It’s something that almost never gets done, something that seems to keep working so why fix it. But if you think about it, it’s really, really important so that you don’t plow through the cars ahead of you.<br />n<br />nThe truck now has new brake fluid in its hydraulic veins, thanks to neighbor-auto-technician Steve. He’s a firm believer in swapping out the fluid on schedule as recommended by the manufacturer, which is a <em>whole</em> lot more often than one would think. The old fluid that came out wasn’t too bad, wasn’t too dark with a bunch of sediment, though there was a sprinkle here or there. We also removed all four tires and examined the brakes themselves, looking for potential signs of failure. There were none. Front pads have plenty of meat, and the rear shoes look like they have never seen a load.<br />n<br />nI had noticed a while a ago the fluid level on the low side, which indicates a leak, but we didn’t see any signs of one anywhere, even around the brake cylinders in the read, moving the boots out of the way to get a close look.<br />n<br />nWe also performed a leakdown test of the cooling system. Steve has a cool new set up to do this with, so we got to play with it. Connect it up to the system in the place of your radiator cap and pump it up to about 12 or 14 pounds and then look around for leaks and watch the gauge to see if the pressure decreases.<br />n<br />nWe left it on for 15 or 20 minutes but saw no signs of a leak, but the pressure did decrease slowly over time, more than we would have liked. Steve also noticed signs of a previous leak in the front of the engine, near a pulley, near where the water pump is. The evidence was in the form of dried up, reddish material which matches the color of the coolant in the system. Through the leakdown test, however, there area did not experience any moisture leaking out, so we believe that it’s a really small leak that won’t be any trouble.<br />n<br />nAnd finally, since I had to dig around behind the back seat for the lug key, I took the opportunity to shed some sunlight on the spare tire, which has probably never left its perch since the truck was new. It was down to 20 psi from its recommend 35 psi, so I added air and checked the condition of the tire. It all looked good other than some scuffing at the mount points.<br />n<br />nI think we are good to go!