What Does Brake Fluid Actually Do?

As a person slows their car down at a traffic light, one doesn't really give the process of braking a second thought. It's just when you have to apply brakes as you are traveling at speed if, for example, a dog runs out in front of a car or you try to avoid another driver breaking the traffic rules in order to avert an accident.

Without brake fluid in the car's engine stopping your vehicle might be near impossible as the brake fluid literally bridges the gap between man and machine. It is a non-compressible substance inside the brake lines and creates a force when the brake pedal is pressed.

Of course, brake fluid does not last forever, and if you don't have your brake fluid changed regularly you run the risk of having it draw moisture and damaged parts of your car's engine. It is recommended to check the brake fluid in your car whenever you do an oil change, although brake fluid is good for up to five years. Since brake fluid also ages, it actually has a name for this condition as in 'debris build-up' which causes various seals and hoses to build up rust that will find its way into your brake fluid. As a result, poor braking performance will occur and the brake pedal will feel spongy, and it would take longer to bring your car to a stop.

Low brake fluid levels, on the other hand, will affect your brake pads and cause a shudder or vibration as well as a noise, hindering the area where the calipers engage on the braking system.

For your own safety and that of everyone else on the road, it is advised to change your brake fluid every 24 months or every 24000 miles or 38600 kilometers, or with every oil change.

It is always good to remember to drain the old brake fluid that is left in the reservoir and that brake fluid should never be topped up on top of the old fluid as this may already be contaminated and would ruin the new brake fluid, resulting in the quality of the brake fluid degrading faster than if it was just replaced in the first place.

If you suspect that you need brake service, don't hesitate to contact the experts here at our auto repair shop today!