Q: If my mechanic says I have dark brake fluid, do I need to bleed the brakes?

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Went to dealer. Said my brake fluid is dark(er)/contaminated. To fix it’ll cost $160. I’m researching how I can fix. I learned how to take the old oil out of resovoir and put new brake fluid in, but I’m not sure if I have to bleed brakes.

My car has 35000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi John. Thanks for sending in your question today. With today’s ABS systems, bleeding the brakes or flushing the brake system due to contaminated brake fluid is a very complex process that requires special tools to complete it correctly. If the dealership is going to charge $160 to complete this service, that’s actually a rather fair cost. I would recommend letting a professional take care of this job as opposed to trying it on your own - as mistakes with brake bleeding can be extremely dangerous.

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