Brake Fluid not changed? What color should it be?

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Thread: Brake Fluid not changed? What color should it be?

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    Brake Fluid not changed? What color should it be?

    Hey all, I supposedly got my brake fluid changed on my '06 Cobalt a few weeks ago ($120)and supposedly also got a wheel alignment and oil change.
    The car was riding worse than before the alignment (no print out and all it said on the receipt is that they adjusted the toe camber),so I brought it in to where I bought my tires for a free rotation and wheel balance. When I picked it up he told me the brake fluid was dirty!
    Now, what color is it supposed to be because he said it was green and cloudy and he said it should be clear and I looked at it and to me it sure looked dirty.
    I would be amazed if they didn't bother to do it but I decided to check my oil and it looked orange, kinda dark too. I expected it to be pretty clear.
    This dealer may be in for a very irate customer!

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    Re: Brake Fluid not changed? What color should it be?

    New brake fluid is supposed to be clear. As it ages it turns yellowish-brown

    Here's a pic of dirty versus clear brake fluid:
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    Re: Brake Fluid not changed? What color should it be?

    Could also be purple (silicone DOT 5)

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    Re: Brake Fluid not changed? What color should it be?

    I would change brake fluid around 50k miles as it is hydrophobic and overtime water can build up and mess with the system.
    Just that time again to ignore certain people. I'm certain they will continue to try and instigate and antagonize while throwing up their arms saying they did nothing but are here on a civil basis. Not worth the time seeing how some just seem to know all.

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    Re: Brake Fluid not changed? What color should it be?

    I have 50k.
    The dealer said the fluid was dirty and recommended changing it so I went ahead and did it because I like to take care of my car.
    However, the fluid thats in there now is definitely not clear and its not purple. It just looks........dirty.
    I am not a happy camper right now. They also charged more than I thought it should be ($120).
    Let me ask you guys, should new oil be orange? (its a synthetic blend I believe).

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    Re: Brake Fluid not changed? What color should it be?

    Man that is an expensive dealer. Fluid should be AT MOST $20 and that leaves $100 for labor when its maybe an 1/2 hour job a most.
    Just that time again to ignore certain people. I'm certain they will continue to try and instigate and antagonize while throwing up their arms saying they did nothing but are here on a civil basis. Not worth the time seeing how some just seem to know all.

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    Re: Brake Fluid not changed? What color should it be?

    I remember bleeding my clutch and getting BLACK brake fluid out of there... clear as water at the reservoir, black as fresh asphalt out of the bleeder screw. worn seal I guess

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    Re: Brake Fluid not changed? What color should it be?

    Brake fluid absorbs 1-2% moisture/year
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    Re: Brake Fluid not changed? What color should it be?

    Quote Originally Posted by GMCSonoma View Post
    a light taupe...as I would guess.
    I'll check it again tomorrow in the sunlight

    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    Man that is an expensive dealer. Fluid should be AT MOST $20 and that leaves $100 for labor when its maybe an 1/2 hour job a most.
    The funny thing is they said it would take an hour to do but when I got back there to wait for it it was ready in 1/2 hour. I thought that was odd but they had never ripped me off before so I let it go. Evans Tire said they charge $50 for the same job.

    Quote Originally Posted by GMCSonoma View Post
    One other thing....motor oil that looks clean out of the bottle, will not be as clean on the dipstick due to residuals in the engine & oil pan that does not completely drain out.

    Case in point, when I resealed my PA's oil pan last summer, the car normally uses 4 1/2 quarts of oil on an oil & filter change, however after I had dropped the oil pan and cleaned it all out (and no sludge or buildup in 145K miles! MUY BIEN!!!) and upon oil fill it took a full 5 quarts...same theory could apply to brake fluid, as there is NOTHING to clean out the old brake fluid except new brake fluid...

    Just another observation based on my personal experiences!
    But looking in the reservoir it should look clear, right? I just see dark fluid.

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    Re: Brake Fluid not changed? What color should it be?

    Quote Originally Posted by GMCSonoma View Post
    Generally GM does not recommend flushing the brake or power steering system as a maintainence item...only if there was some outside contamination.

    I know for fact my 1998 Park Avenue had it's original brake fluid in it until I replaced a brake hose a year ago (which got cut by a chunk of ice in the wheel well....I should file that with the NHTSA!!LOL!)


    Just my 2 cents worth, whatever that is???
    Odd. Odd.

    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    I would change brake fluid around 50k miles as it is hydrophobic and overtime water can build up and mess with the system.
    I consider BF and PSF normal maintenance items. Guess I'll never make it to the GM Executive Department. Dern!

    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    Man that is an expensive dealer. Fluid should be AT MOST $20 and that leaves $100 for labor when its maybe an 1/2 hour job a most.
    You forgot order-out steaks for everyone in the service department. That adds up fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by F14CRAZY View Post
    Brake fluid absorbs 1-2% moisture/year
    A little brake fluid in your moisture never hurt, did it?

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    Re: Brake Fluid not changed? What color should it be?

    I bled the brakes in my 2003 Trailblazer at about 103,000.
    I bled each corner in the recommended pattern-- farthest to closest.
    1st using a turkey baster- I removed SOME of the old fluid from the reservoir- and put in fresh clear fluid...
    I would continue to bleed (by the method where a person pumps the brakes and holds- then I open bleeder screw and then close- repeat). until the fluid started to become clear.
    It came out fairly dirty--- its not clear after 103,000.
    for me it was grayish dark.
    I continue to bleed until I can see a difference in the color of the fluid.
    then I proceed to repeat on the rest.... always making sure that the reservoir does not go low.

    My brakes were good. but after 103K--- I just replaced it. The brakes felt a little better...
    Now is this the recommended way for all brakes systems? im not sure-- but worked for me...

    would using one of those machines really clear it out? I dont know-- Ive never had it done at a shop..
    I now have 153,000 on the trailblazer--- still purring along.

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    Re: Brake Fluid not changed? What color should it be?

    my understanding is that moisture (water) does not compress like brake fluid does...
    obviously they have diff. properties under pressure...

    and as your fluid begins to pick up moisture--- thats when you begin to feel those squishy brakes- as your essentially compressing water- along with brake fluid.

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    Re: Brake Fluid not changed? What color should it be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Olds88 View Post
    New brake fluid is supposed to be clear. As it ages it turns yellowish-brown

    Here's a pic of dirty versus clear brake fluid:
    It actually seemed darker than that last pic

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    Re: Brake Fluid not changed? What color should it be?

    Quote Originally Posted by rbarrios View Post
    my understanding is that moisture (water) does not compress like brake fluid does...
    obviously they have diff. properties under pressure...

    and as your fluid begins to pick up moisture--- thats when you begin to feel those squishy brakes- as your essentially compressing water- along with brake fluid.
    The difference in compressibility between water and brake fluid is insignificant, for all intents and purposes all liquids are incompressible

    That said the main issue is that when the brake fluid gets contaminated with water, the boiling point drops significantly and boiling brake fluid is particularly undesirable

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    Re: Brake Fluid not changed? What color should it be?

    Quote Originally Posted by steve333 View Post
    I'll check it again tomorrow in the sunlight
    The funny thing is they said it would take an hour to do but when I got back there to wait for it it was ready in 1/2 hour. I thought that was odd but they had never ripped me off before so I let it go. Evans Tire said they charge $50 for the same job.
    But looking in the reservoir it should look clear, right? I just see dark fluid.
    The fluid should not be dark if they changed it. I'd say it hasn't been touched.

    Check and see if there are any fresh marks on the bleeder screws in the calipers & wheels cylinders.

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