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2007 EX-L with Navigation.
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello Fellow CRV Owners,

Because my mechanic close up his garage, I have been searching for another mechanic. My manual states to change it every 3 years. Almost every mechanic I am calling wants to know why I need to change it out regardless of how long ago it was changed. So far two mechanics have told me they do not need to take the tires off to bleed the brakes. I have been watching tutorials on YouTube and a few say you need to take the tires off. I have also been told by various garages that the job will cost anywhere from $80.00 - $135.00. The $80.00 is with my own Honda brake fluid, that I would buy it and bring it with me.

Does anyone know what difference it makes; keeping the tires on or taking them off?

Thank you for your replies.
 

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I don't know if you have to pull the tires if you're gonna
"Bleed the brake lines", I haven't looked.
When I do add fluid I don't use "Honda Brake Fluid"
I just get a GOOD Brand of DOT 3 Brake Fluid.
With other items under the hood I do use Honda brands
but not for brake fluid.
Use the DOT Fluid number that the car requires.
 

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Not-a-Mechanic
2011 CR-V 4WD EX
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439 Posts
What year is your V? Never heard of mileage for brake fluid, most say every 3 years. Wheels off in the driveway makes it easier. If you have a lift no need to take them off.
 

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2007 EX-L with Navigation.
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Discussion Starter #4
What year is your V? Never heard of mileage for brake fluid, most say every 3 years. Wheels off in the driveway makes it easier. If you have a lift no need to take them off.
I am brain fuzzy today, you are right it is every 3 years. My CRV is a 2007.
 

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17 CRV EXL AWD, 14 CRV EXL AWD
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I don't take the wheels off or jack the car up. I turn the wheels left to get to the front driver side, turn them right for the front passenger side and slide under the back for the two rear wheels. It's only a matter of what works best for you to get to the bleeder valves.
 

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They say take the wheels off to avoid getting brake fluid on them and gain easier clearance to work. It's not necessary. And shops with hoists definitely don't have to.

Many shops can't comprehend changing brake fluid and as a life long mechanic myself, I laugh about it. Reason being it shows they have little understanding of how anything on a car works, in this case the brakes. They know how to change parts (a monkey can do that many times) or prefer people not change it so they get more brake work in. Bigger shops actually have machines that change fluid in a matter of minutes with minimal effort.

The issue with doing it yourself is having g to be extremely careful not to accidently let air back into the system.

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'07 CR-V EX-L AWD
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Hello Fellow CRV Owners,

Because my mechanic close up his garage, I have been searching for another mechanic. My manual states to change it every 3 years. Almost every mechanic I am calling wants to know why I need to change it out regardless of how long ago it was changed. So far two mechanics have told me they do not need to take the tires off to bleed the brakes. I have been watching tutorials on YouTube and a few say you need to take the tires off. I have also been told by various garages that the job will cost anywhere from $80.00 - $135.00. The $80.00 is with my own Honda brake fluid, that I would buy it and bring it with me.

Does anyone know what difference it makes; keeping the tires on or taking them off?

Thank you for your replies.
Taking the tires off just makes it much easier to reach the bleeders at each wheel. But they don't have to come off. Up on a lift is even better. The real indicator on when to change the fluid is discoloration, not age. As long as the fluid is clear or relatively so, you're good. Once it gets dark like oil, it's due. Bleeding manually, at home, on the ground, without a bleeder setup, requires two people, one to operate the brake pedal, the other to work under the car, bleeding in the proper sequence and order. You can do it by yourself if you have a pressure bleeder setup. Most shops hook up a pressure bleeder at the master cylinder, run the car up on a lift (no need to remove wheels), and have it done in ten minutes. DOT3 fluid does not have to be Honda, but it can be. Either way it's just standard DOT3 fluid. FOR DIY, it's good to have a factory service manual. Bleeding order is: 1- Left Front, 2 - Right Front, 3 - Right Rear, 4 - Left Rear. From Service Manual Page 19-9.
 

