Checking The Brake Fluid - Unofficial Honda FIT Forums

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Checking The Brake Fluid

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  #1  
Old 01-14-2018, 11:49 AM
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Checking The Brake Fluid

Hi first post here. I own a 2015 Fit EX and everything I could find online says I should change my brake fluid every 3 years. Well I checked the fluid and it's still a brightly clear yellow. Do I still have to change it?
 
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2018, 12:00 PM
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Like motor oil, brake fluid needs to be changed because of age. In the case of motor oil, it gets more acidic. For brake fluid, I believe it loses it's ability to resist the boiling point.
 
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:03 PM
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and everything I could find online says I should change my brake fluid every 3 years.
Open your owners manual if you want to see it printed in black and white.

Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture.
In addition to lowering the boiling point, moisture in the fluid can rot the hydraulic system from the inside out.
 
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Open your owners manual if you want to see it printed in black and white.

Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture.
In addition to lowering the boiling point, moisture in the fluid can rot the hydraulic system from the inside out.
​​​​​Thanks. My owner's manual doesn't mention it though. In just a few months, the fluid color had changed from light yellow to brown. So, I went ahead and did the service anyway.
 
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Old 03-09-2018, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Gekisen View Post
​​​​​Thanks. My owner's manual doesn't mention it though.
See Page 359 (I'm looking at the electronic version), right column, "Maintenance Service Items"
 
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:31 AM
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Hmm. I didn't see that. Every three years. Jeez, my pads aren't even half worn yet (21,000 miles after 2.8 years). So let's see, how do we replace the brake fluid? I would imagine one could simply open one of the 4 bleeder valves, put a piece of vinyl tubing on it, and pump until fluid stops coming out. That should empty the reservoir. Then I would close the first valve and put the tubing on each of other 3 wheels, one at a time, and and pump. But then we have to pour in new fluid, and bleed. There should be service info somewhere describing the order in which to bleed. I think it may be a different order, for different cars.

I have a little piece of clear vinyl tubing with a check valve in it. That should avoid the need to open the bleeder valve before each brake pedal down-press, and close it before each up-let. I could leave the bleeder valve open and let the check valve do the work. I wonder where I stored it? If I can find it I would put it on one wheel at a time and have my helper pump the brake pedal and watch the tubing until I don't see any more bubbles in it.
 

Last edited by nomenclator; 04-13-2018 at 12:48 AM.
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  #7  
Old 04-13-2018, 01:35 PM
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Honda Branded Brake Fluid!

Goodness gracious, there they go again with "use only genuine..." declaration. "Honda Heavy Duty Brake Fluid DOT 3" At about 2 times the price of quality name brand heavy duty DOT 3 or DOT 4 fluid.

page 371 of the owners manual:
"If the specified brake fluid is not available, you should use only DOT 3 or DOT 4 fluid from a sealed container as a temporary replacement. Using any non-Honda brake fluid can cause corrosion and decrease the longevity of the system. Have the brake system flushed and refilled with Honda Heavy Duty Brake Fluid DOT 3 as soon as possible."

I am reasonably certain that whatever company makes Honda's brake fluid also sells it under their own brand name, but I'm finding it hard to believe the Fit's metal brake lines are any different than the metal brake tubing in any other car. And the manual doesn't say anything about special material in the flexible seals for the master cylinder, the drum brake slave cylinder cups and seals, or the caliper piston seals. Probably the rubbery material used is the same material used in cars from other manufacturers, no?

From College Hills Honda brake fluid sales page "Honda Genuine Brake Fluid. Specially formulated to work with Honda braking systems, Honda Genuine Brake Fluid contains moisture inhibitors that help maintain correct lubricity and fluidity in virtually any driving conditions. What’s more, its blend of top-quality ingredients is designed to maintain effectiveness for the full three-year period between recommended changes. 12oz. each."

Well, that is pretty vague and unimpressive. You could say about any brake fluid, that it contains moisture inhibitors. Then they add, meaninglessly, that is has "top-quality ingredients." All brake fluid is hydroscopic; all brake fluid has moisture inhibitors and corrosion inhibitors; all brake fluid needs to be changed periodically anyway. What exactly, if anything, is actually better about Honda brand?

I am going to put Honda brand CVT lube in the CVT, but for every other fluid, I am really skeptical about any difference. For the cooling system, Zerex Asian formula (HOAT coolant) seems to be very close to Honda's coolant, and better than other types of coolants. In addition, the company that makes Honda's coolant (I forget the name) also sells it directly. That is about it. No power steering fluid, the power steering is electric. Honda doesn't insist on their own brand of motor oil, or their own oil filters, only CVT lube, coolant, and brake fluid.
 

Last edited by nomenclator; 04-13-2018 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 04-30-2018, 05:05 PM
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I for one, am not afraid to use the cheap walmart brand dot 3 brake fluid
 
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ezone View Post
See Page 359 (I'm looking at the electronic version), right column, "Maintenance Service Items"
You're right! That was easy for me to overlook.
 
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by evilchargerfan View Post
I for one, am not afraid to use the cheap walmart brand dot 3 brake fluid
Me neither. I've used it on my pickup truck for many years without any trouble. I doubt anyone produces a special DOT3 formulation that's better than others.
 
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Alco RS-1 View Post
Me neither. I've used it on my pickup truck for many years without any trouble. I doubt anyone produces a special DOT3 formulation that's better than others.


Ford Dot3. Back in the day, Carroll Shelby used this on his race cars. I also used this when I did track days too.
 
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:29 AM
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I was another user of the Ford fluid.


