Brake fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid used in hydraulic brake and clutch applications in automobiles, motorcycles, light trucks, and some bicycles. It is used to transfer force into pressure, and to amplify braking force. It works because liquids are not appreciably compressible like brake fluid is.
Not known to many people, brake fluid can be changed and many people seemed baffled when they are told that they need to do a brake fluid flush. It is imperative to your braking system and here’s why:
- Brake fluid is “hygroscopic,” which means it actively attracts moisture from the air. This is often touted as the main reason to change your brake fluid. Because many parts of your braking system are made of metal, flushing the brake fluid can prevent corrosion and failure of those metal components.
- As brake fluid ages and becomes contaminated with small particles, the boiling point of the fluid goes down. This reduces your braking performance, which you might not notice for a while, but every inch counts when it comes to braking.
- Anti-lock braking (ABS) and traction control components are sensitive to moisture and small particulates from contaminated fluid. We recommend flushing the fluid before it can damage these pricey parts. An ABS module, for example, are really expensive and can leave you with a hole in your pocket at the end of the day, at Riet River Auto, we try to keep our clients from having to sink funds into a repair like that.
These are some of the main reasons we recommend a brake fluid flush to our customers. Down at Riet River Auto we do a brake fluid test where we measure the boiling point of the liquid to determine if the liquid hasn’t lost its ability to be compressible as this will lower the compression in your vehicles braking system. If your brake fluid is compromised we drain the entire system by doing an abs bleed which will rid the braking system of all impurities and air that has been trapped within.
If you feel your brake pedal isn’t firm enough and that your car has been making hard braking then your car more often than not, needs a brake fluid flush. We at Riet River Auto recognise this as becoming a potential problem in the future so we recommend a full brake fluid flush every 120 000 km’s or every 5 years.
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