Everyone knows that when their brakes start to squeak it is time to have them inspected and often your brake pads and rotors replaced. What is not so commonly understood is the importance of periodically doing a brake fluid flush.
Having your brake fluid changed removes dirty fluid from the brake lines and prevents brake fluid that may have moisture in it from causing other problems. This is especially important for vehicles with anti-lock brakes (ABS) and traction control.
Reasons to Have a Brake Fluid Flush
#1 Brake fluid is “hygroscopic,” which means it actively attracts moisture from the air. With many of the parts in your braking system made of metal, removing old brake fluid can prevent corrosion and potential failure of those metal components.
#2: Over time brake fluid can become contaminated with small dirt particles and metal shavings. This can affect the boiling point of the brake fluid which reduces your brakes performance.
#3 When your ABS and traction control systems activate, they generate heat, which further breaks down and shortens the life of the brake fluid.
#4 Anti-lock braking (ABS) and traction control components are sensitive to moisture and small particulates from contaminated brake fluid.
How Often Should Braking Systems be Flushed?
There is no hard, fast rule for when to do a brake fluid flush. It is somewhat dependent on the type of driving you do. If you do a lot of stop-and-go driving or sudden braking, your brake fluid (and brake pads) will not last as long as someone who does more highway driving.
A good rule of thumb is to have your brakes flushed about every 30,000 miles or so. Brake flushing involves removing all the brake fluid from the system and replacing it with all-new, clean fluid. Doing a brake fluid flush periodically will avoid having problems down the road with more expensive brake components.
Can I Change My Own Brake Fluid?
Brake fluid should only be changed by someone with professional training. There are many types of brake fluids with different ratings and specifications, and they cannot be mixed. When doing a brake fluid flush it is important to make sure the fluid is completely drained and then replaced with the proper type for your vehicle.
Brake fluid is also toxic and combustible and must be handled and disposed of properly. This is why we recommend that a well-trained mechanic do the flush and dispose of the brake fluid properly and safely.
Beck’s Auto Center
We typically recommend a brake fluid flush at the same time we are changing brake calipers, pads or rotors. Removing dirty fluid from the brake lines, especially on vehicles with anti-lock brakes (ABS) and traction control, ensures your braking system works properly at all times.
Take advantage of our brake service coupon and we’ll be happy to look at your brakes.