Changed the brake fluid in my 2008 IS 350

Last weekend I finally got around to changing the brake fluid in my 2008 IS 350. From what I had read on the IS-specific forums, the brake fluid should have been changed every 30k miles and 2-3 years. I ended up changing it when the car was at 42k-something miles.

There were a few threads with instructions on how to do it and I referred to those to help me:

As far as parts went:

I had ordered four 12oz IS 350 brake fluid bottles from Sewell.

I also ordered these brake bleeders from ebay: Motion Pro Hydraulic Brake Bleeder One Man 1 08-0143. They had been recommended to me in this post.

Right before the install I picked up the vinyl tubing from Home Depot – I think it was 3/8″ size.  Also from Home Depot I picked up some funnels but never ended up using them.  And I picked up the turkey baster from shoppers.

I bought jack stands from Harbor Freight for $20 for a pair.


I started off with both sides of the back of the car on jackstands:

Next was going to the brake fluid master container (I forget the proper term of it) and taking out fluid to the “min” line:

After removing some of the fluid with the turkey baster:

Then I added in the first round of new brake fluid;

The mistake I made (and kept making) was that I was filling in fluid all the way to the very top (above the max line). I’ll discuss this more at the end.

Now was to start the actual fluid flush/change process. I opened the packaging of my brake bleeder:

I installed it to the right rear caliper (on the IS 350 you start furthest-to-closest to the master reservoir) and started pushing the brakes pumping the fluid out:

The problem I was having though was that I couldn’t tell the difference between the old fluid and what the new clean fluid should look like. So I just kept pumping what I felt was a lot.

I then went over to the left rear brake caliper and flushed fluid out from there too. All in all this is the amount of old brake fluid I had from both what I pulled out from the master reservoir and pumping the rear brakes:

I then put the rear wheels back on and pulled the car off the jackstands. Then I went to the front of the car (btw, lesson I learned, loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels before starting to jack up the car), put both sides on jackstands and pulled the wheels off.

Here’s a shot of the front left brakes once the wheel was removed:

Here’s how much brake fluid I pumped out from the front two brakes:

Combined with the earlier image of the old brake fluid from the brake fluid master reservoir and the rear brakes, here is how much brake fluid was taken out total:

Al in all, I went through three of brake fluid containers (12oz each, 36oz total). It seems like I put in new around what I took out eyeballing the amount of old brake fluid in that 59oz container.

As mentioned earlier, I did fill to the very top and when I realized this, I tried to use the turkey baster again to take some out but it wasn’t working right and just falling right out (and not staying in the device). So I ended up taking some out just by spilling it everywhere (and then wiping up after). But I believe I’m still above the max line.

I’m pretty sure I have to deal with brakes in my car and it would have been nice to take care of everything in one shot but I had not done any research on brakes/rotors for my car.

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