Changing Brake Fluid

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by txav8r, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. txav8r

    txav8r Senior Member

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    BRAKE FLUID CHANGE...for those of you needing a brake fluid change..."JUST BRAKES" does this change for $39.95 plus tax. I have a vacuum bleeder and can tell you, it would be worth the price at double! Brake fluid picks up moisture after time due to temperature and humidity changes...it is the condensation nuclei within the fluid that will deteriorate your brake system. I could and have done this replacement myself, but will go with "JUST BRAKES" from now on. "JUST BRAKES" is a franchise in the Dallas area...I don't know if they are located in other states.
     
  2. ScottY

    ScottY New Member

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  3. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    I already replied to this in another topic about "Just Brakes." Long story short, a typical shadetree mechanic can NOT bleed the brakes in his Prius. Please read the attached pdf that forum member "hobbit" originally provided
     

    Attached Files:

  4. txav8r

    txav8r Senior Member

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    I see there is a difference between other cars and the prius. I will certainly do more research before allowing anyone other than the dealer to work on this car...other than me. I may not be a Toyota certified mechanic but I have my own best interest at hand and another mechanic is just punching a time clock. I do have much confidence in the lead mechanic at my dealership. The fluid I just had changed at "Just Brakes" was on a 1/2 ton chevy pickup. And that price is well worth the time it takes for me to vacuum bleed the system. They even rotated my tires and I inspected everything under my car while it was on the lift. A much better view than I have while it is on jack stands.

    Back to the brakes on the prius. I understand the difference now and stand corrected, and even appreciate PC members pointing out my lack of understanding. Having less than 5K on the prius, I have not had the necessity of brake service. I do feel 100K is way too long, regardless of the maintenance manual recommendation to leave a moisture laden environment without flushing. You all know that your car is exposed to temperature and humidity increases and decreases. Moisture condenses on the outside of your beverage...it does it in your brake system too! Moisture will deteriate many parts of your system. It is money well spent to change this fluid. Toyota does not recommend changing the transmission fluid either but many on PC are recommending it. The lead mechanic at my dealer even says he personally does it on the 60K service, even though the book doesn't recommend it. So if the brakes are a Toyota service only, then so be it. But change your fluid at least every 30K or 2 years. I will research this more. I would think that the scantool is definitly needed to troubleshoot the system. I can see from the bleeding instructions you provided that the system can't be flushed without cycling several solenoids and opening and closing several valves electrically. Thanks again for replying to my post and for giving me the heads up to keep me from damaging my prius brake system!
     
  5. malibucarl

    malibucarl Member

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    Why does your brake fluid need changing on a 2007 Prius ?
    Carl
     
  6. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(txav8r @ Mar 12 2007, 11:18 PM) [snapback]404547[/snapback]</div>
    Again, I completely agree on your comments about the necessity of 2-4 year brake fluid flush/bleed procedures. On virtually every vehicle except the Prius, this is a fairly easy DIY procedure, with a bit of patience of course.

    For example, the 2000 GMC Sierra I used to have, the ABS system was "pass through" so you only needed a scantool if you knew the system had been damaged/opened up and air was already in the ABS solenoids. Then you needed the scantool, such as the Tech2 or the aftermarket OTS Genisys, to cycle the ABS. Otherwise, I did the brake fluid flush/bleed myself.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(malibucarl @ Mar 12 2007, 11:33 PM) [snapback]404562[/snapback]</div>
    There is a lot of heated debate about this. Some folks claim brake fluid is a "lifetime" fluid. Of course, they also claim gear oil, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, etc are "lifetime" fluids.

    It has been proven that degraded brake fluid has contributed to accidents, especially in severe mountain driving

    http://www.aa1car.com/library/bfluid.htm

    http://www.brakefluidtester.com/downloads/killer.pdf

    http://www.babcox.com/editorial/bf/bf40142.htm

    http://www.advancepetro.com/impurities.htm

    http://www.brakeandfrontend.com/bf/bf90020.htm
     
  7. AirFlowMax

    AirFlowMax New Member

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    Thank you Prius Chat and all of its members for providing all this great information. I have changed my oil, transmission fluid, and cabin filter with the information I gotten from here. The next project I wanted to tackle was the brake fluid bleed. It seems so complicated to try to do it yourself. I have been thinking about it a long time and came across a youtube video.

