Q: When should you replace the brake and transmission fluids?

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Car is 5yrs old but only 20K miles, I regularly change the oil/filter and rotate the tires, recently had the coolant replaced, I drive my car hard (high speeds) when I do use it, concerned about the remaining fluids.

My car has 20000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Different manufacturers have different recommended service intervals for their vehicles. Recommendations for fluids can usually be found in the vehicle owner’s manual. At minimum, the manufacturer recommendations should be followed. That’s not to say doing some maintenance items a little more often is a bad thing.

From my own experience in the repair industry as well as having owned and maintained my own vehicles, a good rule of thumb with brake fluid replacement is every 2 to 3 years even if the vehicle does not have a lot of mileage. Time is just as much an enemy as mileage is. Brake fluid is hydroscopic. That means it can absorb moisture. As it does, the boiling point and ability to withstand the heat generated by the brake system goes down. Replacing the brake fluid eliminates that as well as adding life to your ABS system components like the ABS pump.

Transmission fluid is something I generally do to my own vehicles every 3 years or 50,000 miles. Some manufacturers have their transmissions listed as "service not required under normal conditions" indicating it is some sort of "lifetime fluid". From experience and keeping my cars for a long time, I never consider anything in the car as "lifetime." Especially since a replacement transmission in modern cars can cost thousands to replace. Changing the fluids and filters is cheap insurance for a long trouble-free lifetime. If you need to have any of these services done, you can schedule an appointment with one of our certified technicians to service your car.

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