Brake fluid needs to be flushed and replaced periodically because it absorbs moisture. When it becomes too saturated, it begins to degrade and no longer functions properly in your brakes’ hydraulic systems. At this point, it’s important to act quickly to avoid needing more complex brake repair services.
A recent car maintenance survey discovered that 18% of vehicles had low or contaminated brake fluid. Without brake fluid in your car, your brakes lines could become rusted and corroded, and in the worst case scenario, your brakes could stop working and cause a serious accident.
Brake fluid should be replaced about every 30,000 miles or every two years, and should be brought in right away for brake repair service if the car is leaking fluid. The average lifespan for brake pads is often about the same, so investing in regular brake service is a good idea anyway.
If you decide to replace your brake fluid at home, wear eye protection like safety goggles and heavy work gloves. Have cloths on hand to wipe off anything you need to, and use a wrench that fits your vehicles bleeder screws. You may also need to invest in new bleeder screws if yours have outlived their use.
There are several different types of brake fluids, usually distinguished by their DOT category. Though the initials stand for Department of Transportation, the categories indicate the boiling points of the fluid. Higher numbers indicate higher quality and higher expense.
Silicone-based brake fluid DOT 5 should only be used for vehicles with non-ABS systems that have never been filled with glycol-based fluids like DOT 3, 4, and 5.1. Your car’s manual can usually tell you what fluid is best for your car, but you can always visit an auto repair shop if you’re unsure.
Your local auto repair shops will usually be happy to help you out with cheap brake repair service. There are about 87,032 auto repair businesses in the U.S., so you’ll have no problem finding one that can give you a hand