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If the brake fluid is contained in a sealed system how does it get contaminated with water. For what ever reason I imagine the fluid (if it is contaminated) should be replaced according to the manufactures time scale rather than reaching an average mileage for that same time period. My car is 3 yrs old and the dealer has suggested I have the brake fluid replaced. I'm happy to go along with this but it crossed my mind seeing as I've only covered 17000 miles if its possible should I have the fluid tested. There again, how is the fluid tested, is there some sort of meter that tests for a dangerous level of water or debris. If replacement is requested by the manufacturer then that's the way I shall go but I would be interested in your comments how water ingress takes place.
 

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Brake fluid service is recommended as a maintenance activity (so not included in any service pack) every 3 years or 30k miles, whichever comes first. Should be at a fixed price of £65 from any Skoda dealer. Sounds like yours is due anyway if your car is 3 years old, regardless of the fact it's only done 17k miles. It's then recommended every 2 years/20k miles thereafter.

Details here:
ŠKODA Servicing & Maintenance | ŠKODA UK

As for water in the fluid, that can happen, there's no such thing as a completely sealed system. Worth checking the seal on the cap for the expansion tank in the engine bay - just some condensation getting in could then cause there to be water in the system.
 

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Yes, there are various testers which can at least check the level of water in the brake fluid, but they depend very much on whereabouts in the system you take the fluid from. Ideally, it needs to be from one of the calipers. They're nearest to the road!

The braking system in a car isn't sealed. The reservoir has a breather, open to atmosphere. This has to be the case, because the fluid level drops as the pads wear, so air needs to be able to get it to allow the fluid level to drop.

Apart from the breather, moisture can also permeate the rubber hoses at each wheel, to a very small extent. That's why the worst quality fluid is likely to be in the calipers.

To my mind, £65 won't be far off what I imagine you'd pay for someone to test the fluid quality anyway - and of course, apart from water, there will be seal debris in there as well.
 
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