Panic Stop

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camperAL

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Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Posts
1,496
Location
Indiana
Hello,

SargeW, Gary B. or others in the know, my break fluid is three years old. Had it changed when I bought it, with other fluids. Truck place I take it for service doesn't seem to want to change it (use to working on semis) seem nervous about messing with it and bleeding off the breaks. Said it should be O.K. but I have heard about changing it once every two or three years. How critical is it in my moist, wet weather here? I'm just over the three year mark and want to change it soon.
 

ChasA

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Joined
Mar 21, 2009
Posts
1,886
Find a different shop. The owner's manual on my 2006 F53 said change every 3 years. It IS important.
 

SargeW

Site Team
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Dec 12, 2008
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7,986
Location
Where ever we park it!
I agree with Chas. If you can pop open the brake fluid reservoir and the fluid is a clear light amber color, you are probably OK. But most likely it will be a dark brown color meaning it's contaminated with debris and condensation (water).  That means reduced braking ability, especially if you need to step on them hard.  It's not expensive, but it is important.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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72,955
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At our Silver Springs FL home
Al:  As a practical matter, the chance that your brake fluid actually needs changing is very slim.  Typically a hydraulic brake system could go for a dozen or more years without the slightest degradation.  Tiny leaks, though, can allow in moisture, air or contaminants and thus a periodic change refreshes the system.

If your truck shop is accustomed to working on air brakes on a semi, go to another shop that handles hydraulic brakes. If you are nervous about 3 year old fluid, you should also be nervous about having work done by people who are unfamiliar with hydraulic brakes.
 

camperAL

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2011
Posts
1,496
Location
Indiana
Hi Gary B, Sarge and all,

The truck shop said they didn't work on hydraulic breaks but didn't seem to know much about it. If a truck shop is going to offer advise, then they should be in the know enough to offer it. I have them lube, oil change and generator oil change and filters etc. on the rig. They did service my differential this year. They seem to do a good job and I am happy as they are close by. Found a place near where I store the RV that works on school buses for our area that can change the break fluid. They have to see it before they will give me a quote.

Before taking it there, I will check the fluid myself then make a judgement on if it needs changed or not. I have just seen lots of advise to change the hydraulic fluid in RV's. Apparently the fill cap can be an area where moisture gets in and can contaminate. Just want to be responsible to myself and more importantly others on the road.

Getting back to panic stops, the last thing you want is to hit the breaks and not have them work. We don't want to loose anyone here. Thanks for the good advise!!
 
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