Why does my garage tell me my brake fluid needs changing?

April 8th, 2012 by Alex Feigenbaum Categories: Business No Responses

This is something if often get asked as I recomend it as a service item myself when appropriate. The customer will more often than not say, “my brakes feel fine so what are you changing the fluid for?” The truth is that if we left the old fluid in the system a while longer, you would probably know no different, but there are certain things going on, that you the driver are not aware of  within the braking system. As a service item we do routinely check brake fluid with a dedicated meter, this checks for water content, if this is outside acceptable parameters we strongly recomemend a fluid change. Brake fluids is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs water from the atmosphere, and as such it takes on the water and it’s properties are compromised. When you brake immense heat is produced at the wheels, especially if you brake quickly from speed, some of this heat gets transferred into the fluid and if the water content is high enough and the brakes hot enough it can boil, but this wold only happen in extreme cases after repeated heavy braking, or whilst towing and using the brakes often. The main reason to keep brake fluid in tip top condition is because most of today’s modern braking components, such as ABS pumps/units and traction control systems work in conjunction with the braking system and water content in the system can make these systems ineffective as water content forms corosion and there a intricate valves and switching units within the systems which slowly clog and if fluid is left unchanged for more than two years, severe damage can result in failure,costing in some cases four figure repair bills. So when your garage recommends a fluid change and it’s not been done for two years, and or the car sees little use,take their advice and have it done, it could save you more money than you realise.

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