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All fluids flushed & changed?

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Old 01-15-02, 07:26 AM   #46
Erfan
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selewis,

You brought up some good points, I never take my car into Lexus for service out of pocket. People paying $1100.00 and 1200.00 for the service is just pure rape. A local import repair shop can do all the stuff for half the cost. But, leave it to people to take thier cars into Lexus und get it with some KY to ease the pain
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Old 01-15-02, 10:05 AM   #47
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Default Brake fluid

Just how do you go about draining and refilling your brake fluid?

I've been a DIY'fer for many, many years, starting with John Deere, Farmall and Ford Ferguson tractors back on the farm in the fifties. Well, frankly I was repairing leather harnesses for the mules before that.

Your brakes are your LIFE!

Do you know of any Lexus dealer that wouldn't use a lowly gofer, McD flipper, for these "mundane" routine maintenance tasks? Maybe I am too arrogant for my own good but I have much more confidence in myself than I would in even a master mechanic "stranger" when it comes to this type of brake system work.

Change out the pads, turn the rotors, etc, no problem.

Okay, how serious are we about all of this? If you want to COMPLETELY drain your brake fluid, and that's the only way you can prevent the old "worn out contaminated"*** fluid from compromising the new fluid, then wouldn't you want to disassemble the calipers? Is there another way to drain them completely?

No?

(*** not my opinion)

Here's my bet.

What the dealer considers draining and replenishing your brake fluid is having a gofer use a pressure bleed system to feed new brake fluid into the system as each caliper is opened for "bleeding". An honest{?} dealer would pump enough fluid "in" to replenish your complete volume but my guess would be that you'll still end up with about a 50/50 mix.

I have owned 911s for many years now and had more than a few brake calipers replaced or upgraded. I have used the very same Porsche maintenance shop for all of those years. My experience has been that more often than not when brake work is done, the system is "opened", you will return within a week to have your brakes "bled" again.

And there is the issue of whether or not you even need to drain and replace on some regular scheduled basis. Someone will have to prove it to me. And like motor oil, brake fluid has different quality ratings.

What "fluid" is in YOUR brakes?

You can lay good odds that the factory did it right, but what guranttees do you have that the dealer isn't using inexpensive recycled? Or the cheapest brand he can purchase?

And does your dealer know that the properties of brake fluid is such that it CANNOT be stored in an open container?

I've driven two cars, Fords yet, over 250k miles and I can assure you that the only time ANY new brake fluid was introduced into those systems was becuase of some type of brake system failure not related to "old" fluid.

There is ONE EXCEPTION. But those people know who they are. Anyone who drives a car so hard that constant use of the brakes threatens boiling of the fluid will need to quite diligently perform scheduled brake fluid change outs.
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Old 01-15-02, 11:51 AM   #48
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Quote:
Just how do you go about draining and refilling your brake fluid?
Not sure if this was directed towards me, but I'll answer it.

Since I have run my Mustang at several open track events (Laguna Seca, Sears Point, Thunderhill), I am fairly comfortable with brake systems & brake fluids, having rebuilt my car's twin piston calipers several times (due to melting the seals from on-track use). I even flush out the Motul 600 race fluid and replace with Castrol LMA after an event since the race fluid breaks down fast w/ daily use.

What *I* mean by changing the brake fluid is really nothing more than bleeding the brakes really well---that is running several bottles of fluid through, being careful not to let the MC run dry.

The initial fluid will come out dark--we use a plastic 1 liter water bottle and a clear hose to monitor color. I generally will run 2-4 bottles of fluid through a system until it starts coming out the same color as the new fluid. For the most part, IMO the new fluid will push the old fluid out. The fluid in the calipers obviously gets flushed first since that is where the bleeder screws are.

I know that professional shops have 'power' bleeders that are much more efficient than my old fashioned way, but it works for me and doesn't take long once the car's off the ground & the wheels are removed. Like I said earlier, my car still has it's original brake fluid and brake pads, and I'm @ 66,700 miles. When I change the front pads I'll run several bottles of high quality fluid through the system, including the rears. That's my definition of 'changing the brake fluid'.

Regards,

Sean Lewis
Tampa, FL
'97 LS400 Coach Ed.
'94 Acura Legend LS
'93 Mustang Supercharged, 440rwhp
'96 Viper GTS (sold 06/01)

Last edited by seanl; 01-15-02 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 01-15-02, 11:53 AM   #49
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Sean,

I take it your LS is no longer under warranty. What are the chances that the dealer will give you a hard time about warranty service if you don't let them do all of the scheduled maintanance?

Who did your 60K service?
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Old 01-15-02, 12:19 PM   #50
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JA-

My car has 66.7K miles on it, so yes, the powertrain warranty is still in effect until 70K miles. I highly doubt I'll have powertrain failure in the next 3K miles though, as my car, bought at auction as a lease return, runs great.

It would actually be ILLEGAL for Lexus to force anyone to have their car serviced exclusively by Lexus. I'd guess that MOST Lexus customers do take their cars to Lex, just because they're comfortable with the dealership, get a loaner car, and expect perfect workmanship (which they should for how much it's costing). But I've been around the block a few times, and can see through all that fluff. The Lexus, as much as I love mine, is really just a big, rear wheel drive Toyota, there's nothing exotic about servicing it...

The only time I would see a potential issue is if I did ALL the servicing at home since there would be no shop invoices. But even then, Lexus would have to prove that LACK OF SERVICING caused the failure. I don't even save my receipts from oil changes, I merely make a note of the mileage in my Quicken home finance software.

