How Often Should You Check Your Brake Fluid?

June 21, 2019 11:57 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Any routine checkup of your vehicle should involve a careful analysis of the brakes. You probably already know to check out the brake pads once you start to hear squeaking, but people don’t tend to pay quite as much attention to brake fluid. Proper vehicle maintenance includes checking and caring for all the essential fluids in your vehicle, including brake fluid.

Brake fluid exists in your vehicle to lubricate the parts of the braking system, allowing them to move more freely and to more effectively stop your vehicle when you press down on the brake pedal. Stopping a vehicle takes a lot of force, and without a sufficient amount or quality of brake fluid, it becomes much harder to get the braking power you need to stop your vehicle with efficiency. This is true if you’ve got low fluid levels, fluid that has been contaminated by moisture or fluid that simply isn’t flowing through the system the way it should.

It’s important to regularly visit a brake shop in Gary, IN to have your brake fluid checked, because it will eventually begin to lose its effectiveness with general wear and tear. It will absorb moisture from the air, which can result in corrosion of the hydraulic system, making the brakes less effective. The levels of fluid will also decrease over time, similar to other fluids used in your vehicle.

Checking your brake fluid

So how exactly do you go about checking your brake fluid? In most cases, that fluid will be stored inside a clear or translucent plastic reservoir, so you should be able to see the level of the fluid without having to take off the cap. Never open the cap unless you plan on immediately replacing the fluid, because as soon as you expose the fluid reservoir to air, you run the risk of introducing a lot of moisture and humidity into the system. This is one reason why people tend to leave their brake fluid checks up to the pros.

As for how frequently you need to change your brake fluid, this really depends on your individual circumstances. Factors to consider include the type of vehicle you have, the driving conditions in which you most frequently operate, the recommendations provided by the manufacturer and how much driving you do. A good standard rule is to check the brake fluid every time you get an oil change, but you probably won’t have to actually change the fluid more frequently than every four or five years or so.

If you notice the fluid is starting to have a burnt odor, is no longer transparent or simply isn’t filled up to the level it should be, then these are all signs that you should replace the brake fluid.

Most fluid changing tasks can be done in your own home or garage, but this is one that you should generally leave up to a trained mechanic, as it is a bit more complicated and dangerous to work with brake fluid than oil or coolants. For more information, contact Miller Brakes and Mufflers, Inc. or visit our brake shop in Gary, IN today.

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