Break fluid change 2011 GT - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-01-2018 Thread Starter
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Break fluid change 2011 GT

When do I change the break fluid in my 2011 Mustang GT. I 'm only driving the car from mid April until Nov. 1 So far I have 25,500 miles on the car. No winter driving ever. How can I tell if I need to change fluid. Any info. greatly appreciated. John

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-01-2018
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If you're still using DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid, you should ideally have it flushed every two years regardless of mileage. Brake fluid absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, which degrades its performance and causes internal corrosion of the braking and clutch systems.



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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-01-2018
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Originally Posted by jgreen523 View Post
When do I change the break fluid in my 2011 Mustang GT. I 'm only driving the car from mid April until Nov. 1 So far I have 25,500 miles on the car. No winter driving ever. How can I tell if I need to change fluid. Any info. greatly appreciated. John
Go down to your auto parts store and get a dip test strip kit,that will tell you in a flash if your fluid is good or bad.I live in S/W Florida,my 2011 Mustang GT is now 8 years old with 29,000 miles just tested my fluid and it is perfect,also if you track or race your Mustang then you might want to look at the color of the fluid and how many times at the track,as heat is also very degrading to brake fluid.Good luck and keep us posted.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-02-2018
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Originally Posted by Bullitt95 View Post
If you're still using DOT 3 or 4 brake fluid, you should ideally have it flushed every two years regardless of mileage. . . . .

Yeah, but aside from the track guys who flush their fluid regularly before track events, I don't think anyone actually does that and I don't hear about any major failures as a result. The test strip thing that Coyote mentioned sounds like a good idea, though I don't know what it tests for.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-02-2018
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Yeah, but aside from the track guys who flush their fluid regularly before track events, I don't think anyone actually does that and I don't hear about any major failures as a result. The test strip thing that Coyote mentioned sounds like a good idea, though I don't know what it tests for.
Moisture and contamination of the fluid,have used this method for many years.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2018
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it's about time as well and had mine changed at 40,000 after the moisture test. Don't just change every XXX as not needed and a waste of $$.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-06-2018
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A quart of good dot4 Syn Valvoline is less than $10. Sounds like cheap insurance for me and mine. The dip'ness test only samples the stagnant/unused fluid in the reservoir. The brake fluid does not circulate, it stays and plays where it is. The fluid in the calipers and abs internals is the stuff that is exposed to the stress and workings of the brakes, and then there's the clutch master and the slave that is also sharing this brake fluid. Two to three years between flushes will keep these systems in good, long lasting working condition. It sure don't pay to neglect these little details.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-09-2018
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I would change it now for sure if it has never been done. Yes, there are
test strips which detect how much copper, aluminum, and iron are in
the fluid. This simply means if the fluid fails the test some damage has been done. As
mentioned above the fluid is Hygroscopic, meaning it is an insanely
"dry" fluid, absorbing any and all water. This absorbed water then
corrodes everything in the system breaking it down. This is what the
strips detect.. the breakdown itself.. why you'll have the above mentioned
detected by the strips.

Add to that water reacts and acts differently than the fluid so your
brakes become softer as the water will compress some where pure fluid
will not.

I add to this even further if the car is a manual S197 as mine is. We
have a shared system where the brake fluid also is the clutch fluid,
pulling nearly double duty. This is part of the notorious high RPM
shifting problems these cars have as the fluid (water) superheats and
you lose pressure. That Ford cheaps out in this way to me seems
borderline criminal. Mine is now a stainless steel line, and DOT 4.

I personally will be flushing every year to 18 months max, to me IMHO
at 7 years old your fluid badly needs to be flushed.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-09-2018
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IMHO, the test strips cost almost as much as the fluid....I flush my DOT 3/4 fluid vehicles every 3 years and DOT 5 annually..... and when I say flush, I'm talking just push a few ounces of fluid out...nothing more. DOT 3/4 doesn't absorb moisture....DOT 5 does.... the issue is more contamination and particulates generated from normal wear. My wifes car (purchased new in 1997) I replaced the caliper on it last year...yes, 20 years on OEM caliper assemblies...still no leaks and everything worked fine...just precautionary. My mustang (1965, been in the family since new), it has the DOT 5... after the ground up rebuild I did in 1987, a couple of the wheel cylinders were sticking a bit....at 26 years old.....I replaced em.


IMHO, unless you are paying a mechanic to do your oil changes, this IMHO should be nothing more than a routine service item that everyone can do themselves if they choose. flushing the system routinely is nothing new....it was considered "industry standard" back when I was workig my way through school at a "real gas station".....you actually pumped gas, installed tires, repaired engines, etc.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beechkid View Post
DOT 3/4 doesn't absorb moisture....DOT 5 does.... the issue is more contamination and particulates generated from normal wear.

