Brake fluid is the most important working fluid used in the vehicle. The efficiency and reliability of the brakes depends on its quality.
The service book of any vehicle has a record, which regulates the period of replacement of brake fluid. Typically, this is once a two year period. This figure is the result of years of tests, experiments and calculations.
Meanwhile, many drivers do not pay attention to such recommendations. Someone is trying to save on it, if no leaks, then brakes are okay. And maybe it is not necessary to change this liquid? Maybe it’s just a trick servicemen to get to the car owners extra money? Or maybe there are some pitfalls, and disregard for the brake fluid can lead to trouble?
Why change it?
Brake fluid works in very difficult conditions. In the urban cycle, it is heated to 150 °C, and when driving on a mountain road, hauling trailer, as well as in sports driving, it can heat up to 180 ° C.
Of course, modern brake fluid is maintained such loads: their boiling range from 200 to 260 ° C depending on the type. However, the brake fluid is hygroscopic, i.e. it absorbs moisture. Accordingly, with the increase in the proportion of moisture in the brake fluid boiling point is lowered. If a year old brake fluid absorbs 2-3% water, its boiling temperature will decrease by 30-50 °C, that is, boiling occurs even at 145-160 °C.
When boiling brake fluid there are air bubbles formation occur, and when you press the brake pedal part of liquid is poured into the reserve tank, and the rest cannot create enough pressure to the brake. In a result brake pedal “falls.”
In addition, any brake fluid consists of various additives that will eventually begin to decompose, and the liquid begins to lose its other properties. For example, the use of old fluid can lead to swelling of brake sleeves and subsequent leakage.
Manufacturers recommend changing brake fluid every 30-40 thousand kilometers, or every two years. Availability of electronic systems such as the ABS does not affect the frequency of replacement. Sports car brands, such as Maserati, Lamborghini or Ferarri brake fluid replacement regulations are even stricter. The manufacturers of these brands recommend changing the fluid is slightly more than conventional road vehicles, after 10-15 thousand kilometers.
Brake fluid can be topped up and even mix, but be cautious. Technical center experts recommended to refill only the liquid that is initially filled into the vehicle. The fact that different manufacturers of brake fluid use different additive packages in their chemical properties and may be incompatible. If improperly mixing them can form a precipitate that accumulated not only in the brake reservoir, but also in the entire system.
When buying a used car it’s is better to replace brake fluid.
There are times when you need to replace the brake fluid before the stated period, for example, if it begins to change color. Generally, most modern cars brake fluid has a light yellow color, although some car models use a special mineral red oil. Color liquid can be a good indicator of its condition. If the liquid of the same color, as new, it is okay and nothing to worry about. But if it began to thicken, or it appeared sediment, it is a signal that it is not all right, and it’s time to go to the car service. More likely, there is because of additives imbalance. Further operation of the car on such a fluid will cause damage to the brake pistons and swelling cuffs.
In addition to visual inspection to check the condition of the brake there are special fluid testers, produced by different companies. They represent a small box the size of a special probe to be submerged in the brake fluid. The probe, heating, detects the temperature of the fluid, information is displayed on a special display in the form labeled “hot replace”, “it is desirable to replace” or “all right.” The diagnostic process takes less than a minute. Measurement error – 3%, which is good for the consumer compact precision instrument. Testers are sold in shops and auto parts.
What to do if braking system have air
If there is air in braking system, it is necessary to pump, that is, through a special nozzle located in the brake cylinders, remove the air from the liquid. For vehicles without ABS, this procedure, as well as the replacement of the fluid can be made with their own hands, with only one assistant. The vehicle for this should stand on level ground or on a viewing hole (ideally – to hang on the riser with the wheels removed). Assistant sitting at the wheel and pressing the brake pedal, the system creates pressure, and the second person opens and releases the fluid nozzle with the air, waiting for the moment when you go clean liquid. Begin this procedure with the wheel farthest from the master cylinder.
Forgetting about the frequency of replacement of brake fluid, careless car owners, without knowing it, with their own hands creating problems for yourself, and at any time the vehicle can remain loose. Appointment of brake fluid – power transmission from the pedal to wheel brake cylinder. This task is very responsible, since the brakes under any circumstances, has no right of refusal. Therefore, brake fluid needs constant monitoring. And if poor-quality oil can lead to reduced life or damage the engine or gearbox, the low quality of the brake fluid threatens to crash.