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Everything in Moderation
2006 CR-V EX, 5MT
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9,495 Posts
Agree that it is reasier to get to the bleeders when the wheels are off (unless you have a hoist in your garage as I do).

Many vacuum bleeders have right-angle fittings that makes it unnecessary to remove the wheels, but you still need to crawl underneath especially in back.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
All of your many answers have given me a better idea of the needed procedure. Also, since it was 3 years ago this February that I had the brake fluid changed out, I just looked under the hood with a flash light at the brake fluid and it appears to be a yellow see through color. So, therefore it appears that my CRV is still good to go.

I am so thankful for your replies! I want to take good care of my honey and this site is indispensable!
 

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Everything in Moderation
2006 CR-V EX, 5MT
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I bet that if you compare the color of your 3 year old fluid to new stuff out of the bottle, it will be MUCH darker!

Just sayin'. :eek:
 

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'07 CR-V EX-L AWD
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You can also take the lid off the reservoir, shine the light inside and look to see how clear it looks. But yeah, it sounds like it has some life left in it yet.
 

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Brake fluid absorbs water. The mechanic on the radio says this will cause problems with the antilock brake systems. They say all manufacturers are now saying to replace the fluid every 3 years. Do it yourself $10. I only do this when I am rotating the tires so the tires are off.
 

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'07 CR-V EX-L AWD
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Yes, we know brake fluid is hygroscopic. We also do not know that there is a set length of time it takes for it to absorb enough moisture to become "contaminated." But we all have eyes. When brake fluid becomes darker, that is actually dissolved rubber from internal component wear. When it becomes milky, that is moisture absorption. Either is a good enough indication. Yellowing is likely a trick of the light, or yellowing of the plastic reservoir and not the fluid. The only way to know for sure is with a clean glass eyedropper, viewed in good light, preferably sunlight. If it doesn't match the color of your vodka, then it's time to change it, or else you have added something nasty to the vodka. I'm just sayin.'
 
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Not-a-Mechanic
2011 CR-V 4WD EX
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All true, but brake fluid doen't circulate like coolant or oil, the bad stuff will be down in the lines/calipers. Most all cars with ABS recommend every 2 or 3 years, many folks will just refuse to do it.
 

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'07 CR-V EX-L AWD
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I've actually never found that to be so. However, I can see where such a condition could arise when there is a bad caliper seal or other similar part somewhere in the system, but otherwise, no. My experience has always been that the worst fluid is usually in the reservoir, where it is closest to the large number of seals and lines in the master cylinder, and the most exposure to the outside environment. Also where most of the system's fluid is.
 

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All true, but brake fluid doen't circulate like coolant or oil, the bad stuff will be down in the lines/calipers. Most all cars with ABS recommend every 2 or 3 years, many folks will just refuse to do it.
I've actually never found that to be so. However, I can see where such a condition could arise when there is a bad caliper seal or other similar part somewhere in the system, but otherwise, no. My experience has always been that the worst fluid is usually in the reservoir, where it is closest to the large number of seals and lines in the master cylinder, and the most exposure to the outside environment. Also where most of the system's fluid is.
While reading this thread my thoughts directly got into the problem of how to inspect the looks of the brake fluid. Seems to be various opinions about that (bolded above). Is it more relevant to bleed some brake fluid for inspection of it than to look into the reservoir? The fluid in the reservoir: has it at all been into the tubings? However, if the reservoir fluid is not affected by hygroscopic changes, the fluid in the tubings won't be either?
 
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I'm dying laughing at that article.

If there is that much moisture in the brake fluid it's because the system has a leak plain and simple.

The crap about boiling point (and causing an accident) is the stupidest crock of **** I have ever seen. Because that boiling point is not in a high pressure closed system. Water boils at 212f (100c) in open air at sea level. That point increases with pressure (physics 101). For a vehicle to loose all brake pressure that isn't boil, that's a break in the system causing it to loose pressure. Water can be used for braking systems (hydraulics) but can't handle the heat because of brakes can reach several 100 degrees.

There's a ton of facts they fail to tell you, ALL TO SCARE YOU.