    It was a new method of changing brake fluid. Instead of relying on master cylinder to push the brake fluid out the bleed screw it pushes brake fluid through the bleed screw out into the reseivor. They say it will work with all brake system. I was wondering will it work on the prius. I emailed Phoenix to see if they have tried their system on the prius. I will let everyone know the results.

    Search Phoenix Systems V 12
     
  8. jrmason

    jrmason New Member

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    I checked out the Phoenix System and it looks very promising. I'm curious on the "word" from them on weather this is going to work for the Prius. I am another one that is going to have to do this as well. But one thought, what happens to all the overflow coming out of the master cylinder? I for one don't want it going all over the floor or worse yet all over other surfaces and paint. Just could make a huge mess.
     
  9. jrmason

    jrmason New Member

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    Airflowmax Did you ever hear from Phoenix on this flush out kit? I'm really interested in finding out!

    Jon
     
  10. gasmiser1

    gasmiser1 EV Wantabee

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    I used to use a turkey baster and suck out the brake fluid in the brake fluid reservoir every 3rd or 4th oil change and replace with new brake fluid. I did this in my Honda for years and never had to flush the brake fluid. The reservoir never got that black dirty look to it. Brake fluid is pretty inexpensive.

    At 284,600 when I sold my Honda Insight, it still had the original master brake cylinder and wheel brake cylinders without any leaks or issues.

    Is it possible to do this procedure on the Prius?
     
  11. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    It's certainly possible to do that procedure.

    However I question the value of doing that to your Honda, beyond providing good cosmetics regarding reservoir appearance.
     
  12. gasmiser1

    gasmiser1 EV Wantabee

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    Well, I didn't do my brake fluid procedure on other cars and had the master cylinder and wheel cylinder issues start at 80-100k.

    I guess I'm more careful now with maintenance on my cars.

    I use the extreme service interval schedule for the oil changes as well.
     
  13. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The Honda Insight, being hybrid, I assume is relatively gentle on its friction brakes. The other vehicles you've owned could have definitely benefited from periodic brake system flushes.

    If you suck the fluid out of the reservoir and replenish that won't do much for the fluid down by the wheel cylinders which will be the most deteriorated as it is exposed to the high heat generated by the front brake calipers (and to a lesser extent, the rear brake shoes or calipers.)

    It's interesting that the European car manufacturers usually recommend brake fluid changes every year or two years; while the Asian and US manufacturers typically are silent on that subject.
     
  14. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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  15. vertex

    vertex Active Member

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    I have the Auto Enginuity tool. With the Toyota software it costs $400 + your laptop.
    I never tried to bleed the brakes with it, and don't recall seeing a function for that, but I could be wrong. Steve Woodruff has used it a lot, and may now more about it.
     
  16. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Which version do you have? The latest version, 8.1, should have that capability.
     
  17. vertex

    vertex Active Member

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    I found the documentation poor, and like I said, I did not try to do it. I do know you cannot program the remote system with it, unfortunately. I think I have 8.1 now. It has been a few months since I looked at it, but my point was it is fairly pricey, but much less then the Toyota tool.
     
  18. jrmason

    jrmason New Member

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    Well I called Phoenix today and had a great conversation with the owner and designer of the V-12. Got the whole story of the inception and creation of the bleeder. Sounds very promising. Although he didn't have any information on peoples experience on the product on a Prius he said that it should work. He said he'd be interesed in our findings if we decided to go ahead and try the bleeder on the system. So, I guess I'll find one of these things in my toolbox in the near future. With the fleet of vehicles in my garage I can see using this often enough. And heck if it is so easy bleeding brakes could be bi-yearly regular maintenance.

    Jon
     
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