What??!!? "Boiling point
Brake fluid is subjected to very high temperatures, especially in the wheel cylinders of drum brakes and disk brake calipers. It must have a high boiling point to avoid vaporizing in the lines. This vaporization creates a problem because vapor is highly compressible relative to liquid, and therefore negates the hydraulic transfer of braking force - so the brakes will fail to stop the vehicle.[5]

Quality standards refer to a brake fluid's "dry" and "wet" boiling points. The wet boiling point, which is usually much lower (although above most normal service temperatures), refers to the fluid's boiling point after absorbing a certain amount of moisture. This is several (single digit) percent, varying from formulation to formulation. Glycol-ether (DOT 3, 4, and 5.1) brake fluids are hygroscopic (water absorbing), which means they absorb moisture from the atmosphere under normal humidity levels. Non-hygroscopic fluids (e.g. silicone/DOT 5 and mineral oil based formulations), are hydrophobic, and can maintain an acceptable boiling point over the fluid's service life."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_fluid
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What??!!? "Boiling point
Brake fluid is subjected to very high temperatures, especially in the wheel cylinders of drum brakes and disk brake calipers. It must have a high boiling point to avoid vaporizing in the lines. This vaporization creates a problem because vapor is highly compressible relative to liquid, and therefore negates the hydraulic transfer of braking force - so the brakes will fail to stop the vehicle.[5]

Quality standards refer to a brake fluid's "dry" and "wet" boiling points. The wet boiling point, which is usually much lower (although above most normal service temperatures), refers to the fluid's boiling point after absorbing a certain amount of moisture. This is several (single digit) percent, varying from formulation to formulation. Glycol-ether (DOT 3, 4, and 5.1) brake fluids are hygroscopic (water absorbing), which means they absorb moisture from the atmosphere under normal humidity levels. Non-hygroscopic fluids (e.g. silicone/DOT 5 and mineral oil based formulations), are hydrophobic, and can maintain an acceptable boiling point over the fluid's service life."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brake_fluid
It boils down to this.....if water is present with DOT 3/4 fluid...it is readily visable because 1) since the 1970's they are sealed systems and is likely contaminated with other substances and DOT 3/4 is not "misable"...ie dilutable with water... and those (not all) which are glycol based cause moisture to evaporate (so to speak) so moisture really doesn't like to collect within the fluid as compared to DOT 5... which is misable with water.....


With regards to DOT, well, true in theory but in practical application, no. As you know, DOT 5 does have a higher boiling point than DOT 3/4...and it's fantastic lubrication properties is why I use it in my classics, but even in 100% condition, once DOT 5 hits it's boiling point it must cool down to a recovery temperature below that of DOT 3/4......which is why by the early 80's it was no longer the "Racers choice" for fluid.

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Here is the simple answer, I would change every 3 years with a full flush. It only takes one bottle to do a full flush on a car. I track my car heavy so I do one flush at the beginning of the year and I am good. It is amazing how much brake fluid actually absorbs water. Even old fluid with water will stop you good, once... After heat gets into it that is another story. It is an easy process and cheap insurance to get it done. While I am in there, I check all the bushings/pads/rotors/a good once over to make sure everything is good. Just did a full flush two weeks with a power bleeder when I replaced to all new stainless steel lines, pads and rotors.

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Just my take on this.

Street cars, weekend track cars out maybe once or twice a season, use a strip. Or flush the entire system out without checking it every 2-3 years. Drag Race only cars, once a season in the fall. If you are corner tracking your car, you probably want to at least flush twice a year. If you seriously race a car, every single race. Dot 3 or 4 is fine for street cars. Dot 4-5 for race cars, dependent on type.

This is inexpensive maintenance. Don't skimp. Ever seen a race car lose brakes?

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Last edited by trkpny; 08-09-2018 at 07:51 PM. Reason: spelling
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Dot 5 and 5.1 have a completely different base. 5.1 can be used in place of 3/4.. Dot 5 is a no no for ABS. Dot 5.1 flush every 2 years unless car is tracked.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beechkid View Post
It boils down to this.....if water is present with DOT 3/4 fluid...it is readily visable because 1) since the 1970's they are sealed systems and is likely contaminated with other substances and DOT 3/4 is not "misable"...ie dilutable with water... and those (not all) which are glycol based cause moisture to evaporate (so to speak) so moisture really doesn't like to collect within the fluid as compared to DOT 5... which is misable with water.....
A lot of that is just backward. The system isn't so completely sealed that as the pads wear, the caliper pistons move to accommodate the wear, and the fluid level in the M/C reservoir drops . . . that a partial vacuum exists in the reservoir for any appreciable length of time. I know I've never heard a rush of air going into a reservoir when I first cracked the cap.

You (and everybody else) should probably read this.


Basically, DOT3, DOT4, and DOT5.1 fluids are the ones that do absorb water (making them the ones that the term 'miscible' would apply to). DOT5 doesn't absorb moisture, but this means that any moisture that does get in (it will) will gradually migrate down to the lower points in the system, which could mean in or near the calipers. Not good if you have any need or tendency to use the brakes hard.

Other things about DOT5 - this stuff absorbs AIR more readily then 3, 4, or 5.1, and it is inherently more compressible even if you can keep the air out during the fill & bleed process ('compressible' is not a particularly good trait for brake fluid, as it means you get a longer than necessary pedal no matter what you do). Really, it's a very special fluid for a very specific purpose, and neither normal driving nor track-driving is it.


Norm


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