Brake fluid color

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by ATlam, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. ATlam

    ATlam Member

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    I recently had an oil change at this shop and they recommended a brake fluid change based on the color of the oil. I took some pictures and it looks clear to me, are they trying to upsell me?
     

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  2. elementnomore

    elementnomore Member

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    What year is the car and mileage?
     
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Toyota Canada policy now is to change it tri-yearly or 48K kms (30K miles), whichever comes first. I pay no attention to the color, just drain and replace two pints (one quart) tri-yearly. DIY it cost about $15 for the fluid.

    Excerpt from Toyota Canada 2014 Owner's Manual Supplement:

    upload_2020-1-25_14-46-5.png

    Takes about an hour, plus the time to raise and level the car, get the wheels off. It "can" be done with the car on the ground, but if you're doing some sort of tire rotation (putting on snow tires in my case), just sync the fluid change with that event.

    If you're doing the "without techstream" method, just using basic tools, you'll need someone to push the brake pedal. Watch the @NutzAboutBolts video (pinned at top of 3rd gen maintenance forum), multiple times, and have a read through the attachment.

    My tools:

    Kirkland 1.9 liter mayo jar with lid, hole drilled in lid for tube
    About 18" of clear tubing
    Largish syringe with short length of tube and slim spigot at the end (for basting out reservoir
    Bleed bolt coupler gizmo (connect to tubing, and push onto bleed bolt)
    8 and 10 mm wrenches
    8 and 10 mm sockets and ratchet wrench (to do the initial partial break loose of the bleed bolts)
    Torque wrench (not critical

    Question #1, lol: how much is dealership asking for this? If around $100, I would go for it, it's overdue, cheap insurance. Do ask them to test drive after, and verify all bleed bolt caps are present, not lost. Repeat the exercise yourself too: make sure the brakes feel normal.
     
  4. ATlam

    ATlam Member

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    Sounds like I need to change it. It has been at least 5 years since I got the car and I have put in at least 85k miles to it. (I'm just paranoid of shop upselling)
     
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  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    How much ($'s) did they ask for this? Or did the conversation not advance that far, lol.

    Up here it's $100~125 (CDN) these days. Should be around $100 in the States, at the most. Don't let them BS that's it super complicated on Prius. My wife and I managed this in about an hour. It's a little tricky, but no big deal.
     
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  6. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    It does look dark, and 5 years is plenty long.
     
  7. Priuslover09

    Priuslover09 Member

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    No it needs to be changed dude it’s dirty
     
  8. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    ehh, I would say a bit more than $100 is fair game, but walk away if over $175
     
  9. Priuslover09

    Priuslover09 Member

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    If it’s over 200 I would say something
     
  10. ATlam

    ATlam Member

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    Thank guys :) they did quote quite a bit but it includes some other stuff, I'll get it changed.
     
  11. Fostel

    Fostel Junior Member

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    Can I have more info about this, please?

    How much fluid do I need for a full change?
    I've done at least 50k miles and 4 years on mine.

    Thanks.
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    The couplers seem a little hard to find on their own. Could be I don't have the correct term. It's basically a rubber bit that pushes onto your drain tube, with a ball joint type socket you can push onto the bleed bolt tip. An example:

    IMG_3487.jpg

    Regarding volume of fluid to be replaced: it would be REALLY nice if Toyota would publish this info. I've gone with 2 pints (1 quart), but I did just hazard a guess. IIRC dealership did 4 pints (invoice says "4 units", when they did a change one time, during a brake recall campaign).

    2 pints seems pretty good to me, allows an initial baste-and-fill of reservoir, and a goodly amount bled out at each corner (more at rears than fronts) and an ounce or two held in reserve, in case you want to fine tune the level in the next day or two (I've never needed too though).
     
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  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Here we go:

    Universal Brake Bleed Adapters | Mityvac | MVA6913

    This is what I have, came with my Mighty Vac kit. The only bits I've ever used lol. The little spigot is handy too, for siphoning out reservoir: there's a mesh basket in it that hinders getting a tube down. There's a narrow slit in that basket that the skinny spigot can reach through (pushed onto a tube connected to a syringe).
     
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  14. johnHRP

    johnHRP Junior Member

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    Get $5 brake fluid tester. That's stupid cheap plastic voltmeter type is actually really accurate in 1% accuracy. Colors is not a good parameter, some brake fluid is dark or yellowish color even when it is new. It is not a good parameter. We should use a strip tester if you want to check the anticorrosion level, but it is cheaper just to replace the brake fluid on the reservoir with a turkey buster or anything to suck it.
     
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  15. eliteconcept

    eliteconcept 700 mile club, top tank mpg 69.5

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    didn't see it mentioned here. but keep in mind that brake fluid doesn't really "flow" within the system. The stuff in the reservoir doesn't constantly flow back and forth to and from the calipers. Not that its stagnate, but its not like coolant that constantly flows. So if the stuff in the reservoir is darker in color, the stuff at the calipers is likely much worse. Depending on your climate and how hard you brake, somewhere between 2 and 4 years (mileage is less of a concern) is likely appropriate without feeling too soon or too late.
     
    #15 eliteconcept, Apr 22, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
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  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Yup, and basting out and refilling reservoir (mentioned up the page) isn’t that effective.
     
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