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Can anyone give me a logical reason why Honda requires brake/clutch fluid changes?
My GM trucks use Dot 4, and nowhere do they specify changing brake fluid as a requirement.
I would think that if the fluid goes bad it would be more of a problem in a truck,
where brakes are applied many more times and are in much worse conditions than my 1800.
Just a question I was pondering.
 

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The brake fluid will deteriorate and form solids that can gob-up the tiny ports in the master cylinder. The fluid will also absorb moisture from around the caliper puck seals and even a minute amount can lead to boiling of the water at that critical hot spot and braking power is greatly reduced. Not sure why GM or others skimp on that detail; nor sure why Honda skimps on fork oil changes and such.

prs
 

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I believe that the primary reason to change fluid is to remove water from the system. Brake systems are not air tight. Brake fluid absorbs water from the air. The water will promote corrosion of brake components. Water will also boil when the brakes get hot.

I try to flush the brakes on my cars every two years or 30K miles. I think that I have seen paper test strips that can be used to gauge the amount of water in the brake fluid. Therefore, a mechanic could test the car's brake fluid and suggest a change if needed.

Jim
 

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Do Honda cars require brake fluid servicing as scheduled maintenance?

I'm with you, blento. Why is it a scheduled change item on motorcycles and not cars/trucks? My Silverado says to "Inspect brake system" every 6 months - nothing about changing fluid - and it weighs 3 tons. I'm sure the brake fluid in it takes more of a beating than the GL.

The reasons given, so far, apply to any vehicle that has a brake system using DOT spec brake fluid. My guess why the GL/motorcycles in general require brake fluid change is for legal and warranty denial reasons, not because of safety or system life.
 

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Flush Those Brakes!

It pays to have the brake fluid flushed out and new fluid installed in a car or a motorcycle. I had my 2000 model Ford E-350 van power blead a few months ago and I can't beleive how much better the thing stops. They hook up a pump to master cylinder and flush out all of the old fluid. I now have a rock hard pedal now that requires about half of the effort on the pedal to stop the truck. The fluid that was removed was flithy.
 

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I agree, it's not something I'd consider being required...
I will tell you though, my rear master cylinder res had a bunch of gummy stuff in the bottom.. That was all it took to convince me.. Fully flushed the fluid on the whole system..
 

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Pigeon Roost said:
The brake fluid will deteriorate and form solids that can gob-up the tiny ports in the master cylinder. The fluid will also absorb moisture from around the caliper puck seals and even a minute amount can lead to boiling of the water at that critical hot spot and braking power is greatly reduced. Not sure why GM or others skimp on that detail; nor sure why Honda skimps on fork oil changes and such.

prs
Good Answer-moisture
 

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I just replaced the brake fluid in my '04 Wing a couple weeks ago in both front & rear systems @ 23,400 miles and it made a huge difference in stopping power. It is no longer spongy and stops right now when brakes are applied. I had a sneaking suspicion that there was a small amount of air trapped in the brake system going to the rear brakes and front linked system. Works great now! Now,if Honda hadn't hidden the clutch slave cylinder under everything,I could do it as well........!!
-A side note......my Honda CBX is 27 yrs. old and still has the original brake caliper seals,etc. and master cylinders at both ends---I change fluid religiously every year whether or not it gets used/ridden. It does make a difference in longevity of brake parts.
 

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I have never changed brake fluid in any vehicle I have ever owned. After reading all the doom and gloom comments on this forum, I changed the fluid in my 04 Gl1800 expecting to find bad, black looking fluid. The fluid I removed was as clean as the fluid I added. I like to work on my vehicles. I think many change brake fluid and a lot of other stuff called for in the manual is because they are looking for something to occupy their time. Changing the clutch fluid, as called for in the manual, seems to me to be an utter waste of time, and now I think changing brake fluid falls in the same category. Maybe when I am bored and looking to kill time I may lube my throttle cable.
 

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Edd said:
I changed the fluid in my 04 Gl1800 expecting to find bad, black looking fluid. The fluid I removed was as clean as the fluid I added.
The fluid that came out was crystal clear??? Do you ever ride the bike?? Every bike I've changed fluid on the color of the fluid in the front and the rear was brownish, the fluid I replaced it with was water white... So clear, I can't even see the level in the front res. window....
I would agree though, if I hadn't noticed the rear res. goop and the rear wasn't spongy I wouldn't have bothered.. The brakes are now clean, bled and feel 100% better...
 

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I never replaced the fluid on my CBX brakes and the pistons pitted so badly the brakes eventually locked up. :oops: Since then I try to replace the brake fluid every two years max.
 

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Wanderer said:
Do Honda cars require brake fluid servicing as scheduled maintenance?
Yes both my current Honda Fit and previous CRV have scheduled brake fluid changes listed in their servicing booklets.
I think the open environment of a motorcycle's brake fluid reservoir vs. under hood for a car also makes a difference in longevity.
 

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I'll tell you two big reasons right off the bat.

When the brake fluid absorbs water over time two things happen.

First off, the boiling point of the fluid is greatly reduced, and can and will result in boiling brakes on long brake applications which means your brakes no longer work.

Second, the moisture in the system will cause corrosion of the brake components it comes in contact with.
 

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Flushed mine and replaced it with valvoline synthetiic, witch I personally think is better. Ived used it in my 02 VTX since I bought it in 02. Interested in anyones opinion on the synthetics. Always used amsoil and synthetic for the final drive also.
 

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Pumpking Wing asked if I ever ride my bike:

04 GL1800 30,000 miles. I think some of us have a compulsive behavior to be working on our vehicles. I am only going to do the things I feel make a difference like changing the oil every 8000 miles. I am not a road racer so maybe my stuff doesn't take as much abuse as others bikes do. I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything. Just making an observation.
 

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The beginning of the brake fluid flushes began in the late 90's from the auto manufactures. Two reasons. One reason is that it was another way to make money for the service dept. 2nd reason was ABS systems were becoming more frequent. There are alot of very small orifices, solenoids and such in ABS systems. You can start having problems if the solenoids get stuck. In my wifes RX300 I have never changed the fluid. It has 169K miles on it. I have no good reason why I have not changed it. I have checked the fluid with a hydroscopic meter and there is no moisture that is contaminating the fluid. The system has never been opened up. I have opened the reservoir one time. When I change the pads I do not open the system. The fluid is still new looking. Yes, It would be wise to change it, but for some reason I just never seem to get around it.

In regards to the wing I do feel a good flush is needed. At 15k miles the bottom of my reservoirs were black with gunk. The fluid was dirty for sure. There is alot more stress on the fluid in the bike vs a car. Think about how different we ride the bike vs your car's brakes.

But I can tell you the main reason this whole thing started was money. I was a service manager at the time this whole thing started, it was simply a way to add another service item. Our fathers never changed the fluid in there cars. I remember brake fluid was always dark gray in cars. Then you have the improved fluid of today on top of this.

With all this said, I believe if you didnt change your fluid I doubt you would have any problems with your brake system in 200k miles. It just makes sense to do so, so we do. Think about your rear diff fluid. Do you know how little stress that fluid encounters? That fluid would last forever without changing it. I have seen many big trucks that haul heavy loads every day go 300 to 500K miles and the rear diff fluid is always perfect looking. Never have I seen a diff go out because of worn out fluid.
 
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