As brake fluid ages, what happens to your car?

As brake fluid ages, what happens to your car?

When caring for a vehicle, there are many things to consider. Maintenance is essential so that the operation is correct and there are no risks when driving. One of the components that deserves our attention is the brake fluid. On this depends, to a large extent, safety in braking and driving. For this reason, it is important to know how it works and the problems that can be generated if the change is not made when it is due. In this note, everything you need to know about brake fluid.


What is brake fluid?


Brake fluid is a fundamental component of the car, which guarantees the proper functioning of the braking system. It has special conditions for it to work properly. When working at high temperatures, it is necessary that its boiling point is very high, since if it starts to boil, the bubbles will generate a failure that will leave the car without brakes.

The braking system of automobiles is exclusively hydraulic. This means that the braking force is transmitted by means of the brake fluid. Therefore, it is essential that this component is in perfect working order when driving, since otherwise, we could run out of brakes in the middle of the road.


What happens to brake fluid over time?


While brake fluid is specially designed to withstand high temperatures, it also has a downside. This substance is extremely hygroscopic, meaning that it has a tendency to attract moisture. As the amount of water in the brake fluid increases, it can cause many problems. First of all, the water does not work properly in the hydraulic braking system. In addition, it can generate corrosion in the different lines and worsen the wear of the brake cylinders. And, as if that were not enough, water boils at a much lower temperature than brake fluid. Therefore, it can generate the presence of gases inside the hoses and cause damage to the braking system.


When to change the brake fluid?


Since the accumulation of water in the brake fluid is unavoidable, the solution to this problem is to replace the fluid periodically. In general, it is recommended to do this every 2 years or, at most, every 4 years. It should be clarified that it is not a matter of adding new brake fluid and that’s it. It is necessary to completely replace the content, to ensure that the purity of this component is maintained. In addition, it is convenient to check the level of the liquid before carrying out the replacement. In this way, any leak in the system that may have gone unnoticed until now can be detected. The brake fluid replacement process is not expensive, but it is always recommended to have it done by a professional. In addition, the brand and type of fluid recommended by the vehicle manufacturer must be taken into account, to ensure correct operation.


Other issues to consider


As we mentioned, there is a possibility that there is a leak somewhere in the system. While this is rare, it can cause the fluid level to drop over time. But in addition, there is also the possibility that, due to the same leak, foreign elements enter the braking system. This can cause the brake fluid to become dirty with particles or gases and start to work poorly.

A good way to tell if the brake fluid has water or some other substance that can hinder braking is through the color. Under favorable conditions, the brake fluid is clear and has a yellowish tint. On the other hand, when it is dirty with water or other substances, it takes on a more greenish and cloudy color. If you notice this, chances are it’s time to replace it long ago, so it’s a good idea to replace it right away.

When buying your used car, Airport will make sure that the brake fluid, like the rest of the components, is in excellent roadworthy condition. We carry out a complete mechanical review of each vehicle to offer the best used, with the best financing.

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