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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Doug's Domain

Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Winter Tires and Brake Fluid Flush

(Image: 18 month old brake fluid next to a pumpkin for color comparison) With high temperatures solidly in the upper 50's I figured it was time to install the winter tires I purchased earlier. While I could have jacked up each axle independently to swap tires I decided to jack up all four corners and conduct my second DIY brake fluid flush while the wheels were off.

The old brake fluid was somewhat lighter than the last time but this was expected given only 18 months had passed since the last flush. The lighter color of the fluid made the transition from old to new fluid more difficult to see in my clear bleeder hose but I compensated by flushing a little longer.. I paid particular attention to the rear wheels because they are farthest from the reservoir and hold a majority of the fluid in the system. When all was said and done I managed to use the vast majority of the 1 liter can of ATE TYP 200, one of several I bought a couple years back to save on shipping costs.

I also took the time to secure the master cylinder reservoir with some ty-wraps just to make sure that didn't pop out during the pressure bleed. I had some 10" tywraps on hand but those weren't long enough so I used two to achieve the required length. The end result was a lot less stress about that potentially messy and damaging failure mode.

As for the cost analysis, I paid $10 for the can of TYP 200 gold and used about $10 worth of miscellaneous parts and fluids (brake cleaner, etc.). Paying someone to mount the tires would have cost about a half hour of labor (at least) or $65 at the dealer with tax. Not surprisingly, the dealer now charges $200 with tax (up from $170) for a brake fluid flush. This brings the total labor savings to $265. Not a bad DIY dividend for three hours of my day.

On the Horizon

(Image: Two long safety straps around the master cylinder reservoir)The car is running fine as of late, but I still have several big tasks ahead of me:

I expect to tackle this stuff beginning in the new year unless, of course, the car has it's own ideas.

Mileage: 184265, Parts: $20, Labor Saved: $265