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Old 10-11-2005, 09:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Changing brake fluid?

Anyone have any tips on changing your brake fluid? I mean totally purging it out and refilling the system. I've never had to do that before, that I can think of. Should I assume it's just like bleeding them for a long time, or is it something that would be 'shop-worthy'? If I can have a brake shop do it for $30 and 30 min, I'll go that route.

Also, anyone know anything about the different levels of brake fluid? I'm looking for a high-temp, racing quality fluid, but the DOT3, DOT4, etc... have me a little confused. Is that just so you don't mix different types together, or do certain brake setups require certain brake fluids, like engine oil.
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Old 10-11-2005, 09:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have done my brake fluid once before and will be doing it again this weekend. When I went to autozone I had them look up the type of fluid for our cars and they came up with DOT 3, so that what I used. I bought the sythetic fluid. I also bought a one person bleeding kit and I didnt have much luck with it. It was ten times easier for me to have someone pump the pedal as I bled each caliper. The difference in the colors between the OEM fluid and the Prestone stuff I bought was significant enough that I just bled each caliper until new fluid came out. You gotta top off the master cylinder every now and then while doing this. Once I got the second person to pump the pedal it only took about 15 min. to do.

I hope I didnt give you any bad info. There are a lot of people that know more that me about this stuff. This what worked for me though.

I think the difference between fluids is the lubrication qualities between DOT 3, DOT4, ect.....
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Old 10-11-2005, 10:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It seems the higher temp brake fluid is a higher DOT rating, I also noticed that the silicone fluid seems to be the best. Not totally sure.
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Old 10-11-2005, 10:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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DOT3 non-silicone type for your ION Sp00ner.
Many internal parts not compatible with DOT4
Also when bleeding brakes, the recommended method is a pressure bleed (master cyl pressurized to 25-30 psi) FOLLOWED BY AN ABS AUTO-BLEED. This is an automated bleed of the ABS modulator using a scan tool, and is very important as air can get trapped in the ABS hydraulic unit during bleeding or service. This air can go undetected (pedal feels OK) until the first ABS event where it can both disrupt ABS performance and/or result in a spongy pedal afterwards.
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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So, just head to a brake shop there Wop? Or Saturn? I'm not one that like to play with the brakes, at least not that aspect of the brakes. I'm getting steel lines as well. So any DOT3 (non-silicone) fluid? Is the DOT4+ all silicone based or something?
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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are you getting you steel lines from SSBC Spooner?
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Here at the shop we use DOT4 for all of our brake flushes. We have been doing that for a few years now with no problems in any vehicle. The DOT4 has a higher heat tolerance than DOT3. We use a machine that attaches to the top of the master cyl and pressurizes the system and runs about a full quart of fluid through the system. We have not ever had to do a bleed of the ABS system afterwards since there is always fluid present with no chance of air getting into the system.
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sp00ner
So, just head to a brake shop there Wop? Or Saturn? I'm not one that like to play with the brakes, at least not that aspect of the brakes. I'm getting steel lines as well. So any DOT3 (non-silicone) fluid? Is the DOT4+ all silicone based or something?
I recommend your dealer of course.
But look in your owners manual under
'"Recommended Fluids and Lubricants"
GM recommends ONLY DOT3 brake fluid in all of their products and train thier dealers to do the same. DOT4 and 5 fluids cannot be guaranteed to be compatible with all of the materials it may come in contact with ,in a modern brake system.

As far as brake system "flushing" goes, GMs position is stated in TSB# 04-06-01-029
Quote:
In normal usage, GM vehicles do not require additional procedures or additives beyond what’s presented in the former Vehicle Maintenance Schedules and the current Simplified Maintenance Schedules. Maintenance schedules do not call for flushing of engine crankcases, fuel injectors, A/C lines, radiators, transmission coolers, brake systems, or power steering systems as a part of regular scheduled maintenance.
If there's been some sort of "contamination", that's another story and GM has an FSM process to deal in with that event.
WOT

Last edited by WopOnTour; 10-11-2005 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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From my understanding of it, you can go to DOT4 from DOT3, but you can't go down from a DOT4 system to a dot3. From what we were told from BG when we started using this system is that you can flush the entire system and put DOT4 in it, but you shouldnt just top off the DOT3 with DOT4. We have used DOT4 in all makes and models when we flush them with no problems.
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racenpilot
From my understanding of it, you can go to DOT4 from DOT3, but you can't go down from a DOT4 system to a dot3. From what we were told from BG when we started using this system is that you can flush the entire system and put DOT4 in it, but you shouldnt just top off the DOT3 with DOT4. We have used DOT4 in all makes and models when we flush them with no problems.
As with anything like this the best course of action in general is to go with the manufacturer's recommendations. For instance, if a repair facility chose to use a DOT4 or 5 fluid in a GM car or truck AND that vehicle was involved in litigation (for an accident maybe?) then that repair facility can be found negligent for not performing service as the manufacturer recommends.
Quite simply GM does not recommend ANYTHING but DOT3 (even in a C6 Corvette!) so doing anything otherwise opens you up to potential lawsuits.

JMO
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Last edited by WopOnTour; 10-11-2005 at 11:43 AM.
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