How often Should I Change my Brake Fluid?

Brakes - Auto Repair Service in Bedford, PA

The word of the day: Hygroscopic. Hygroscopic is a fluid’s ability to attract and hold water molecules from its surroundings. Why is this important? Because the brake fluid in your car is Hygroscopic.

Depending on the car you drive the mileage and time recommendations may differ, a lot; so make sure you look to see what the manufacture recommends for the interval of your car.

But Wait! If you drive a Ford Escape, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Camry or several other models; there ARE NO recommendations from the manufacture!

In this article Town Hill Auto Repair Service  is going to get down and dirty with brake fluid, what it does and why it is important to keep it maintained.

What does Brake Fluid Do?

Brake fluid acts simply as the hydraulic translator between the mechanical pressure of the master cylinder out to the calipers or wheel cylinders of your vehicle.

Why do I need to change my brake fluid?

Because brake fluid is a hygroscopic fluid, as mentioned above, it attracts moisture into your braking system. Over a period of time this moisture can corrode internal braking components such as: lines, hoses, master cylinder, wheel cylinders and connections leading to expensive auto repairs. It also has a low temperature threshold meaning that the more you break in stop and go traffic the less viscosity that it maintains. The older the fluid the less viscosity, creating a condition known as brake fade.

Additionally, the moisture pulled into the fluid can also cause an inconsistent pedal as they water molecules will combine to create a pressure differential.

A common documented problem seen from this water contamination is on vehicles that use a metal clamp hanger for the front brake lines. Moisture collects on the inside of the hose at the point of the clamp where the hose cannot expand because of the moisture. The build up of moisture causes rust and pieces of the hose to begin to deteriorate causing a blockage. This blockage can result in a loss of braking or the inability of the pedal to return. The proper repair for this condition would be to have Town Hill Auto Repair Service replace the affected hoses, flush the old fluid from the system, clean the reservoir and replace with new fluid.

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Brake Fluid - Auto Repair Service in Bedford, PA

When should I change my brake fluid?

Many different manufacturers, depending on the fluid that used, have different intervals and mileage recommendations for changing your brake fluid. However, as mentioned above: many manufacturers no longer list an interval for changing out the brake fluid. This is for two reasons:

  • The brake fluid used is a high temperature or mineral based fluid
  • The manufacture doesn’t expect for you to maintain the car long enough to need to replace the fluid.

Yes it is true, many owners manuals have been rewritten over the years because auto manufacturers, in today’s current climate; do not anticipate vehicle ownership to exceed seven years. (With the average ownership of three years)

Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford, PA recommends the changing of your brake fluid every two years or 45,000 miles for American vehicles prior to 2010. We recommend for European cars to change their brake fluid every three years or 60,000 miles. Hyundai’s, Kia’s and Volkswagens can typically go a little bit longer than the American recommendations, This is because the vehicles are generally smaller with less heat breakdown in the braking system.

If however, you have a full size model or are in continuous stop and go traffic where you need to consistently heat up your brakes to stop; you should consult with the experts here at Town Hill Auto Repair Service for the best recommendations for your particular driving needs.

Sportier performance vehicles such as Mustangs, Camaros, Corvettes, Dodge Challenger and vehicles of similar nature that are using oversize brakes; should also consult the experts at Town Hill Auto Repair Service as to the best recommendations for your driving style.

When Local Experience Matters

Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford PA. is your main source for vehicle maintenance and repairs for your vehicle. Our ASE Master certified, dealer trained technicians can help you keep your vehicle ready for the road year around. Because we are a Napa certified repair facility, you can have peace of mind knowing that the repairs performed by Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford PA. are backed with quality Napa parts and our nationwide warranty. Be sure to check with our automotive experts on best tips and practices to keep your car in Bedford PA. running its best.

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