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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, call me crazy but in doing routine maintenance on the fleet (16 CRV and 07 & 17 Pilots), checked brake fluid on all three. Pilots were both fine but CRV was a bit low and the filter and rim in the reservoir were green - like algae! Cleaned it out and topped it off but it’s time for a flush. Braking is fine; rotors good; pads have just a bit left before they need to be replaced. Any ideas?
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Not algae, what is happening is due to not flushing your brake fluid every three year per Honda's recommendations, see owner's manual. The inside of the brake lines are copper coated. When moisture accumulates in the brake fluid it corrodes the inside of the brake lines and what you see is the copper oxides accumulation inside the reservoir. These copper ions and oxides also accumulate inside the ABS module which can cause the valves to stick.
Flush your brake system!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the explanation. Mine is a '16 so there is no "every 3 year recommendation" in my manual. And neither Honda dealer nor Firestone - both of which have been doing upkeep on the car for the past 4 years and 40,000 have recommended a flush or said anything other than that the fluid is good upon visual inspection. But since B1 just popped up, I was checking myself and discovered this, which is why I said initially that it is time for a flush.
 

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Actually it is in your manual, Honda has recommended 3yr brake fluid flush in every CRV from the first year they were manufactured. This pic is from the 4th gens.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for that. Seems odd that of all the things the Honda dealer and Firestone have recommended over the past 4 years, they never recommended the fluid change and visually inspected and “passed” the fluid condition. Good thing I did my own inspection, found the “Algae,” and determined I need a flush.
 

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Or buy yourself a brake fluid tester to check the moisture level.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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brake res low, = wearing brakes
 
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Or buy yourself a brake fluid tester to check the moisture level.
Regardless if you use a fluid tester or not (chem strips by the way work best) ... Honda requires (not recommends, but requires) the brake fluid be changed out every 3 years. This has been a Honda requirement for... well.. for practically forever.
 

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Braking is fine; rotors good; pads have just a bit left before they need to be replaced. Any ideas?
The issue you discovered, as already noted by Traylaw, is a destructive chemical reaction/breakdown issue within your braking system, due to long term moisture seep into the system. Yes, it is a sealed system, but chemicals have a way of seeping over time anyway, especially water moisture as the brake system heats up and cools down with repeated use.

The problem now is you may, or may not, have internal damage in your braking system that is yet to be detected, because the only test you have is driving and braking, which is a subjective test at best.

Get your brake system evaluate and the fluid serviced properly to Honda standards and specifications, and then do it again every 3 years for as long as you own the vehicle.

Happily, on newer CRV generations, brake fluid change at 3 years is part of the Maintenance Minder, so it does not get forgotten about. In your generation CRV, it is not MM tracked, so you have to keep track yourself, just like the requirement to change the oil at one year of age, regardless of miles too.
 

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Sometimes, you may want to have it done every 2 or 2.5 years in salt belt states. Our CR-Vs seem to want it done every two years.
 
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Sometimes, you may want to have it done every 2 or 2.5 years in salt belt states. Our CR-Vs seem to want it done every two years.
Yeah, on both my current Hondas, since the MM works hard to sync services around a A or B oil service, I see our brake fluid code effectively syncs up with a A/B service most often between 2.5 and 3 years. The most recent was my wife's Accord which ended up being changed out at 2 years 9 months as that coincided with her oil change.

I have yet to see the MM pop a code later than 36 months on the brake fluid change-out, so as usual Honda is being a bit conservative here, while at the same time minimizing the number of actual service visits to a dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks all but all the more infuriating because it seems from what you are all saying, when Honda recently “passed” the fluid, they likely didn’t even look at it!!! I am more than confounded at them not providing proper advice and also passing up an opportunity to make some money too. Service and annual PA inspection scheduled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I hear you! We’ve been part of their “family” since ‘07 (1 purchased there; all 4 serviced there). And of course, they just emailed me to let me know that they want to purchase my CRV and put me in a nice new one . . . and want to “sit and chat” at my service visit! 😅
 

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I hear you! We’ve been part of their “family” since ‘07 (1 purchased there; all 4 serviced there). And of course, they just emailed me to let me know that they want to purchase my CRV and put me in a nice new one . . . and want to “sit and chat” at my service visit! 😅
As Traylaw noted, not all dealers are alike. they are independent businesses, licensed to sell and service the Honda Brand.

Which is precisely why..... personal accountability and responsibility rests with the owner on when and what to service. You clearly never read through your maintenance guidelines Honda published in your owners documentation, or don't remember what you read.

At the end of the day, proper service and maintenance of your CRV rests with you the owner. STOP blaming the dealer, or whoever, for not setting your pants on fire with a brake fluid change recommendation.

The email offering to buy your used vehicle.. is a robo email that all dealers, regardless of brand, are doing right now.. because the demand for used vehicles is incredibly high. In other words, it has nothing to do with your complaints presented here. They simply cast a wide net via email to find anyone who might be willing to let go of their current Honda. ;)
 

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This thread confirms having the dealership flush the brake system on my 2018. My Yamaha motorcycle has the same 3 year requirement. It was interesting the MM on my CRV didn't advise the flush was due. What ever happened to the days when a service matrix in the owners manual sufficed? Good grief.
 

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And just for other members, this is what happens to the ABS valves when the copper ions attach to the dissimilar metal.
So how difficult is it to check the ABS valves? This might be something DDub wants to have checked by the Honda dealer, and for free, since they clearly messed up on the fluid inspections; I mean how could you miss green crap like that in the reservoir?
In the picture the bolt holding the reservoir is very rusted, do you get a lot of water in the engine compartment?
By the way there is another potential problem. To get the verdigris, means the moisture absorbed into the brake fluid created peroxides over time, the peroxides reacted with the copper to create verdigris; that's why opened cans of brake fluid (even with the cap tightly on) left for a few months should be disposed of in a proper manner. Brake fluid is very hydroscopic. In addition to reacting with the copper lining, the peroxides attack the rubber seals in the master cylinder and piston seals in the calipers; it can even pit the metal of the master cylinder bore. It would be good to pull the master cylinder and check these parts and at the same time replace the rubber seals. In the meantime you can once a week before driving off, stand on the brakes with great effort and hold for 30 seconds. If you feel any slow depression of the brake pedal, then the seals are bad in the master cylinder or the bore is pitted.
Something I do is cut a piece of aluminum foil and put it over the reservoir body opening before putting on the cap in order to reduce humidity in the air above the surface of the brake fluid.
 
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