Tire pressure and Brake Fluid

Tire Pressure: Should the tire pressure be what is listed in the owner's manual/glove compartment OR should it be what is listed on the tire?

Brake Fluid: Mine, like most cars needs DOT3. The current level is between Min and Max, so seems ok. The technician told me that I needed to replace my brake fluid urgently. The technician said it's "very low". The color is muddy. Should I replace it?
I'm trying to know a little bit more about my car and hopefully this forum can help! :-)
Thanks, Vicky
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How many miles on the car?
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65K and I've had my 60K maintenance.
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On Sun, 28 Jan 2007 15:37:10 -0800, vicky7909 wrote:

65K and the brake fluid is looking muddy.
Do not despair. I did my first brake fluid replacement on my '85 Corolla at 212,000 miles...

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On 28 Jan 2007 14:32:42 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@rediffmail.com wrote:

What's listed in the manual/glove box is what you can use. I would increase it by about 5 psi from that number (usually comes down to 35psi) to get more miles out of the tires.

Yes, if it's muddy looking I would do it. This is something that is neglected by a lot of people. Will save your abs system if done on time.

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The tire pressure listed on the tire is the maximum that the tire will hold safely. The tire pressure listed in the owner's manual/door frame/glove compartment is the automaker's recommendation. The automaker's recommendation is usually geared towards a combination of ride comfort and handling. I always recommend that people inflate their tires 4 or 5 PSI over the automaker's recommendation to improve tire tread life and fuel economy, at the expense of a slightly harsher ride.

There is no automaker's recommended brake fluid replacement interval, however, brake fluid absorbs water over time, and the water can corrode internal brake parts and diminish the fluid's ability to dissipate heat. I recommend replacing the brake fluid every over brake lining replacement, or about 80,000 or 90,000 miles. The correct brake fluid level is somewhere between the max and min marks on the brake fluid reservoir. The color of the fluid should be like cooking oil. If it appears to be black, then it should be replaced, but it is not an emergency thing.
If you have 4 jack stands and an 8 mm open end wrench, then replacing brake fluid is a relatively easy task. You can re-post here for instructions if you would like to save some money and do it yourself.
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It's sort of muddy, or orange red or something similar. But certainly not as yellow as cooking oil. And definitely not black.
No jack-stands and no wrench. Since brake fluid - type DOT3 - is corrosive, I'll let the professionals handle that. But it's good to know that this is not immediate. I'll get it done at the 67,500 mile maintenance, which is not too far out in the future.
Thanks!
On Jan 28, 6:29 pm, "Ray O" <rokigawaATtristarassociatesDOTcom> wrote:
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Brake fluid is not the color of cooking oil, just the consistency of cooking oil. It is definitely darker (unless you are talking about some dark olive oils or toasted sesame oil).
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At 65,000 miles, there is no hurry to replace the brake fluid. It certainly would not hurt to replace it but it also would not hurt to wait until the car has around 90,000 miles or 4 years old, whichever comes first. You will probably need a brake job in the next 15,000 to 20,000 miles, you can have the fluid replaced at that time.
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On 28 Jan 2007 16:47:21 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@rediffmail.com wrote:

Yeah, it's got some "unidentified cruft" floating around in it... ;-)

Brake fluid is not "Corrosive" per se, but it does make an excellent paint remover if you spill any on the car paint - you want to get it off NOW with paint thinner or brake cleaner.
And watch your terminology when you take the car in - if you ask for a "Brake System Flush" the only thing that gets cleaned out thoroughly is your wallet... That's the newest "Buzzword Bingo" to make added profits with a "Fancy Impressive Looking Machine" that's just a stupid power bleeder.
You only need a "Deep Bleeding" with fresh brake fluid, until it runs clear at each wheel - farthest one out first.
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What is listed on the tire is a maximum allowable pressure -- not the pressure that is correct for YOUR application. The pressure for a 3,000 pound micro is surely not the same as that needed for a 7,000 pound beast.
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snipped-for-privacy@rediffmail.com wrote:

