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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thats what i am asking

Fact or Myth: Change Brake Fluid every 2 years?

if its fact i want to use that as an opportunity to have my brakes checked
and have them Bled etc.

it's been 3 years for my Bike not counting the year it sat on the dealership showroom (2011 was a slow year .. lol).

Change it Now?
 

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Personally I would go more by miles and riding habits. I'd have to do some reserch but if I remember correctly working as an assistant parts manager at an auto dealer one of the good mechanics told me that the recomendations were a money making thing and he would go by color and the way he used his brakes so I would think it would be about the same for bikes. But like I said research it a bit and see. Its a closed system so it shouldn't get dirt from out side but if there is color Chang that is from use and should be changed. This was 20 years ago so it may have changed but Google brake fluid and see.
 

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I changed mine at 30,000 miles i now have 51,000+ so i will change it at 60,000.....no issues at all....fluid still looked great at 30,000 when i changed it...
 

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I've only had my brake fluid changed out once in all my miles, still running the original brake pads with lots of life in them still.
 

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My 14 yr. old fluid was nasty but there was 11,000 mi. on the bike. Age of the fluid and usage from my experience are definitely contributing factors. I guess the little window on the side of resivoir is a good for something.
 

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It's moisture (i.e. water), not dirt, that make brake fluid change color. Without the presence of moisture, there is no reason to change brake fluid at all. Why does moisture matter? Because water compresses more readily than brake fluid. It is possible (Maybe even on bikes --I'm not sure about that.) for the water to be compressed to the point that it boils -- becoming steam. Any kind of gas vapors in the brake fluid compromise braking and can thereby pose a serious risk.

Since it is absorption of water that causes brake fluid to suffer performance degradation, changing fluid at a specific calendar or mileage interval constitutes an effort at achieving a convenient maintenance schedule rather than actually providing a safety benefit. (Sure, new fluid is theoretically safer than old. So why not change it before every ride?)

The color of the brake fluid determines when you NEED to change. That's as much the reason for the sight glass as is making level checks easier. If the system were truly sealed, there would be no need to monitor either condition because the fluid would last indefinitely and always be there.
 

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The owner's manual says to inspect it once every (from memory) ?? 16k? .. I Think PastorDave hit the nail on the head, going by color.. Just keep an eye on it, if it oxidizes to the point of changing color - time to replace it.
 

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The owner's manual says to inspect it once every (from memory) ?? 16k?
Mine says inspect every 4k and replace every 12k with the note: "Replace every 2 years, or at indicated odometer interval, whichever comes first. Replacement requires mechanical skill."

It would take a check of my maintenance records to determine how frequently I replace my brake fluid but I find it very easy to inspect the front brake fluid before every ride. So that's how frequently I do it.
 

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The color of mine went off at about 4 years but I am guessing we have more moisture here in MI than you do in AZ. As mentioned, check the sight glass and look for color changes or a milky look to the brake fluid. It is a very easy thing to change yourself. I picked up a tube with a check valve in it (can get them from the dealer for $15), hooked it up to the banjo bolt, loosened a little and bled away. Protect your paint from brake fluid splashing, and so on and you should be good.
 

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Mine says inspect every 4k and replace every 12k with the note: "Replace every 2 years, or at indicated odometer interval, whichever comes first. Replacement requires mechanical skill."

It would take a check of my maintenance records to determine how frequently I replace my brake fluid but I find it very easy to inspect the front brake fluid before every ride. So that's how frequently I do it.
Yup.. You're right.. Just checked.. Inspect every 4k and replace every 12k or 2 years whichever comes first.. But, Like you say.. You eyeball the thing every-time you get on it, so it's an easy thing to check.

If you are going to let the scheduled replacement timetables slide. Any color change is usually the indicator that the fluid requires replacement.
 

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Like Old Dad, i wouldnt bother with it. Some of you guys are more worried about maintaining your bike than you are about putting miles on them!
 

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Glad I checked this thread! I didn't know, and hadn't checked, and my bike is about 11 years old. I've had it into the shop for 'tune ups', so maybe they did it then, but have about 50k on the odometer, and never changed it myself. Of course, here in NM, the humidity is so low, I might not need it as much, either. I'll have to check the color, though, and see.
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
See what i am doing is trying to work on a package of things that i want done to my bike
at the new dealership, which by the way is much closer to my home than where i bought it. They are not a sole Honda Dealership but Honda is a very large part of their dealership, i would say 50% range, all type vehicles.

