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Trip to the Dealership


taxman

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Took the Eldo in for an oil & filter change this morning. They also told me that my brake fluid needed to be changed as well. She showed me a chart and told me that my fluid was 90% deteriorated! Wow!! $99 later I had new fluid. Is this a new scam? I haven't seen any new posts on this matter. Has anybody else had this experience?

Have a HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!

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She showed me a chart and told me that my fluid was 90% deteriorated!  Wow!!  $99 later I had new fluid.  Is this a new scam?

The theory isn't, but the price might be. It's only $10's worth of brake fluid that they put in new. The rest is labor. If you prefer not to do it yourself, then it was probably worth it.

I don't know about the fluid worn out on a 2000 model with only 38k miles. Our '97 has the original fluid (at least I've never replaced it) with 141k miles...which is admittedly high for brake fluid. I don't know how often you're "supposed" to change brake fluid, but it's never a bad idea to keep the system flushed and clean. I'd say every 5 years or so. ?? Some people probably bleed their brakes every year. I've never done it on mine. Some people probably also change their tranny fluid every year or two, but I've, again, never done mine. So there are two fluids on our '97 which should really be changed out. :blink:

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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I changed my brake fluid a few years and it definitely needed it.

The fluid was very dark.

I believe it's maintenance that should be done every few years.

The price of some brake fluid is much less than an anti-lock unit or master cylinder.

Brake fluid is hydroscopic, and moisture will eventually ruin brake components.

Cheap insurance.

Barry

2008 STS V8
2016 Colorado Z71
1970 Corvette LT-1 Coupe

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I never changed brake fluid (~70k) and never have had problem with that. No leak, nothing.

I think that dealler-stealler always should find something, otherwize he should go out of business. And when he find something owner thinks: wow! I should visit this dealler often!

Honestly, I think this is just a crap.

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I think Guru once said 10ys/100K is about a good average to do a brake fluid change. In your case the dealer just did some fishing and you bit. You certainly did not hurt anything but your wallet and even that wasn't all that bad at $100. Just a bit premature. They will always offer some type of service or inspection that you NEED while you are there. The chart they showed you was made to sell fluid changes. I would really like to see the data that says brake fluid is 90% "deteriorated" in 4 yrs/40K. Funny the owners manual maintainance schedule doesn't mention this. This kind of salesmanship/false advertising/scare tactics/scam really pisses me off :angry:

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Unless the cap was left off the resovoir for an extended period of time and a lot of moisture was absorbed into the fluid, there's no way four year old fluid needed to be changed. Even if it did, they probably had about $5.00 in the fluid (dot 3 is very inexpensive) and if it took the technician 20 minutes on a lift to change the fluid, he was milking the job. The dealer ripped you off.

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That's funny, cause my dad recently took

his Lexus to the dealer and asked for

a brake fluid purge, but the dealer said

it wasn't necessary. It was last purged at

the 90k mi service (5 years/40k mi ago).

Guess the Caddy brake fluid deteriorates

faster than the Lexus fluid. $100 to bleed

brakes is a rip-off.

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Guess the Caddy brake fluid deteriorates

faster than the Lexus fluid. $100 to bleed

brakes is a rip-off.

I think you'll find it's the exact same fluid.

Never underestimate the amount of a persons greed.

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How do they determine that the fluid was lousy. What sort of scientific test would show your brake fluid was about as good or better than bat pee?" Heck, must be bad. You no ask questions you . We know all, we technician type people us." I really like it when someone who claims they are in the know can explain to me how they have come to a certain conclusion. Then I can at least appreciate their huckster pitch or their honesty.

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After years of experience with new cars (not all caddys) I have come to not trust dealers on anything more than the well known basics (oil,transmission fluid,coolant) and I still leave there with the sneaky suspicion that the work was charged for but not done.

How did I get this way? By questioning independent mechanics who formerly worked for dealers. By this I don't mean the "Joe Blows" but the mechanics who have established their credentials and expertise with myself and many others.