Anyway, his shop, Boulevard Auto, is a small setup, with 4-5 bays, and definitely does NOT provide the level of customer service that Lexus does, i.e. no capuchino machines, muffins, or big screen TVs. But they did the work that I asked at a reasonable price, and there have been no problems in the 6,700 miles since the service.

-Sean

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Old 01-15-02, 01:24 PM   #51
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Default race?

selewis:

"Race (brake) fluid breaks down fast w/daily use."

I would imagine that brake fluids formulated for heavy duty, racing, use would have a much higher boiling point than "ordinary" fluids. But I have never, ever, heard of racing brake fluids being more prone to "breakdown" due to daily driving.

Can you tell us what type of breakdown you refer to?

And if you unstall racing brake fluid before a race and then when you drain it out IMHO you need to find out what is wrong with your brake system that causing it to turn dark.
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Old 01-15-02, 01:44 PM   #52
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Although not pertinent to our discussion on our Lexus' brake fluid, HD racing brake fluid with higher wet and dry boiling pts. is not good in a daily driver.

Believe me, I'm NO expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I've been around the track long enough to learn the basics from those who've been in the game a long time.

I've paraphrased a bit, but here's my take on brake fluids...


The main reasons brake fluid requires regular changing is internal contamination and water mixed in the system. Contamination comes from any number of sources from calipers to brake lines to master cylinders, etc. Brake fluid is hydroscopic (absorbs water). The older brake fluid gets the more water it can absorb particularly in wetter climates.

Motul Racing 600 is an exotic & expensive synthetic fluid with high wet and dry boiling points (585dry/421wet). I use this exclusively in my cars when driving on the track. I don't even bother for autocrossing, since auto-xing doesn't get the brakes hot enough. At $10/ bottle, it's expensive and requires frequent changing due to its hygroscopic nature. In other words, it's not suitable for the street because it absorbs moisture quickly (that's why it gets dark so fast).

OTOH, Castrol LMA is very good at rejecting moisture and may be kept in the brake system for a couple years. This is what I run in my car on the street, it's cheap and readily available. The LMA stands for "Low Moisture Activity". It comes in plastic containers which do not have a long shelf life. I don't buy lots of this stuff at a time because moisture can make its way through the plastic containers.

-Sean
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Old 01-15-02, 03:27 PM   #53
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Let's try this: How come we trust the refrigerant and refrigerant lubricating oil in our automotive A/C systems, let alone our freezers and refrigerators at home, to last ten years or more without wearing out or becoming contaminated.
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Old 01-15-02, 04:45 PM   #54
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Actually, you can have the A/C system flushed/evacuated and have new oil and refrigerant put in. But it is a very expensive service. In our hot climate, I have gone through quite a few compressors and of course had to have the above done each time.

Either do the fluid changes yourself or make sure the dealer does it right like I do.

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Old 01-15-02, 04:52 PM   #55
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Willard,

Most automotive systems require fluid changes. Does everyone follow their owner's manual to the letter, probably not. I am sure that the vast majority of cars probably go to their graves with their original brake fluid and engine coolant.
But personally, I care more about my cars and tend to keep them long-term and don't like having brake fluid the color of coffee, so I change it. The Lexus manual in the glove box of my car calls for a brake fluid change at 60K miles. It does not call for A/C servicing. Due to it's chemical composition, brake fluid, which is really hydraulic fluid, attracts water and detoriorates, there's nothing we can do to change that fact, other than occasionally flush the old out and replace with fresh fluid.

On the other hand, I've not read anywhere that our Lexus A/C systems needs fluid changes as part of the (Preventative) Maintenance, so I don't change my A/C refridgerant /refrigerant oil. Perhaps the lubricating oil in the a/c system isn't exposed to extreme temperatures, I don't know. But I believe the system is designed as a NO maintenance system. For the most part, as long as there are no leaks, the a/c should remain in fine working order.

I can't comment on home fridges since I'm not that familiar with their inner workings, I'm a very recent first time home owner

Regards,
Sean Lewis
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Old 02-09-04, 09:27 PM   #56
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will a radiator flush enhance A/C coolness in summer, or is more so for keeping the car from overheating? (noticed that my LS400 and now pops LS430 cools more quickly, and colder)
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Old 02-11-04, 02:51 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally posted by ranjankhan
will a radiator flush enhance A/C coolness in summer, or is more so for keeping the car from overheating? (noticed that my LS400 and now pops LS430 cools more quickly, and colder)
Your really digging the grave on this one. This thread is 2 years old
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Old 02-11-04, 03:18 PM   #58
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can anyone answer?
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Old 02-11-04, 04:16 PM   #59
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ranjankhan ...........

I would doubt very much that a radiator flush would do anything noticeable for the AC. If you are using the AC this time of year, February, it should get colder faster since the outside "ambient" air temperature is significantly lower than in the summer.

The AC system is nothing more than a heat pump ......... when the outside temp is lower it can "get rid of" the heat much faster. All makes and models would exhibit the same effect.

Hope that helps?

98

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Old 02-11-04, 04:24 PM   #60
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just trying to justify all these flushes, I can understand ATF, and maybe brake, but radiator, etc?

and I can't believe the $1000s that are paid to dealers for 60 and 90K checkups, which are mostly 'inspections' and flushes, timing belt probably justified, but I'll wait till 6 digit odometer
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