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The owners manual for my 2008 Goldwing recommends that the brake and clutch control fluid be changed every 12,000 miles. Would appreciate any comments as to why this is necessary other than to keep the local Honda mechanic busy.

I've owned many vehicles in my 75 yrs. and have never changed the brake fluid. In the old days the clutch was mechanically operated so there was no fluid to deal with.

So someone please educate me as to why the Honda control fluids need changing.

Chris
 

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fluid changes

If you do it yourself, its a cheap thing to do and not that technical or time consuming. Not only brake and clutch fluid, but also coolant and fork oil. All should be done at least every 2 yrs unless you ride a lot. Brake and clutch fluid are hydroscopic which means they absorb moisture and since the systems are small in volume, it doesn't take much to effect performance. Coolant is not as critical, but should still be done. The fork oil gets really cruddy and I always change mine once a year. JMHO
Fred's DVD's show you how to do all these operations in great detail and I'm sure you could get some help from a local fellow winger to get you thru the first time.
 

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I can only guess to why they require that. Before I do, be advised that the maintance printed in your owners manual is the minimum requirements needed to properly maintain you Wing. So that means "just do it." It has nothing to do with keeping your local Honda shop busy.

I can tell you that the ADV is the week link and seems affected most when the brake fluid is not change as required. Other vehicals do not have those. Failure of them is common on the 01-05s before 50k on ones that never changed their fluid. On the 06 and up, if they at least had one fluid change, the ADV will probably fail before 100k. Also, clutch opperation is less then smooth when the clutch fluid is not change as required.

As far as what is differant on a Wing. The slave cylinder will dump brake fluid into the oil if the slave cylinder goes bad. On a car, it just leaks to the ground so you don't have to worry about what the engine is getting lubricated with. On a Wing, their rubber hoses are more exposed to wet weather trying to get through them and contaminate the fluid then on a car.

There is one other point about a Wing. They are continental crusiers. Meaning that most likely none of us want to even think about breaking down. I think Honda understands that. When we do, we can be far from home, do not have the luxsury of locking ourselves up in a cage to feel safe from others and the elements of sun, heat, bugs, and weather. I get the feeling Honda wants Wings maintained like aircraft but we don't have to pay the price of aircraft quality parts. Thus the frequent air filter and spark plug changes. I admire the reliability of the Wing and try to do my part and not sabatoge my reliability by not doing the things Honda requires.
 

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The owners manual for my 2008 Goldwing recommends that the brake and clutch control fluid be changed every 12,000 miles. Would appreciate any comments as to why this is necessary other than to keep the local Honda mechanic busy.

I've owned many vehicles in my 75 yrs. and have never changed the brake fluid. In the old days the clutch was mechanically operated so there was no fluid to deal with.

So someone please educate me as to why the Honda control fluids need changing.

Chris

I had some shifting problems going into 2nd ( bike had about 11000 miles) on my 08. On the recommendation of a few on the board I tried changing the clutch fluid . It worked and my problem was solved I followed the instructions on Fred's dvd. Pretty simple but very effective.
 

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I wondered why you can go 100K on a car without bleeding but MC requires every 12K. Having said that, I did mine at 10K with 2 years and the brakes were noticeably tighter. The clutch had some white gel gooey looking stuff in the reservoir. Not sure why but, it's better to do it than to wait till you have plugged lines and bleeders. Maybe caused it's such a small capacity system. It's easy to do, just kind of messy and time consuming. It you've got a goon that can sit on the bike and pump the brakes for you it's much faster. My wife wouldn't help me, I had to do it alone. boo hoo.
 

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Cause non of us care about cars. We drive them till they die and then fix them.

It is a car.

We take care of our bikes. They are our hobby and our toys.

Ever see a car master cylinder after about ten years of non maintenance, it is a wonder they work at all.
 

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Brake fluid (which is in both systems) absorbs moisture which could cause problems in operation or in the lines and fittings themselves over time. After a few years without changing the fluids you'll see a cloudiness form in the fluid which actually can solidify (particulate?) to some extent. I'd go by the book, and you'll get to know your bike even more.
 

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My Anti-Dive (AD) began to stick regardless faithful service to the brake and clutch fluids. I think I recall Fred Harmon having noted the same; probably others.

The OE brake and clutch fluids were contaminated at first change with moisture and gelatenous globs. The replacement fluid was apparently better stuff (Valvoline 3/4 SynPower) as it still looked new when replaced 24 months later, although there was some small amount of moisture. It is very humid here, so I now change it every winter. Its easy and inexpensive. The service manual is necessary to get the sequency correct and either a helper or speed bleeder is necessary.

