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ezzrider

Power Steering Fluid Exchange And Brake Fluid Flush

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My 2007 ES350 was in for service this week and the dealer indicated my brake fluid needed to be flushed and the power steering fluid needed to be exchanged. The dealer indicated both were dirty. I have 67,000 miles on my ES350 which I purchased new. All recommended service has been performed at the Lexus dealer. How exactly does your brake fluid or power steering fluid get "dirty" unless there was some sort of leak in either system. These are sealed systems. I have owned quite a few vehicles in my time and have never heard of the power steering fluid needing to be "exchanged" and the brake fluid needing to be flushed unless those systems were being repaired?

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Changing the brake fluid is very necessary -- what does your maintenance manual tell you?

Changing the power steering fluid is not necessary -- what does your maintenance manual say about that?

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Changing the brake fluid is very necessary -- what does your maintenance manual tell you?

Changing the power steering fluid is not necessary -- what does your maintenance manual say about that?

Good idea - The owners manual does recommend changing the brake fluid as 60,000 miles as a routine maintenance. The power steering fluid is recommended to be changed at 60,000 miles if you do towing.

I also own a 2008 Ford F250 Crew Cab 4x4 pickup truck. I looked at the f250 maintenance schedule out to 150,000 miles. There is no place that a brake fluid or power steering fluid exchange or flush is recommended. My f250 4 wheel drive pickup truck weighs 8,000 lbs. You would think between a Lexus ES350 and an 8,000 lb pickup truck that it would not be the Lexus only that recommended these items? Then the Lexus brake and power steering systems are inferior to the Ford? I would not think so. I thought the Lexus vehicles were superior to most others. I guess not.

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The driving force behind changing brake fluid is moisture working its way into the system. If your seals are good and moisture cannot seep in, your brake fluid will last a long, long time. But if moisture gets in, your master cylinder's seals will eventually leak. Pay attention to the condition of your fluid. Look at it as part of your weekly oil level and tire pressure checks. As it darkens in color, you may eventually decide to change it....

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The driving force behind changing brake fluid is moisture working its way into the system. If your seals are good and moisture cannot seep in, your brake fluid will last a long, long time. But if moisture gets in, your master cylinder's seals will eventually leak. Pay attention to the condition of your fluid. Look at it as part of your weekly oil level and tire pressure checks. As it darkens in color, you may eventually decide to change it....

Well I can see if moisture was in your brake or power steering system that you would need to fix the problem and change the fluids out. If my seals were bad then I should see a leak. If my seals were bad and I flushed and put in new fluids without repairing the seals then I would have not corrected the problem. Again what is the point of a routine changing of brake and powersteering fluids unless a problem is discovered? It is not required on my 08 F250 pickup or my 2001 Corvette. Thanks for your input and I still do not see the reason unless there is a leak.

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The primary reason for dealerships to offer brake fluid exchange is called "big profit margin". I think you already realize that....

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The primary reason for dealerships to offer brake fluid exchange is called "big profit margin". I think you already realize that....

That was/is my intitial thoughts on changing out or flushing the fluids. That is why I posted this question to get input from other Lexus Owners. I still do not see a valid reason. Again it is not recommended on my 2008 F250 which weights 8,000 lbs and would put far more stress on the braking and power steering systems.

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I've never heard of a "sealed" brake fluid and power steering system before, this is new to me. What I do on the power steering fluid, is every 10k miles, I take a turkey baster, open the steering fluid container, pull some old fluid out (just to the top of the feeder line hose - not below it, don't want air in the system), and replace it with fresh fluid of equal amount. Start the car, turn the wheel a couple of times to circulate the new fluid through, then do it once more. Keeps it all at a certain level of freshness. Those of us who've owned a 90's LS400 series before, know the importance of fresh power steering fluid pretty well! :cheers:

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I've never heard of a "sealed" brake fluid and power steering system before, this is new to me.

I guess a better word would be enclosed brake fluid and power steering system instead of sealed I guess. I was just trying to point out unless there was a leak then the fluids should not get dirty. Now if you say it needs to be freshened then again why does Ford have no such requirements on their Trucks? I still can't figure that out.

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However the seals do wear, and contaminate the fluid...Flushing gets rid of the contaminants....

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Exactly as Tom has pointed out. And that's what I meant by "sealed"....

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However the seals do wear, and contaminate the fluid...Flushing gets rid of the contaminants....

I am sounding like a broken record and maybe I am just s-l-o-w. If the seals are worn enough to allow leaking or something contaminating the brake or power steering fluids then the seals should be replaced. Again this is a REPAIR issue and covered under most warranties. For the last time MY 2008 FORD F250 CREW CAB 4X4 PICKUP TRUCK THAT WEIGHS 8000 LBS. DOES NOT REQUIRE OR RECOMMEND FLUSHING OR REPLACING THE BRAKE OR POWER STEERING FLUIDS. I WILL GUARANTEE YOU A 8,000 LB. PICKUP PUTS MORE STRESS ON THE BRAKE AND POWER STEERING SYSTEMS THAN ANY LEXUS MADE. IS THE LEXUS BRAKE AND POWER STEERING SYSTEMS THAT INFERIOR TO FORD????????? Ok I am through venting.

