For some people, winter either never really happens or maybe it’s just a really short blip on the radar. Some of us haven’t even thought about digging out yet. Either way, it’s never too early to think about what you'll need to do once your hot rod gets pulled out of storage.
Everyone should have a list of things that they do to their classic each year. On that list should be brake fluid maintenance. Most classic cars utilize (and we recommend) either a Dot 3 or Dot 4 brake fluid in the system. These types of fluids are hydroscopic, which is a fancy way of saying they will allow absorption of moisture (it happens in all brake systems, so don’t worry about it). All fluids falling into this category are made with rust inhibitors to help fight this. But because this happens, we recommend changing your brake fluid at least every two years. With a car in storage, we recommend annual brake fluid maintenance.
While a full fluid change is recommended--and by that, we mean a complete flush, adding new fluid, and bleeding the brake system-- we understand sometimes this just isn't in the cards for whatever reason. Here is an option……enter the busy guy's guide to fast, easy, and inexpensive brake fluid maintenance....
Use a baster to suck out the existing brake fluid from the reservoir and put the fluid in a container that can be recycled. Once the reservoir is completely empty, refill the reservoir with a high quality, fresh brake fluid. Drive the vehicle for a week or so and repeat the process. This should mix the new fluid with whatever old fluid was left. Repeat this procedure a couple of times and after a few baster flushes, the fluid should retain its lighter, honey coloring.
This procedure works equally as well with power steering fluid, but remember, use a different baster for each system as the mixture of fluids could cause damage to the system.
If you are time limited and can’t do a full fluid change, this is a great way of at least doing something and staying on top of your classic car maintenance.