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34 — Brakes
Most people feel that the servo assisted Integral ABS system that was used on the 2002-2006 models (2003-2006 on the R-GS models) was an advancement over the older systems, but it has proved to be more expensive to maintain. The job is time consuming with multiple circuits and bleed points, and the ABS Hydro unit is not very accessible on some models.
BMW recently released a service bulletin reducing the frequency of the brake fluid change intervals for models which are factory equipped with the Stahlflex braided steel brake hoses. Field studies conducted by BMW concluded that moisture absorption by the brake fluid has been significantly reduced by the use of the Stahlflex hoses. As a result, BMW has changed the recommended brake fluid intervals as follows:
The change from one year to two years on the wheel circuit is only for models equipped with the Stahlflex braided steel hoses. I-ABS models equipped with standard rubber hoses must still have the wheel circuit fluid changed annually.
However the change on the control circuit brake fluid from two years to four years applies to all I-ABS models regardless of hose type.
Non-ABS models with rubber hoses or older models with ABS I or ABS II still must have the brake fluid changed annually.
This chart might help:
Although these are new official BMW recommendations, common sense should prevail. If it is determined that your brake fluid has darkened or shows other signs of contamination, it should be changed regardless of age. If you're not sure how old your brake fluid is, have it changed now, and start a regimen that will ensure the health of your brake system.
If this is confusing, or you're not sure which ABS or which brake hoses you have, contact your local dealer or give me a ring at the BeemerShop for further details.
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This page was last modified November 6, 2012
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