What is the real story behind "Your brake system has some copper build up and needs a flushing."? Can this actually happen?

20

Asked by May 21, 2014 at 01:56 PM about the Pontiac Firebird

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

18 Answers

4,825

Cars with ABS systems need to have the brake fluid changed every 2-3 years. The fluid collects moisture and contaminants over time which will corrode many components in the system - some of them are copper coated - so get it done. It's cheap insurance against component corrosion and failure.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.
17,065

sorry. but copper build up is just the newest Sales Pitch to get your money for a completely bogus reason

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
17,065

P.S.- I just looked at 3 Owner's Manuals ( a Ford ,a Mazda and a Caddy) AND NOT ONCE do they mention changing the brake fluid never mind flushing

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
17,065

P.P.S. - just re-read Cadillac maintenance schedule which covers every check,fluid change etc. up to 288,000 KM - again there is absolutely NO RECOMMENDED BRAKE SYSTEM maintenance for changing nor flushing the brake system!!!

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
17,065

So that's the real story - don't let some guy, sticking a q tip into your fluid reservoir and showing you some bogus test, tell you otherwise.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
4,825

Brake Fluid 101: The fluid is the hydraulic medium that transmits the pedal force to the brakes. In that respect, it never needs changing. But it also has additives to resist heat, provide lubrication, and resist corrosion. It also has additives to help it absorb moisture from the air. Those additives break down over time and stop doing their job. Moisture that is absorbed in the fluid congregates at the calipers, where the heat is higher. This is where the damage occurs. Dodge, Mercedes, Ferrari, Nissan, Toyota and dozens of other manufacturers require that the fluid be changed at specific intervals because of this. You change your engine and transmission oil for the same reason. 44 years experience (6 on the race track) says change the fluid if the owner's manual says to change it. Read your owner's manual - the one that belongs to your car. BTW the 1993-2002 Camaro/Firebird Performance Handbook strongly recommends changing it also. And if someone tells you your brake fluid is contaminated, take the car home and change it yourself, or pay the guy. Cheap insurance.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
17,065

I just read 2002 Pontiac Firebird Owner's Manual, Chapter 7 covers scheduled maintenance AND GUESS WHAT - ABSOLUTELY NO MENTION TO CHANGE BREAK FLUID any where! ( this isn't from"1993-2002 Camaro/Firebird - PERFORMANCE HANDBOOK" , it is straight from the manufacturer's Owner's Manual) That's 4 manufacturer's owner's manuals and no mention to change brake fluid at any time as part of maintenance schedule. If your manufacturer's Owner's Manual says change brake fluid at specific intervals then do it but don't fall for some bogus test on the end of a Q-tip,

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
4,825

Its foolish, and counterproductive, do refuse to do a recommended maintenance procedure simply because you don't want to pay for it. But that's a choice we all have to make. You can check the copper content of your brake fluid yourself, and also learn about why it's important. http://www.abcauto.com/MessageCenterDetail.aspx?ContentID=129

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
17,065

Again; I reiterate it is NOT A RECOMMENDED maintenance procedure in any of the 4 Manufacturer's Owner's Manuals that I cited. If the manufacturer recommends something as part of their maintenance schedule that is one thing to heed ; BUT SOMEONE TRYING TO SELL you on their product/service is a completely different thing!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
17,065

I checked Norm's recommended experts at www.abcauto- IT IS A FRIGGING AUTO PARTS STORE!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
17,065

then I searched for copper in the brake system, got to Wiki and a long explanation, copper reference cited to "Motorists.org - then MAP(Motorists Assurance Program which is run by AMRA (Automotive Maintenance Repair Association) who states "organized...to represent the INTERESTS and common policies and purposes of COMPANIES ENGAGED in PROVIDING AUTOMOTIVE MAINTENANCE & REPAIR SERVICES..." people are always trying to sell you something. Again- just heed your owner's manual Not the salesmen.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
4,825

Please go back and read the original post. He asked "can this happen". The answer is Yes. Should the fluid be changed? It depends, but he didn't ask that. He never said a 'mechanic' told him that, or was trying to pressure him into work that wasn't necessary. That was entirely your take on the problem, not his. http://us.wow.com/search?s_pt=aolsem&s_it=aolsem&s_chn=59&q=should%20i%20change%20brake%20fluid. I stand by my recommendation.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
17,065

READ HIS QUESTION -What's the real story behind "Your brake system has some copper build up & needs flushing"? Of course he was told by a salesman ,otherwise.he would not have said it the way he did. He was questiioning the "story" behind someone telling him," Your brake et al "

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
17,065

Norm already cited two experts that are in the business of selling the story , so I am not going to bother checking the third. Then he completely skewed the question being asked.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

The guy said "can this happen?". Yes it can. I'll go with Norm's advice, thank you.

17,065

All a person can try to do is educate the public, and if people don't want to recognize that the salesman makes money only if they convince you to buy then so be it. I've done my part. You do not need to take my word, check out facts yourself - just don't get your facts from the company that sells the product/service or an organization composed of companies that that make their profit from selling the service/product.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
20

Thanks to all that answered my query. It's appreciated.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
17,065

You've got two opposing views on what kind of STORY this is. At least you have info that will let you make up your mind. Sale's tool or legit - you decide for yourself.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

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