Are you selling a “Phony Flush?”
Changing Brake Fluid is an important service for the safety and longevity of our vehicles. However, it can be difficult to determine when the right time is to change the fluid. Many service centers offer a “Phony Flush” by recommending an un-needed service. Or they send customers home without properly diagnosing worn out brake fluid which does need to be changed.
Common unethical methods used to validate a need for changing brake fluid:
Rubber brake lines and fittings will often discolor brake fluid in a brand new vehicle. Changing brake fluid based upon color is too subjective and unethical. This includes using bottles, trays and paper to show the color of the brake fluid.
I don’t believe many of us know what brake fluid should or should’nt smell like. The smell is surely not a good reason to change brake fluid.
Moisture does not equal boiling point. Most brake fluid with up to 3% moisture will Not fail a boiling point test. There is No standard for changing brake fluid based upon moisture content. Moisture pens are known to fail brand new brake fluid.
Because I Say So
We realize there are master mechanics with an unlimited amount of knowledge, however science can now take the subjectivity out of a recommendation. It is time to get up to speed with today’s testing technology and make a proper recommendation.
Valid and ethical reasons to change brake fluid:
Different vehicle manufacturers have different intervals for changing brake fluid. Most Ford, Chrysler and GM models have No interval for brake fluid, while most European and many Asian manufacturers have an interval of somewhere between 15K to 24K miles. Making a recommendation to change brake fluid based upon an OEM service interval is a valid reason for service.
Using copper testing technology to determine when to change brake fluid has become the most used and recognized standard to determine when to change brake fluid. Up to 50% of vehicles on the road today have enough copper corrosion in their brake fluid to keep them from passing the DOT FMVSS corrosion test. Testing brake fluid copper levels is part of the AMRA EUICS standards and helps a shop comply with the Automotive Repair Act of California. Copper testing brake fluid is also part of the inspection process for Firestone, GoodYear, Monro, Tire Kingdom, Jiffy Lube, Pep Boys, AAA and many other service centers.
Recommending a brake fluid service based upon copper content in brake fluid will:
#1 Deliver the most ethical and legal method to determine when to change brake fluid.
#2 Provide a much greater level of opportunity than any other test.
#3 Give a better experience for the customer to see and understand why they should change their brake fluid.
I have had customers admit to topping off with motor oil. Just a bit more than drain and flush.