I don't know, but I change mine every two years, and it turns very dark in less than a year because of water absorption, even though I live in Phoenix rather than in a humid climate. If I had ABS I'd change it every 1-2 years because some ABS parts are very expensive.
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snipped-for-privacy@rediffmail.com wrote:

From http://www.michelinman.com/care/tip1.html :
Recommended Pressure Always inflate your tires to the recommended pressure listed by your vehicle's manufacturer. This information can be found in the owner's manual and often on a placard located in the vehicle's door jamb, inside the fuel hatch, or on the glove compartment door.
From http://www.goodyeartires.com/faqs/Inflation.html :
How much air should I put in my tires? Proper inflation is the single most important part of tire care. The inflation pressure on the side of the tire is the MAXIMUM operating pressure. It is not necessarily the right inflation for your vehicle. Always use the inflation recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. You can find it in your owner's manual, posted on the edge of the driver's door, on a door post or on the inside of the glovebox door. Always check inflation when tires are COLD: when the vehicle has been driven less than a mile or one hour or more after driving. Use a good quality tire gauge. Note: It's natural for radial tires to have a slight bulge in the sidewall at their proper inflation pressure. Check or adjust inflation every few weeks, before any long trip or if traveling with a heavy load. And don't forget to check the spare. Your Goodyear retailer can answer any questions you may have about tire inflation.
From http://www.tiresafety.com/maint/maint_ipressure.asp (this is a site linked from Firestone's home page):
Inflation Pressure Proper inflation pressure is essential for achieving maximum performance and mileage. Improper tire inflation pressure can cause severe internal tire damage, which can lead to sudden tire failure and resulting in serious personal injury or death.Improper inflation pressure may result in rapid or irregular wear. Pressures should always be checked when the tires are cold and at least monthly. Under normal tire operation, approximately 1psi of tire pressure will escape every month. Also, for every 10 degrees F change in ambient temperature, tire pressure will change by approximately 1psi.
Vehicle manufacturers list recommended tire pressures for original vehicle tires in the owner's manual or on a placard on the end of the driver's side door or in the glove box.
For continuous high speed driving, tire pressures should be increased by 3 to 5psi above the normal cold inflation recommended. However, for passenger tires, never exceed the maximum inflation pressure molded on the sidewall. The inflation pressure for light truck tires may exceed that molded on the tire by 10psi. Any recommended front to rear pressure differential should be maintained.
From http://www.conti-online.com/generator/www/us/en/continental/automobile/themes/contiacademy/drivers_ed/nitrogen.pdf
Tires are designed and built to provide many miles of excellent service but must be maintained properly. The key element of proper tire maintenance is maintaining the recommended tire inflation pressure. The proper tire inflation pressure is recommended by the vehicle manufacturer and can be found on the vehicle's tire placard or in the vehicle owner's manual. Continental Tire recommends that the consumer check his/her tire inflation pressure at regular intervals of at least once per month and before every long trip or twice per month depending on local regulations, customs, or conditions.
From http://www.coopertires.com/Flash/index.aspx :
It's important to have the proper air pressure in your tires, as underinflation can lead to tire failure. The "right amount" of air for your tires is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and is shown on the vehicle door edge, door post, glove box door, or fuel door. It is also listed in the owner's manual.

You did not say how old your vehicle is. Toyota (like many other manufacturers selling vehicles in the US) does not recommend routine brake fluid replacement. I've seen numerous articles that indicate this is not required. However, I usually have it done every three years or so. As long as the brake system is properly maintained the brake fluid has only minimal exposure to water and should be OK for many years. However, some water will eventually enter the system and this will lower the boiling point of the brake fluid and promote corrosion in the system. I think it is worth having the fluid changed out to minimize the amount of water present. On the other hand, I know plenty of people who have never had the brake fluid changed and never had a problem. As long as your mechanic knows what he is doing, changing the brake fluid won't hurt anything and it may prolong the life of your braking system. Plus if you are in an area with a lot of mountains, I think it is a good idea.

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