Nowadays I use DOT4 fluid from NAPA. DOT4 has a slightly higher boiling point, but it's best attribute is that it is Low Moisture Absorbing.



I STILL replace brake & clutch fluid every three-four years.
 
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:36 AM
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ATE Type200 DOT 4 user here. There are better fluids and cheaper fluids, but it's my go to for better stuff without breaking the bank.

Have used it exclusively in multiple vehicles since about 2002. No problems yet. Made a big difference in brake fade in our Fit. Changed it back in 2008 after having horrible brake fade during our first mountain run. No fade since.
 
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Old 08-23-2018, 11:47 AM
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Anyone have any suggestions as to how to change the brake fluid? After you make a note of where the brake level is, in the reservoir, and suck the fluid out of the reservoir with an ear syringe or a turkey baster, or an emptied fleet enema jar, there is still fluid in the brake lines; how do you get this fluid out? Do you simply pump it out with the brake pedal out of one bleeder valve? I would think it would be better if you open all 4 bleeder valves, put a piece of hose on each valve and leave the other end of each hose over an empty tin can, and keep pumping until no more fluid comes out of any of the valves, then close all 4 valves, and then add brake fluid to the reservoir, and bleed the brakes the way I describe above. That is, with a piece of tubing with a check-valve in it. Chilton's says, Left front (driver's side), right front, right rear, left rear. When finished I would leave the reservoir at the same level it was before emptying it. This is because as the front brake pads wear, the level gets lower, Leaving the reservoir at this lower level will make things easier when you next change the front brake pads, as these will force the level higher. If, with partially worn pads, you top up the reservoir to the maximum line, installing the new pads will push the fluid too high, and spill it over the top (unless you suck some out first, wasting it). With partially worn pads, as long as the level is above the minimum line, you are fine. No need to top up. The system is designed so that, unless there is a leak, the level will still be above the minimum line, even if pads are worn down to the limit.
 

Last edited by nomenclator; 08-23-2018 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 08-23-2018, 12:39 PM
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I just do each corner one at a time and bleed until I see the new fluid. Topping off as I go of course. You go through the most fluid for the first one and then not as much for the other 3.

Do not suck the old fluid out of the reservoir to start as you need the old fluid to cycle through so you can see when it changes to the newer/clearer fluid.

Years ago I purchased one of those vacuum kits for doing it by myself, but I find it to be way more trouble than it's worth. I just have the wife do the pedal pushing part and it's quicker/easier/less messy. Put a thin block of wood under the brake pedal to prevent damaging the master cylinder by possibly having the pedal over travel the plunger.
 
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Old 08-23-2018, 01:18 PM
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Unlike GAFIT, I DO remove some fluid from the reservoir before doing a flush. I think it saves time (and you can still see when the fresh fluid starts to come out).

I started using a vacuum bleeder last year. I have both a MityVac and a knockoff Harbor Freight unit. This saves even more time when flushing.

https://www.harborfreight.com/mityva...ump-39522.html ~$43 USD

https://www.harborfreight.com/brake-...kit-69328.html ~ $25 USD

Whichever pump you buy, be sure that it is properly sealed around the cap. Also, smearing some multi-purpose grease around the threads of the bleeders resists air leaks, too.

+++++++++++

Notice I mentioned 'flushing'. As long as you don't suck the reservoir dry and introduce air, I don't think it makes a big difference which wheel you start with. (If you are replacing hydraulics, (bleeding air) THAT'S DIFFERENT.)
 
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Old 08-23-2018, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbuff2 View Post
Unlike GAFIT, I DO remove some fluid from the reservoir before doing a flush. I think it saves time (and you can still see when the fresh fluid starts to come out).
I can see the benefit. I guess you suck some fluid out and top off? Key is to not let it suck in air. Then you've got a bigger job.
 
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Old 08-24-2018, 10:38 AM
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bleeder screw size

I've been looking at one-man brake bleeders with check valves, such as
this this
, or https://www.summitracing.com/parts/cav-247/. But they look like they have cheap diaphragm-style check valves. You can get diaphragm check valves such as https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?sku=64048&gclid=Cj0KCQjw2f7bBRDVARIsAAwYBBtt9hYS9XWMXaLo0D0pA7665lZ5QBfTqpXERjIhRG1OFAKhbTUUYR8aAmlbEALw_wcB, but I don't know if they are suitable and they also look cheap. I think the best thing to do is to get something like these https://www.summitracing.com/parts/rus-639560 to replace the original bleeder valves. These look like high quality. Does anyone know what size threads, diameter and pitch, are needed for the 3rd generation Fit? Rear may be different than front. It would save me a lot of time if I knew the sizes beforehand! The http://www.russellperformance.com/mc/speed-bleeders does not list the Honda Fit at all.

Alternatively, since they come in pairs, I could just buy one pair, of any size, and only one would actually be needed. I would place vinyl tubing over the nipple end of the speed bleeder, and another piece of vinyl tubing over the nipple of the bleeder valve in the car. Then I would somehow connect the threaded end of the speed bleeder to the tubing coming out of the car. However there is a problem with that. The problem is that hole in the side of the speed bleeder, at the threaded end of the speed bleeder. This hole has to have space around it for fluid to get through it. So some sort of adapter would be needed between the tubing coming out of the car, and the threaded end of the speed bleeder. Ideally something with a nipple on one end, and a threaded hole for the speed bleeder to screw into.
 

Last edited by nomenclator; 08-24-2018 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 08-24-2018, 10:46 AM
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Not sure what the problem is with my above post. It looks right in the Preview mode, but comes out wrong when doing a Save.
 
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Old 08-24-2018, 01:27 PM
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Looks like that's HTML tags versus UBB tags.
 
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