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Discussion Starter #1
I was looking at the fluid levels on my 2011 MDX (tech package), 30,300 miles. Mainly city driving, light use. Noticed that the levels on the power steering fluid and brake fluid seemed a bit low.
When I called the dealership to inquire whether they can be topped off. I was told that these fluids would need to be flushed
and topping them would be risking introducing an air bubble. They quoted $150 for flushing brake fluid and $160 for power steering
fluid.
My understanding was that these fluids can be topped off per the OM as part of regular service. Is this not the case?
I've attached pictures of power steering and brake fluid levels. Wondering if these are fine for now or need flushing/topping off
 

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Sure one can top off fluids but over time these fluids become compromised and break down over time requiring them to be flushed and replaced with new fluid! When were these fluids flushed and replaced with new fluid? The vehicle is 8 years Old and overdue for these fluids to be changed, the brakes especially. The brake reservoir is quite low and looks quite dark so i would question if it has been flushed? It is not that difficult to flush either just your time and a helper! Lots of how too videos just purchase correct fluids and follow procedure.
 

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You've caught them, before any air has been introduced.

Go to a local parts store and buy a small bottle of Dot4 brake fluid and a small bottle of Power Steering fluid, for Hondas.

Total under $20.

Don't over fill the reservoirs. You can see the max line in your photos.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You've caught them, before any air has been introduced.

Go to a local parts store and buy a small bottle of Dot4 brake fluid and a small bottle of Power Steering fluid, for Hondas.

Total under $20.

Don't over fill the reservoirs. You can see the max line in your photos.
Right!! Most ridiculous thing I heard, (air bubble). Wonder if it would make sense to have an independent auto shop check out the quality of the fluids and then advise whether a flush is needed or would a top off suffice.Is the brake fluid naturally dark or of a lighter tone?
 

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If the brake fluid reservoir is low, that is most likely an indicator or your pads being worn because it doesn't just get low on it's own or evaporate over time . The fluid going down is just fluid taking the place of the caliper pistons being pushed farther out because the brake pads wore down. This is why I don't top off brake fluid because it is a good indicator of the wear on your brake pads. Because your MDX has only 30k miles, you could probably just hang new pads and change out or resurface the rotors but remember to lubricate the caliper pins. At the same time you can flush out the old fluid and replace it with dot 4 as you have to remember that although the mileage is low, the fluid is probably original.

The Power steering reservoir is easy to remove, clean out and replace with new fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Topping off fluids regularly is a good idea to maintain their level properly. However they should be flushed after some time due to contamination.
Thank you. Are there sepcific signs to look for to determine whether the power steering fluid should be flushed vs. topped off or is it based on age perhaps? It looks about muddled bluish in color (as illustrated in the pics)Couldn't find any guidance in the OM on this.
 

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If the brake fluid reservoir is low, that is most likely an indicator or your pads being worn because it doesn't just get low on it's own or evaporate over time . The fluid going down is just fluid taking the place of the caliper pistons being pushed farther out because the brake pads wore down. This is why I don't top off brake fluid because it is a good indicator of the wear on your brake pads. Because your MDX has only 30k miles, you could probably just hang new pads and change out or resurface the rotors but remember to lubricate the caliper pins. At the same time you can flush out the old fluid and replace it with dot 4 as you have to remember that although the mileage is low, the fluid is probably original.

The Power steering reservoir is easy to remove, clean out and replace with new fluid.
Thank you. I'll have the brake pads looked at.Sounds like topping off the brake fluid is not a good idea then. Typically, would the brake fluid be flushed only if and when the pads are replaced? For the power steering fluid, I looked at the DYI for a flush, seemed a tad bit involved, would be good to know what to took for to determine if a flush is needed or a top off would suffice.
 

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Thank you. Are there sepcific signs to look for to determine whether the power steering fluid should be flushed vs. topped off or is it based on age perhaps? It looks about muddled bluish in color (as illustrated in the pics)Couldn't find any guidance in the OM on this.
Yes, heavily contaminated fluid looks extremely dirty. Clean fluid is basically translucent.

Check out my video on the PS pump O-rings replacement, you'll see how contaminated fluid looks and how new fluid looks (there is a TOC in the description, so you can just FF to a point of interest in the video through the TOC):
 
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