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Brake Fluid & When To Change It

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February 15, 2023 Topic: Safety TipsTech Talks

Brake fluid is a vital component in any vehicle’s braking system. It is responsible for transmitting the force applied by the brake pedal to the brake pads or shoes, allowing the vehicle to slow down and stop. However, brake fluid can become contaminated over time, reducing its effectiveness and potentially causing brake failure. This is why it is crucial to change your brake fluid regularly to ensure your brakes are working correctly and to maintain your vehicle’s safety.

So, why do you need to change your brake fluid? There are several reasons. Firstly, brake fluid is hygroscopic, which absorbs moisture from the air. This moisture can cause rust and corrosion in the brake system, leading to leaks or other failures. In addition, moisture in the brake fluid can cause the fluid to boil at a lower temperature, reducing the braking system’s effectiveness. Finally, contaminated brake fluid can lead to brake pedal fade, where the brake pedal feels soft and spongy, reducing the braking force that can be applied.

So when should you change your brake fluid? Most manufacturers recommend changing your brake fluid every two years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. However, if you frequently drive in stop-and-go traffic or in mountainous areas, your brake fluid may need to be changed more often. Similarly, if you have a high-performance vehicle that is driven hard, your brake fluid may need to be changed more frequently. In addition, if you notice any signs of brake problems, such as a soft or spongy brake pedal, a change in brake pedal feel, or a noticeable decrease in braking performance, you should have your brake fluid checked and changed if necessary.

Changing your brake fluid is a straightforward process that can be done by a mechanic or even by a knowledgeable car owner with the right tools and equipment. The process involves removing the old brake fluid from the brake system and replacing it with fresh fluid. The mechanic will typically start by flushing the brake system with a brake cleaner to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated in the system. Next, the old brake fluid will be removed using a brake bleeder tool. Finally, fresh brake fluid will be added to the system, and the brakes will be bled to ensure that there is no air in the system.

As for the cost of changing your brake fluid, it will depend on several factors, such as the make and model of your vehicle, the type of brake fluid used, and the labor cost charged by your mechanic. Typically, a brake fluid change will cost between $70 and $150, although the cost can be higher for luxury vehicles or for vehicles with more complicated brake systems. At Brakes To Go, we only charge $55 for a brake flush when performing another service. Call 512-585-1845 for an easy appointment or get a free quote here.

While the cost of changing your brake fluid may seem like an unnecessary expense, it is a small price to pay to ensure your vehicle’s safety. A brake failure can be catastrophic, potentially causing a serious accident or even a loss of life. By changing your brake fluid regularly, you can ensure that your brakes are working correctly and that you can stop your vehicle safely in any situation.