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NO but during the twelve years of ownership of my RX I noticed the fluid changes color just as the fords do.(I have a F150) And when it does I flush the lines when doing brakes.....

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NO but during the twelve years of ownership of my RX I noticed the fluid changes color just as the fords do.(I have a F150) And when it does I flush the lines when doing brakes.....

I see no issue with flushing the brake lines at the time you are doing a brake job. Good idea but I still do not agree with doing it every 30,000 miles and paying the Lexus dealer $139.95 and I am still at a loss that is recommended by Lexus. When doing a brake job flusing the brake fluid is different.

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For the last time MY 2008 FORD F250 CREW CAB 4X4 PICKUP TRUCK THAT WEIGHS 8000 LBS. DOES NOT REQUIRE OR RECOMMEND FLUSHING OR REPLACING THE BRAKE OR POWER STEERING FLUIDS. I WILL GUARANTEE YOU A 8,000 LB. PICKUP PUTS MORE STRESS ON THE BRAKE AND POWER STEERING SYSTEMS THAN ANY LEXUS MADE. IS THE LEXUS BRAKE AND POWER STEERING SYSTEMS THAT INFERIOR TO FORD????????? Ok I am through venting.

Well, then ... don't change the brake fluid in your Lexus either if you would rather apply your Ford truck's maintenance schedule to your Lexus. Some of us, however, choose to follow automobile manufacturers' maintenance schedules. If you choose not to, fine but please don't SHOUT because it only makes you seem weird.

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Actually my Ford F150 does recommend changing the fluid in the owners manual....Face it most people dont do it as normal maintenance. Most people do oil changes and when something breaks, fix it..

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Thanks for everyones input. Sorry for the caps. Just venting. I was simply trying to figure out why these are needed. I still do not see the reason to flush or change my power steering or brake fluids every 30,000 miles. That is just me. I was also told my Engine and Cabin air filters had to be changed as they were really bad. I ordered Lexus filters and changed them myself. When I took the filters out they were not that dirty at all but I did change them.

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Ezz, one of the issues that these cars call for the ps fluid is due to the ability around the speed sensitive aspect of the system. Light steering at parking lot speeds, and a tightening at highway speeds. This is controlled by a solenoid in the system that opens and closed to restrict flow of the fluid. In the case of the LS400, the cleaning of this solenoid is a little trick to easy the parking lot steering and prevent leaks in the rack. There are little screens in these parts that when clogged and dirty, hinder the solenoids abilities. I'm not sure if this is still the case on the newer models, as I assume some are electronically assisted now, but if a car has a fluid system in general, it's a safe bet somewhere in there are these tiny little screens...

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Some master cylinders have small vent holes which I believe are there as vacuum brakers, much like plumbing vents. Perhaps small amounts of air are drawn in ( and expelled ) during brake action. If this is the case, that may explain the darkening of the fluid and the eventual need to flush the system. Also, Ford may prescibe flushing as part of a brake job which may be needed before the fluid is over contaminated.

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Some master cylinders have small vent holes which I believe are there as vacuum brakers, much like plumbing vents. Perhaps small amounts of air are drawn in ( and expelled ) during brake action. If this is the case, that may explain the darkening of the fluid and the eventual need to flush the system. Also, Ford may prescibe flushing as part of a brake job which may be needed before the fluid is over contaminated.

Furthermore, there usually is a gap (filled with air?) between the max level mark and the top of the container. The expanding fluid has to go somewhere, so I guess its safe to say the fluid is in contact with air/humidity even if nothing is leaking within the system.

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Brake fluid is hydrophilic and absorbs water and for abs systems, many manufactureres recommend either time or mileage interval or both for replacing the fluid. The moisture in the fluid can damage the abs system over time. For example, I beleive my honda recommends changing brake fluid once very 3 years. Also with brake fluid, the fluid needs be removed via the bleeder on the caliper as the fluid does not really ciruclate so just replacing the fluid in the reservoir in not as effective as a full flush through the bleeders. Some cars may also require activation of the abs system to make sure the abs unit is flushed as well.

Power steering is different in that some cars do not use hydraulic fluid and some do. If the car uses hydraulic fluid you may want to change it as it will absorb moisture and at some point corrode metal lines and what not. Many manufacturers do not mention power steering fluid as a maintenance item. Power steering fluid does circulate so using the turkey baster method works quite effectively.

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Water build up in the brake system is the major cause of caliper problems. The water starts rusting the steel pistons in some systems and the next thing you know, the caliper seizes.

Most brake fluid is a very light color and if yours is dark, it is time to change it. Brake fluid is a lot cheaper than calipers and ABS systems.

As already mentioned, brake fluid absorbs water by it's very nature and there is nothing you can do to prevent it.

My guess is that most systems would not need new fluid until off warranty and that's why manufacturers don't put it in their maintenance rotation.

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I've never heard of a "sealed" brake fluid and power steering system before, this is new to me.

I guess a better word would be enclosed brake fluid and power steering system instead of sealed I guess. I was just trying to point out unless there was a leak then the fluids should not get dirty. Now if you say it needs to be freshened then again why does Ford have no such requirements on their Trucks? I still can't figure that out.

I kind of had the same question. My 4th gen Ford Explorer doesn't require any brake fluid change for years (over 60K miles).

Lexus IS350 has brake fluid changes scheduled every 3 years/30K miles.

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