Brake fluid is one of those things that always gets overlooked, even though it’s a fundamental
component of the braking system. In this article, we’ll examine the behind-the-scenes part that
brake fluid plays and why it’s so important. We’ll also talk about how you can maintain
high-quality fluid. Let’s get started.
What is Brake Fluid?
Brake fluid is an incompressible liquid that runs throughout the braking system. It transports
hydraulic force from the brake pedal out to the calipers. The hydraulic force secures the calipers
onto the rotors, and this slows your vehicle to a stop. In short, the entire braking system would
malfunction without fluid.
To do its job, fluid has to be able to withstand a wide range of temperatures. The engine
produces massive amounts of heat. For this reason, brake fluid is formulated to have a high
boiling point to prevent vaporization. If your fluid all boiled away, there would be no
hydraulic force to apply the brakes. Another noteworthy feature of fluid is its viscosity.
Braking fluid keeps a constant viscosity, no matter how hot or cold its surrounding atmosphere is.
This guarantees easy transport of hydraulic force.
There are several distinct types of fluid, but most of them are glycol-ether-based. This
formula is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs water. That means your braking fluid will almost
always contain a small amount of water. Too much water can cause problems in your engine and
brakes. For one thing, it can reduce the fluid’s boiling point. If this happens, too much
fluid could vaporize, which would result in reduced stopping power. Additionally, too
much water can corrode metallic engine parts. Although braking fluids have anti-corrosive
additives, too much water will have a negative effect. To address these issues, it’s crucial to get
your fluid routinely tested and replaced.
How often does the fluid need to be changed?
Since braking fluid flows throughout the engine, it gets contaminated with rust particles and other
debris. As a result, it requires periodic replacement. Generally speaking, we suggest getting this
done every year or so. The change interval may vary, depending on your make and model.
Additionally, not all fluids are the same. Different fluids offer different recommendations.
To help you figure out what’s best for your vehicle, consult your owner’s manual or one of our
friendly technicians at Kremer Services.
What are some signs my fluid needs to be changed?
As fluid ages and gets more polluted, its appearance changes. Most fluid starts with
a clear or amber hue, but over time it darkens and becomes more cloudy. This is an obvious sign
that your fluid needs replacing.
While checking out your fluids, pay special attention to your fluid level. A slight decrease
in brake fluid is perfectly normal, but it shouldn’t happen regularly. If it is, you probably have
an underlying issue with your engine or braking system, such as a leak. Addressing these
problems right away can help ensure they don’t escalate, saving you time and money.
Do you need to get your fluid tested or replaced? Our experienced professionals at Kremer
Services are happy to help. Give us a call today at (651) 455-1604, or request your appointment