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Brake Fluid "Test Strips;" definitely "worth the money."

Discussion in 'Prius v Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Mike500, Mar 25, 2012.

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  1. Mike500

    Mike500 Interessen-Gemeinschaft Prius

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    If you keep your cars for a long time, these are definitely worth the money;

    http://www.amazon.com/Phoenix-Systems-FASCAR-1-100-Strip-Strips/dp/B000JFJMGO
  2. syscon

    syscon Member

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    According to a dealer brakes pads suppose to last 160K km; it means they are hardly used if one is careful as regenerative braking as mostly used.

    So I doubt this brake fluid test strip presents any value.
  3. Dark_matter_doesn't

    Dark_matter_doesn't Prius Tinkerer

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    BZZZT! Wrong answer. Brake fluid absorbs moisture and other contaminants over time. It should be flushed every 3 - 4 years, particularly if it gets dark, and regardless of how much they get used or pad wear.
  4. syscon

    syscon Member

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    I've not lookup the transmission fluid replacement interval in the manual; but I would rather replace the trany fluid at double the interval then worry about bake fluid.
    Trany fluid runs very hot, not sure about CVT.
  5. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Nadir of Wrongness

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    Toyota actually never recommends replacement of the WS ATF in the Transaxle, on PriusChat, our conventional wisdom is 30,000 miles then every 60,000 after that. It picks up tiny metal fragments which can short out the Motor/Generators. Over time there is less and less metal.

    Brake fluid is more time related than distance, humid climates need more frequent replacement than arid ones. So it is possible that the OP is right for SC and you are right for AB.
  6. Mike500

    Mike500 Interessen-Gemeinschaft Prius

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    Brake lines and cylinder bores rust out from the inside. I'd rather know for sure that my fluid is bad and if it has moisture in it to require changing.

    If the test strips are kept in a cool dry place, they last indefinitely. So, it's cheap insurance.
  7. syscon

    syscon Member

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    I've read the sorry about ATF "life time fluid" transmission over and over.
    It reminds me of Mercedes benz in about 2000 or so Mercedes sealed their trany (you could not even check the fluid level) and keep telling their customer the ATF did not need to be changed. Few years after in about 2004 when the transmission start failing, Mercedes change in their manual that tray fluid should be changed in severe condition driving every 40 or 60K. In 2007 they revised their manual again and made it mandatory to change the transmission fluid every 30 or 40K

    So, never believe if life time ATF; and PriusChat gurus I think got it right, change the fluid every 30K to 50K.
  8. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Brake fluid should last for about a decade. I have an '04 in the shop with 100,000 miles and the fluid condition is "good" -- as in, run it for a few more years. Since the hydraulic brakes are barely used, i.e. brakes never get anywhere close to overheating, the corrosion and water absorption rates is far less than in a comparable conventional car of the same age.
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  9. pmike

    pmike Member

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    I took my car to a Tire Kingdom to get a quote on tires and see why they were out of round. They came back and did their "check up" in addition to checking the current tires. Told me I needed new battery, coolant replacement, and transmission fluid replacement. The problem is that I had a fairly new v6 battery in my i4, my coolant and manual transmission fluid had recently been changed per factory service manual. Two of the three test were from these test strips. Either they are totally BS or they keep bad test around to con their customers. Just follow your owners manual service intervals.

    Car in question above: 04 Honda Accord Sedan LX I4 manual.
  10. Mike500

    Mike500 Interessen-Gemeinschaft Prius

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    It must be the store or a "con job." That's why I do my own.

    I tested the brake fluid with the test strip in my 1998 Mazda MPV with the original brake fluiod, except for some top off two years, ago.

    The brake fluid tested "good" with the strip turing a light beige color.

    If I hadn't tested the brake fluid with the strips, I might have spent the time and money replacing and bleeding the brakes.

    So, I am happy with the test strips. They have really saved me money.

    Water in the fluid is the great destroyer of brake parts, since they cause iren and steel, which makes up most of the brake parts to rust. Iron oxide does not well at all with the rubber piston seals.
    Tht's why I test every year. It's a little over 25 cents a strip, and they keep indefinitely in a cool and dry place.

    It's peace of mind. I'm sold.
  11. Vlady

    Vlady Junior Member

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    Question:
    How does water get into sealed brake lines to cause corrosion?
    I sold 16 years corolla with original brake fluid. Chanage brakes around 2 times, but never flushed. Flash it you need too, but most likely you would kill master cylinder(depends which method is used)
  12. Mike500

    Mike500 Interessen-Gemeinschaft Prius

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    Water vapor in the air is one the molecular level. It is always in the air. It is called humidity. Brake fluid is "hydroscopic," which means that it absorbs water.

    There is no such ting as a "perfect" seal against movement of gases through a seal. Even NASA rates seals on how much gas it passes.

    The brake system is your car is vented. Otherwise it would develop a vacuum or pressure that would force it out of seals under pressure.

    DOT3 and DOT4 brake fluids are very very good when camparred with the old types.

    Aircraft use silicone brake fludis that doesn't absorb water. It is, however, not compatible with DOT3 or DOT4. It must be installed in new syatems.

    Water in brake fluid also creates a "spongy" feel and boils at a lower temperature than fluid without absorbed water.
  13. Genoz World

    Genoz World ZEN-style living

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    interesting thread...............got a CT"F" and in the owners manual, it says that I have to bleed and replace the fluid every 30K miles.

    when questioned, the L dealer says it's preventative maintenance.........;\
  14. Mike500

    Mike500 Interessen-Gemeinschaft Prius

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    Could it be "money" that they place it beyond the first 2 year or 25k FREE service on a new vehicle?
  15. schinia

    schinia Member

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    i change my brake fluid, and my transmission fluid every three years. i do this from past experience. brake fluid is notorious for absorbing moisture, and with it costing about $6,000 to repair todays brake systems, changing these fluids is a no brainer. also i had a 400 tranny in a motorhome that sat for 1 month between trips (with just a few thousand miles on it. took off one day to another race, got 30 miles from home. then it wouldn't shift out of 1st, traveled for 25 miles, waited three hours for service. then they changed the fluid and then it was all right. but we had to cancel the race, and it cost us big bucks. i know you don't use a motorhome like you would your car, but it just shows you that there is crap in the dirty fluid that can cause problems. after that i changed my motorhome trans fluid every year.
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  16. Genoz World

    Genoz World ZEN-style living

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    That's what I thought.
  17. anewhouse

    anewhouse Member

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    Sounds good... But how do you get to 25 cents/strip? Current price is $53/100 strips.
    I'd definitely pay $10 for 10 strips, but the package of 100 would probably last more than a lifetime, and the $50 would buy an awful lot of brake fluid...

    Either way, thanks for the reminder about fluid changes. My "non-v" vehicle is a '03 Vibe that is probably about due for a brake flush (I suspect it's due for a new caliper anyway), and I'll add ATF change to my calendar for the v. :)

    Andy
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