Is Regular Brake Fluid Change Every 3 Years Necessary?

QuestionsCategory: Ask An ExpertIs Regular Brake Fluid Change Every 3 Years Necessary?
Susan Smith asked 4 months ago
I'm curious about the necessity of changing the brake fluid in my 2015 Honda Civic every 3 years as per the owner's manual. My trusted mechanic, with 15 years of experience, suggests it's not needed until another 30-40K miles, while the manual insists on a 3-year interval. I haven't noticed any issues with my brakes, and I'm torn between following the manual or my mechanic's advice. What should I do?
1 Answers
Zack Norman Staff answered 4 months ago
Hi there, Susan! Your question about brake fluid change intervals is a common one, and I can totally understand that there's a lot of conflicting information out there concerning when is the ideal time to change your brake fluid. So, let's try to break it down:
  1. Manufacturer's Recommendation: Car manufacturers, including Honda, often suggest a specific interval for changing brake fluid to ensure optimal performance and safety. This recommendation is based on average driving conditions and the brake system's design.
  2. Mechanic's Perspective: Experienced mechanics, like your neighbor, may recommend longer intervals based on their hands-on experience with cars like yours. They often consider the actual condition of the fluid and the car's braking performance.
  3. Brake Fluid Properties: Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture over time. Excess moisture can lower the boiling point of the fluid and lead to brake system corrosion.
  4. Safety Consideration: While your brakes may seem fine, brake fluid degradation isn't always noticeable in daily driving but can affect braking performance in demanding situations (like sudden stops).
  5. Balancing Opinions: If the brake fluid looks clean and your car's braking performance is good, you might choose to extend the change interval. However, doing it as per the manual is a safer bet, especially for critical systems like brakes.
  6. Personal Decision: Ultimately, the decision depends on your comfort level with the potential risks and your driving conditions (climate, frequency of hard stops, etc.).
To sum up, while following the manufacturer's recommendation is the safest route, extending the interval slightly based on the actual condition of the fluid and your car's performance can be reasonable. Regular checks and maintaining awareness of any changes in braking performance are key. Zack - Motor Verso Mechanics Team