Dealerships, particularly those that have multiple locations and franchises have meetings constantly looking for cash generation. Obviously if you can do additional work for more revenue it is great. But if you can charge for it and not do the work it is "gravy."

A case in point I quote frequently is about a friend who took his chevy (out of warranty) to a dealer with a "valve tap." The dealer said he needed a valve job at a cost of $435.00. (He was always bad about doing frequent oil changes). He approved the cost and 3 days later got his car back without the valve tap. A young mechanic who knew his son told the son that they changed the oil, added a can of transmission fluid, and drove the car until the tap was gone.

When he challenged the dealer they swore up and down that it was not the case. Totally false. But he had an independent mechanic change the oil and save and give him the fluid that was removed. When he got a lawyer they gave him his money back plus $1000.00 on the condition that they admit no guilt and he not disparage their reputation by disclosing the agreement. He never had to have the fluid tested.

Since I traveled a lot in my former career as a General Manager I had many cars that were driven to close to 100k miles before turn in and I have never had a brake problem that required a brake fluid change.

They screwed you once, shame on them. If you go back again, shame on you.

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You know what, while this may be one more way that they make money, when you have brakes done, if each wheel is bled until the fluid runs clear they effectively have changed the bulk of the fluid. So I am not sure why they now have a special service for changing fluid. I bleed until clear not necessarily until the air is out. Doing this helps to get moisture out of the system and prevent rusting, but if alot of fluid is purged from each wheel when new brakes are done, the job is done.

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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I hear what you are all saying about dealers. Yes, some are dishonest and invent ways to generate revenue.

So do Doctors, Lawyers and Dentists to name a few. We all have our stories.

However, don't get mislead , it is important to maintain the brake fluid in your car. As with all the fluids in your car.

Miles will not kill brake fluid, "time" does.

The older the vehicle the more important it is to change the brake fluid.

EXAMPLE:

I have a 1970 Corvette that I purchased new. In those years of Corvettes, brake fluid damage is quickly seen as fluid leaks at the calipers.

After 10 years or so of fluid neglect on my part, I had leaking calipers.

When I rebuilt the calipers, I discovered the system contained very "brown" fluid. (Moisture & Rust).

As the calipers were somewhat pitted, a caliper rebuild only lasted a couple years.

Eventually I went with Stainless Steel lined calipers and Silicone (DOT5 fluid).

Even if the brake system is sealed, the fluid eventually will fail. I have first hand experience.

Time is not on your side when it comes to brake fluid.

Also, if the car has limited use, this also contributes to fluid failure.

Don't beat up the dealer too much, brake fluid does need to be changed once in awhile.

Barry

2008 STS V8
2016 Colorado Z71
1970 Corvette LT-1 Coupe

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since i use to have an allante i was taught that brake fluid should be changed every 2 yrs to prevent problems with the abs system and the very expensive master cyl ck out the allante board there is probably a 1000 posts on this subject

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Back when I had my Acura Integra, brake fluid changes were part of the standard 30k service. It may have been b.s., but I always thought I could feel a difference.

I always make sure to pump alot of fluid through whenever I bleed brakes too. I've seen alot of really nasty looking brake fluid come out of various cars I've had.

I don't know about the 90% deteriorated statement they gave, but at 4 years old, I'd think that the service did provide some benefit.

Just my .02.

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My Olds would go through front calipers

every few years or so (they'd freeze up).

It was a slight inconveinance cruising rt 95

with a locked-up caliper. It hasn't happened

in many years since I started to periodically

bleed the brakes. If I got a hundred bucks

every time they've been bled I'd be a wealthy

man.

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I've seen many badly corroded brake components due to old brake fluid.

Changing the fluid every two or three years is a good idea from my point to view.

The maintenance schedule of my german spec '96 Seville adivises brake fluid change every second year.

As others have mentioned, brake fluid absorbs water, which also leeds to a lower boiling point. As a result, gas bubbles can develop when the brakes get really hot (i.e. mountain roads or high speed use) which can leed to a decrease in brake performance. This is not what you want going downhill.... :o

Best

Stefan

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