Yes it should be changed regularly but moisture issue is only an issue if the system is opened. DONT TAKE THE CAP OFF UNLESS CHANGING OR ADDING FLUID AND DO IT ON A DRY LOW HUMIDTY DAY ONLY, unless your having a shop with machine doing it which keeps the system sealed.

DIY without proper knowledge is the biggest cause of moisture in braking systems. And biggest cause of failures.

So many want to believe the internet blogs and armchair people.

I've been doing this for 18yrs, never have I or anyone I know changed their fluid that often not has there ever been an issue because it was changed in 5 yrs instead of 2 or 3.


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I'm dying laughing at that article.

If there is that much moisture in the brake fluid it's because the system has a leak plain and simple.

The crap about boiling point (and causing an accident) is the stupidest crock of **** I have ever seen. Because that boiling point is not in a high pressure closed system. Water boils at 212f (100c) in open air at sea level. That point increases with pressure (physics 101). For a vehicle to loose all brake pressure that isn't boil, that's a break in the system causing it to loose pressure. Water can be used for braking systems (hydraulics) but can't handle the heat because of brakes can reach several 100 degrees.

There's a ton of facts they fail to tell you, ALL TO SCARE YOU.

Yes it should be changed regularly but moisture issue is only an issue if the system is opened. DONT TAKE THE CAP OFF UNLESS CHANGING OR ADDING FLUID AND DO IT ON A DRY LOW HUMIDTY DAY ONLY, unless your having a shop with machine doing it which keeps the system sealed.

DIY without proper knowledge is the biggest cause of moisture in braking systems. And biggest cause of failures.

So many want to believe the internet blogs and armchair people.

I've been doing this for 18yrs, never have I or anyone I know changed their fluid that often not has there ever been an issue because it was changed in 5 yrs instead of 2 or 3.


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The brake fluid can absorb water thru the hoses and seals over time. A lot depends on how much moisture the brake system is exposed to. Heavy braking can lead to hot brake fluid, well above 212 F, which will cause the water to vaporize when the brake pedal is released and the brake fluid is no longer under pressure. If you re-apply the brake pedal while the fluid is still hot, the water vapour will condense as the fluid pressure increases, which can cause the brake pedal to bottom out before the brakes are fully applied. Do some Google searches and you will find many reports of this happening.
 

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'07 CR-V EX-L AWD
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I agree, Tigris. 99.9% of so-called pedal loss is due to either a sudden pressure leak or low fluid level. As far as moisture goes, the only place it gets into the system is at the surface of the fluid in the reservoir. It will contaminate over time, but not that much. Think about it. If fluid cannot leak out, moisture is not getting in, especially when you think about the pressure differential. Normally brake fluid needs to be changed due to other contaminants, such as particulate matter, rubber, dirt, etc., the stuff that turns the fluid dark. The main disadvantages of moisture in the system are about internal components, things like rust and seal deterioration. In a normal system, with a full reservoir, the likelihood of enough liquid volume loss due to moisture evaporation from heat to cause a loss of more than microscopic amounts is pretty much non-existent. It is certainly not ever going to be enough to cause pedal pressure loss by itself. The so-called experts from the article are actually (obviously) not. Of course, someone improperly bleeding a system and leaving air bubbles in it, is the exception to the rule, but even that is not moisture-related.

Heat-related braking failure does not involve the fluid, it happens at the friction surfaces, and is called fade. It is almost without fail always the cause of brake failure in mountainous areas and flat ones. It happens when brakes get hot enough to negate the friction. The same is true with big trucks and their air brakes.

So, there are basically three types of brake failure - pressure failure, hardware failure, and fade. Oh, wait. Four. Let's not forget driver error. The moisture-related failures the article speaks of may have been possible back in the 1920's, but nowadays? No. Heck, there's not enough fluid in the whole system for enough moisture to get in that could cause an issue. And those European statistics? Those probably include a huge percentage of cars that are extremely old. They keep their cars way longer over there than we do here. Like, fifty years longer.
 
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