The systems within your car are all intertwined, with every piece contributing to the overall function of the vehicle. Beyond auto parts are all the fluids that assist in the proper function of your vehicle too. This includes the role that brake fluid plays in your entire braking system.
Importance of Brake Fluid
Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid that amplifies your vehicle’s ability to brake. This is because the brake system in modern cars creates a pressure within the liquid that is activated when the foot presses the brake pedal, allowing just that simple action to stop large vehicles that human force wouldn’t be able to accomplish on its own.
Brake Fluid Can Go Bad
Dirt, moisture in the air or other forms of contamination all influence the effectiveness and life of your brake fluid. Over time, brake fluid contamination does occur – this is normal. As a result, manufacturers recommend a brake fluid flush at regular intervals, but these recommend intervals vary between car makes.
If you are driving with bad brake fluid, you will notice a difference in braking performance. This is the most common. However, in more serious scenarios, a serious lack of brake fluid can lead to little to no braking ability.
Signs Your Brake Fluid Needs Replacing
Brake fluid contamination isn’t as obvious as a flat tire, which is why it Is important to be aware of your regular maintenance schedule. But, luckily, there are other signs that can point to the need to replace your brake fluid. These signs include reduced braking power, change in how your brake pedal feels and even strange noises when braking.
If you’ve noticed these signs that your brake fluid needs replacing, it’s likely been in need of a flush for some time. We recommend booking your vehicle in for a service amount to have your vehicle’s brake fluid replaced as soon as possible.
Checking Your Brake Fluid
While the best habits to adopt with your car include regular fluid checks on a regular basis, even while you’re filling up on gas, if you notice something is working as it normally does, you may want to take a closer look yourself before taking it into your trusted German auto shop.
With brake fluid, in particular, you can easily check your fluid levels yourself under the hood of the car.
First, reference your owner’s manual in order to view a diagram that indicates where your brake fluid reservoir is located. Typically you will be able to see braking lines coming out of the bottom of the reservoir (which often looks similar to your windshield washer fluid tank).
Once you’ve found your brake fluid reservoir, check the fill line to first ensure that enough brake fluid is kept in the tank. This fill line is on the outside of the reservoir so there is no need to open the tank (leaving the reservoir sealed is recommended). If the fluid is below the line, take your vehicle to a mechanic for replacement as soon as possible.
Beyond fluid levels, you can do a visual inspection of brake fluid from the outside of the reservoir, which can usually indicate whether there is contamination or not. Brake fluid is in a sealed system, but that doesn’t mean that contaminants can never get in. At its original state, brake fluid is clear in colour. If you look at the reservoir and notice that the liquid is more yellow, murky or brown, it’s time for a brake fluid flush.
Luckily, brake fluid is a service that is commonly built into regular service schedules, making it less important for you to remember yourself. Further, when you work with a European auto mechanic that you trust, he or she will be able to reference your previous service schedules and recommend
Don’t Skip the Brakes
We don’t need to tell you that brake functions are vital to the safe operation of your vehicle. As such, this service is not one that should be put off or missed altogether.
A brake fluid flush should be considered at each stage of regular maintenance, but especially at the recommended interval for your vehicle’s particular year, make and model. When you bring your car into AutoScope for regular maintenance, we will always assess if fluids need to be topped up or replaced.
AutoScope is a high-quality European auto shop that specializes in service and repair on European vehicles such as Audi, Porsche, BMW and Mercedes. We serve the Dallas, Plano, Frisco, Flower Mound, and Irving areas.
Schedule your appointment at AutoScope today! Contact us online here.