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Why should I change my brake fluid?

Posted by tom zoebelein on Fri, Mar 15, 2013 @ 09:55 AM

car brakes

Lately, I’ve been talking a great deal about what kinds of regular maintenance you should perform on your vehicle in order to keep it functioning well.  Today I want to talk to you about something you might not often think of, yet it is so essential to your car’s health: its brake fluid. 

What does brake fluid do?
Brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means that it absorbs moisture.  By pulling the water away from your brake components, brake fluid prevents them from rusting.  It is also hydraulic, which means that it uses force to build pressure, allowing your brakes to function properly.

How often does brake fluid need to be changed?
The general rule of thumb is that you should have your brake fluid flushed every two years or 15,000 miles—whichever comes first.  The reason is that brake fluid absorbs moisture over time.  When it is more saturated with water, your brakes require more pedal effort and that decreases your stopping power.  Fresh fluid will give you the stopping power your car requires.

Another thing to consider is that old brake fluid is more acidic, which causes it to eat away your brake hoses and seals.  Plus, as we already described, old brake fluid is more full of water, which can cause it to rust away your brake lines.  Here's a great diagram from 2CarPros.com:     

brake parts

Do I need to have brake fluid changed professionally?
We certainly recommend that you have your brake fluid changed professionally.  Your brakes are one of the most important elements of your vehicle, since they are responsible for stopping your car.  It is essential for your safety that they are in perfect condition.  If you take your car to an automotive repair shop, we have the tools and know-how to do the job right. 

If you decide to flush your brake fluid on your own, make sure that you use the proper type of fluid.  To be certain, check your owner’s manual.  The manufacturer designed your car with a type of brake fluid in mind, so it’s important to adhere to their recommendation.  And don’t mix your fluids!

Also be careful not to get any brake fluid on the painted surfaces of your vehicle, since the fluid can easily eat away your paint.   Then you could have a big cosmetic problem on your hands.

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At Ward Automotive in Bel Air, MD, we can change your brake fluid for you!
If you are looking for an autobody shop or an auto mechanic to service your vehicle in Harford County, Maryland, you have come to the right place.  Ward Automotive is a division of Bel Air Autobody, Inc, an autobody repair facility with a reputation for quality repair servicing the residents of Harford County for over twenty years.

Our mechanical division called Ward Automotive grew from a need to help our customers receive complete automotive car under one roof.  Our seasoned technicians are highly trained, and we possess the latest tools and equipment to service your car right.  Why not take your car to the shop that knows your car inside and out?

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Topics: bel air mechanic, Brakes, Auto Mechanic Abingdon, Auto Mechanic Edgewood, auto mechanic bel air, brake problems, brake noises, Auto mechanic Bel Air Maryland, basic car maintenance, brake fluid flush, bad brakes, squeaking brakes, car maintenance, change brake fluid