Everything You Need To Know About Brake Fluid
September 27th, 2020 by Fix Auto USA
What is brake fluid? It is the Rodney Dangerfield of fluids. Seriously, there is practically an oil change center on every block, but what about for brake fluid? After all, brake fluid is essential to stopping a vehicle, which is a pretty big deal, and it also serves as a lubricant and anti-corrosion agent.
What is brake fluid?
Okay, so we’ve established that brake fluid has an important role. But let’s take a step back before we go forward: what is brake fluid to begin with? It’s a type of hydraulic fluid used in brake systems to facilitate and activate the brake pedal to stop the car. It lives in a sealed system and can survive for a long time, but it can affect your stopping ability if it gets contaminated. Thirty years ago, a big problem occurred when moisture would get into the brake fluid. However, modern brake hoses have largely eliminated that problem.
What is brake fluid additive package?
Brake fluid additive packages are additives that are blended into brake fluid by the manufacturer. Examples include additives to reduce corrosion and rust, as well as anti-wear and anti-foaming additives.
Signs of low brake fluid
First you’ll want to get under the hood and find the brake fluid reservoir, which is usually positioned on top of the master cylinder. Look for signs of low brake fluid and also observe the color. Brake fluid is typically a light brown color. As time passes, salt and other contaminants seep into it and cause the color to become darker. This is even truer in regions that get inclement weather; drivers in cold climates should routinely inspect their brake system.
Does brake fluid go bad?
Eventually, yes, brake fluid can go bad, especially if the bottle is exposed to moisture after it’s been opened. The more moisture absorbed by the brake fluid, the less effective the brake fluid will be, which could mean you will experience less stopping power when you apply the brakes.
How often should you change brake fluid?
Should you change your brake fluid regularly or only when you see signs of low brake fluid? When to change brake fluid is one of those issues over which the experts often disagree. You’ll hear quite a range of recommended intervals, from two years (Mercedes-Benz) to three years (Honda and VW) to 45,000 miles, which is close to five years (Chevrolet). Consult your vehicle owner’s manual for their recommendation.
In today’s vehicles, brake fluid should be changed when the copper content is 200 PPM (parts per million) or higher. This will refresh the brake fluid additive package so it can provide more protection.
Today, brake fluid can be easily and accurately tested at a qualified auto shop. If you see signs of low brake fluid, be sure not to hesitate as postponing this repair can easily lead to an accident. If you need high-quality collision repair after an accident, Fix Auto USA is open for business and ready to serve you.
This blog post was contributed by Fix Auto Sierra Vista, a leading industry expert and collision repair shop servicing the Sierra Vista area including Benson, Bisbee, Double Adobe, Elfrida, Elgin, Hereford, Huachuca City, McNeal, Mescal, Miracle Valley, Pomerene, Sierra Vista Southeast, Sonoita, South Bisbee, St. David, Sunizona, Tombstone, and Whetstone and more.
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