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check brake fluid annually

The braking system is one of your vehicle’s most basic safety features. Under optimal circumstances, applying a few pounds of pressure to the brake pedal translates to hundreds of pounds of pressure applied at the brake caliper, which effectively slows or stops thousands of pounds traveling at potentially high speed. The effectiveness of your brakes depends upon on the quality of the brake fluid.

testing brake fluid in a car

When the brakes are applied, the friction of the brake pads on the rotors creates tremendous heat which raises the temperature of the brake fluid. This heat is an expected part of the process. However, as brake fluid ages it absorbs moisture, which lowers its boiling point. When brake fluid has over 3% moisture its boiling point is lowered enough so that as it heats up, some of the brake fluid will turn from a non-compressible liquid to a compressible gas, leading to compressible gases in the brake hoses, slop in the brake pedal, and potential brake failure.

There are a variety of methods, tools, and procedures that quickly determine the moisture content in the brake fluid. Our techs use an electrical meter to determine moisture content. It is a quick and simple test, which can ensure your brakes perform as designed.

Have your brake fluid tested once per year and flush brake fluid before its moisture content exceeds 3%.

Click this link to see the Code of Federal Regulations regarding motor vehicle brake fluid.

Photo by Wurth USA