Anyway, i want to sit down with the service manager and work out a deal on several things i want done.

Changing the break fluid may be a way to get my foot in the door on having the front brakes totally verified and corrected at the cheapest price, especially when mixed in with other work, like having the Valves adjusted, wheels balanced etc. There are also special mitigating circumstances as i had worn through a set of pad in less than 8K and one pad was worn much much more that the other.

I am thinking something along the lines of like $325 for everything if i am lucky,
i was also going to speak to the actual mechanic and tell him I am holding like
$50 ($20?) cash just for him if i couldn't find any scratches on the bike when it was done. and if he dialed in the Tappets precisely.

so $375 and set for what will seem Life .... lol
 

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Like Old Dad, i wouldnt bother with it. Some of you guys are more worried about maintaining your bike than you are about putting miles on them!
I haven't changed my brake fluid either.. I always tend to go by color change in the fluid.. Still.. I doubt nobody has ever sat at the side of the road, having had their brakes Blow-Up! (as they do ;)) ..and thought to themselves..

"Self! ...I'm sure Glad I didn't maintain my bike properly!"

The rest of the scheduled maintenance gets done though, but never needed to change the brake fluid as yet, so.. There's that.
 

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I'm glad adlowe covered the dirt vs. moisture. I've never understood why people think that brake fluid gets "dirty". If you have dirt in your braking system, you have other problems. :shock:

Like Old Dad, i wouldnt bother with it. Some of you guys are more worried about maintaining your bike than you are about putting miles on them!
Sarcasm, right? Brakes are the single most important thing for any vehicle (aside from who's in control). I personally would worry more about riding a motorcycle that has NOT been maintained. Call me nutty, but I'd prefer a well maintained bike over putting mileage on her just for the sake of the ride. In the end ... it's oneself's life. :cool:
 

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My window started clouding up after 5 years, sunny CA.

I think the mfg 2yr suggestion is a moderate worst case in N.A.
 

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Indeed, the color is what you should really go by. I had shop mechanics tell me this as well.
 

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Indeed, the color is what you should really go by. I had shop mechanics tell me this as well.
mine is the color of apple cider, maybe a little lighter.
As a byproduct of a family of mechanics and one myself, the saying is always, "If in doubt, change it out." As it relates to brake fluid, the reason mechanics will tell you to go by the color is because the color change is indicative of the brake fluid absorbing moisture in the system. At some point, it will not do this job anymore and then your braking system's performance will deteriorate and the insides of the lines and other components will start the corrosion process; a bad, bad thing.
 

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I haven't changed my brake fluid either.. I always tend to go by color change in the fluid.. Still.. I doubt nobody has ever sat at the side of the road, having had their brakes Blow-Up! (as they do ;)) ..and thought to themselves..

"Self! ...I'm sure Glad I didn't maintain my bike properly!"

The rest of the scheduled maintenance gets done though, but never needed to change the brake fluid as yet, so.. There's that.
LOL, i didnt mean that and surely you dont think i advocate to leave them lie and beat up on them.

Sarcasm, right? Brakes are the single most important thing for any vehicle (aside from who's in control). I personally would worry more about riding a motorcycle that has NOT been maintained. Call me nutty, but I'd prefer a well maintained bike over putting mileage on her just for the sake of the ride. In the end ... it's oneself's life. :cool:
No? My point is that many fluids dont 'break down' as much as people think. If you change your oil and only put 15 miles on in 6 months, there is absolutely no reason i can see to change the oil simply cause its sitting in the crankcase for 6 months.

I also forgot that Bobo isnt as mechanically inclined as some of us.

Bobo, dont think of an excuse, just tell him what you want and see if you can get it done for that prices. Tell him youre willing to tip the mechanic if he takes extra care for your baby. Besides, if they touch the brakes, im 100% positive any reputable place would properly bleed and fill the fluid too. Otherwise, they would have some serious liability on their hands.

Also, its up to the vehicles owner to double check their work to make sure for one, that they didnt cheat you, but also for your own safety.
 
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