Thursday 15 May 2014

Four reasons to flush your brake fluid

Posted at 9:53 AM

Why you need to flush your brake fluidQ: I was recently at another auto repair shop in Appleton, and they recommended that I flush my brake fluid. I hadn't heard of that before. Is flushing my brake fluid something I should do?

A: Yes, flushing brake fluid to remove dirty, contaminated fluid and to replace it with clean fluid is a legitimate maintenance need for every vehicle on the road today. The question is really a matter of when should you flush your brake fluid? But first, here are several reasons why we recommend flushing brake fluid as preventive maintenance:

  1. Brake fluid is "hygroscopic," which means it actively absorbs and retains moisture just from the air. And when you consider that many parts of your braking system are made of metal, flushing the brake fluid helps to prevent corrosion and failure of your those metal components.
  2. Some of the critical additives in brake fluid that lubricate and clean the system are depleted over time. The more the brake fluid becomes contaminated with moisture and water, the less effective your brakes are.
  3. The parts that drive you anti-lock braking (ABS) and traction control systems are sensitive to moisture and small particulates. If your brake fluid is contaminated, even with fine particles, it can damage these pricey parts. Replacing the ABS motor, for example, usually costs several hundred dollars, and we think that's a repair you'll want to avoid.
  4. As your ABS and traction control systems activate, they generate heat, which further breaks down the brake fluid.

How do you know when it's time for a brake fluid flush? At Auto Select in Appleton, we use test strips that tell us how much moisture is in the fluid. If the vehicle is several years old and we're replacing calipers, we'll also often recommend a fluid flush. Typically, at that point, it's time!

In need of a brake fluid flush or want some additional information? You can reach out to any one of our nine Auto Select car and truck repair locations in Appleton, Green Bay, Stevens Point and Weston (Wausau).