Your auto has 4 brakes and typically one front and one rear are on a redundant hydraulic circuit. Your bike only has 2 brakes and almost all of the real stopping power is the front. Moisture in a slave cylinder turns to steam under heavy braking, right when you really need the brakes to save your arse. That is why we need to take the extra care.

I replace the brake fluid in my autos with every brake job. Just slapping in new pads is half arsed.

prs
 

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Because the fluid gets water in it, as proven by measurements in random cars on the road, which tend to show an unhealthy amount. See the 30 posts on this subject here, from one week ago.

http://www.gl1800riders.com/forums/showthread.php?t=290597&highlight=change+brake+fluid

I change brake fluid in my vehicles. My explanation of why is #15.

I'll add that most European and Asian car manufacturers DO have a service interval for replacing brake fluid, US manufacturers tend not to. GM has gone to special brake hoses and fluids to address the issues involved.
 

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My Anti-Dive (AD) began to stick regardless faithful service to the brake and clutch fluids. I think I recall Fred Harmon having noted the same; probably others.

The ADV is not a perfect system and some due fail early like other parts due. If Fred's fail, I would guess it was because he was not maintaining his according to the Owners Manual. He writes on here about doing it ever 2 years or something like that. Unless he is doing 6,000 miles per year, he is waiting way too long.

The OE brake and clutch fluids were contaminated at first change with moisture and gelatenous globs.
prs
At 12,000 miles you will be looking at a reddish substance. That is assembly lube. When you flush again at 24k, almost all of it will be gone. If waiting to 18 or 20k for the first flush, the reddish stuff is hardly see since the fluid is then blackish. Just do it by the Owners Manual. It's that simple and written that way for a reason by really smart engineers that know all the reasons why. We just know some of them.
 

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From personal experience, once I let the clutch fluid on my Bandit 1200 turn dark and thick, it took several flushes over time to regain a clean system. On the GL1800, the new fluid each time is a very light blonde color and clear to light. As soon as it turns a little golden, I'm flushing/replacing. Since I plan to take this bike over the 200k mark, and hopefully towards 300,000 miles, it's an investment. :yes1:
 

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The owners manual for my 2008 Goldwing recommends that the brake and clutch control fluid be changed every 12,000 miles. Would appreciate any comments as to why this is necessary other than to keep the local Honda mechanic busy.

I've owned many vehicles in my 75 yrs. and have never changed the brake fluid. In the old days the clutch was mechanically operated so there was no fluid to deal with.

So someone please educate me as to why the Honda control fluids need changing.

Chris
turning 58k on my '06 and never changed. No problems, but I think it is time.
 

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Brake fluid (which is in both systems) absorbs moisture which could cause problems in operation or in the lines and fittings themselves over time. After a few years without changing the fluids you'll see a cloudiness form in the fluid which actually can solidify (particulate?) to some extent. I'd go by the book, and you'll get to know your bike even more.
I bought a fluid tester, not sure if it is snake oil, but my '06 tested fine according to the tester. Never changed but plan to this winter when in storeage.
 

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Cause non of us care about cars. We drive them till they die and then fix them.

It is a car.

We take care of our bikes. They are our hobby and our toys.

Ever see a car master cylinder after about ten years of non maintenance, it is a wonder they work at all.

And then we throw away our manuals and buy the cheapest oil and filter we can find and see how long we can go before we change it.
 

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Is there a special fluid for the clutch or is it just Dot 4 brake fluid? I have an 03.
 

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I have lost rear Breaks on my Venture 2 up with my 475lbs trailer in tow careening down switchbacks coming off the blue ridge. No fun at all. Vary little fluid in that system. The wing has far superior breaking but the fluid is def the weak link and that is why it is disposable. Flush and replace as directed, clutch to and you wont regret it. Cheep insurance in my book. I let mine go to long this last time it was junk, milky with water NG. This is not you cars 1 quart break system.
 

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:agree:Kit, you hit the nail on the head.
Kurt :thumbup:
Cause non of us care about cars. We drive them till they die and then fix them.

It is a car.

We take care of our bikes. They are our hobby and our toys.

Ever see a car master cylinder after about ten years of non maintenance, it is a wonder they work at all.
 

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Your fluid should look like Bud Light. If it looks like Killian's Red, think about changing it. If it looks like Guinness, then you probably are noticing a loss of braking power.

I change the fluid in my Avalanche (that's a Chevy) once a year. Every time I do it I notice an improvement in my braking power and much less fade.

Heat is the nemesis of brake fluid which is why your rear brake fluid gets dark faster inside that hot side cover by the motor.
 

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Cause non of us care about cars. We drive them till they die and then fix them.
:agree:... and when they do, we roll up the windows and are protected by a cage. Not so when a Wing breaks down. At the very least, we are exposed to the eliments.
 
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