how can I determine the damage level?
Brake fluid that's many years old will be brown so don't let the color
make you change all the brake seals etc. The old brake fluid can easily
be flushed out and new fluid installed for moderate cost.
Get another opinion.
I think you need to find another mechanic... all you need to do is flush the
brake fluid... very common practice and should be done every two years. If
he is trying to trick you into thousands of dollars of repairs... he is a
I guess the question is whether it really is contaminated with
anything to begin with. Do you have any reason to believe anything
other than brake fluid was put into it? As others have pointed out,
if it's just very old brake fluid, it will turn darker over time.
When the guy said the whole braking system needed to be changed, did
you ask him exactly what he meant by that? In defense of the
mechanic, if he good reason to believe it was contaminated, the way
liability works today, I could see where he might want to be overly
cautious regarding recommendations. If someone came in with a system
full of water and God knows what else, and all he said was change the
fluid, I could see someone later having a brake lock up, accident, sue
the guy, etc.
If the brake system is otherwise functioning, OK, I'd just flush it.
How well you need to flush it would depend on whether it was
contaminated with some other material. If it was, then I'd probably
pull the calipers, force the pistons all the way in, to get all the
old crap out. Just trying to use the bleed screw, IMO, is fine for
replacing fluid, but if it was contaminated for sure, then I'd want to
get it all out.
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