When it comes to your car’s braking system, your brake fluid plays a significant role in transmitting the force into pressure to create a braking force. A brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid used in automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, and other motorized vehicles.
It acts as a lubricant to all moving components in your car’s system and prevents any signs of corrosion. Keep in mind that your brake fluid must be compatible with the hoses and rubber seals in order for your braking system to work properly.
What Makes a Brake Fluid Break Down
Whenever heat is generated when you are braking, it may affect the performance of your brake fluid. If it is too hot, your brake fluid may vaporize. Technically, the brake fluid has a certain boiling point and once it exceeds that temperature, the fluid may turn into vaporized bubbles which will result in a brake failure.
A brake fluid absorbs moisture through the hoses and as the water content in the fluid increases, the boiling temperature decreases. The boiling point can be minimized by water contaminants which also affects your braking capability. The build-up of moisture can cause corrosion in the brake lines, cylinder, and other components.
When it’s Time to Change your Brake Fluid
Most car manufacturers highly recommend changing your brake fluid every two years. A fresh and new brake fluid keep your boiling point to a healthy level. However, it really depends on your car manufacturer which is why you should always check your car manual for the details. Some vehicles don’t provide any specific recommendations when replacing your brake fluid but they do offer instructions on how to check and inspect it.
Whenever you have your car serviced, your mechanic usually checks your brake fluid’s boiling point. Have it tested for moisture content every few years especially if you live in a hot climate and high humidity area. This ensures that your braking system is in good shape. It is more cost-efficient to replace and flush out your brake fluid compared to replacing corroded car components.
You can check it yourself by evaluating if the brake fluid still looks fresh. Usually, it has a light brown color but some modern cars use clear brake fluids and become darker over time due to water contaminants. Always use a KevianClean Auto Detailing Towel to clean up any mess or residue. In this case, if you are not sure, it is always better to bring your car to a professional auto repair service than to self-diagnose your vehicle.