Brake fluid is an integral part of your car’s braking system. Also referred to as hydraulic fluid, it is part of the hydraulic system that makes your brakes work.
When you press the brake pedal, the fluid is pressurized, pushing the brake pads against the discs to slow the car down. This action must require brake fluid to complete.
Many people don’t pay much attention to brake fluid. It usually doesn’t come to mind until there is a problem. But brake fluid ensures your safety on the road every day.
It is important to note that brake fluid loses its effectiveness over time. Because it is hygroscopic, it can absorb moisture. When the level of moisture in brake fluid reaches a certain point, air bubbles will form. At this point, the brakes will fail, and you may have to push the brake pedal all the way to the floor, which can make your driving very dangerous. There are some signs that your brake fluid has lost its effectiveness and you should change your brake fluid as soon as possible.
Signs that your brake fluid needs to be changed
- Weak brakes
Weakness in braking is usually caused by a loss of pressure in the lines that provide pressure in the brake system, and this should be checked by a repair store to see if the brake fluid needs to be changed.
- Longer braking distance
When the vehicle is driving normally, the braking distance becomes significantly longer when the brakes are applied. If it is not a problem with the brake pads, it will be a problem with the brake fluid.
- Unstable brakes
When the brakes are applied, the braking force is light and heavy. This is a sign that the brake fluid is bubbling and deteriorating, and needs to be replaced in time.
These phenomena are only felt when driving. When you are not sure if the brake fluid is the problem, you can also choose to go to an auto service store and use the equipment to test it. Brake fluid with less than 1% water content is the normal range, and if it is higher than 3% you need to change it as soon as possible.
How to change the brake fluid？
- The more primitive method is to connect a quasi-over-water bottle with a hose to the drain port, while another person applies the brakes and observes whether the dirty oil is released. Then add new brake fluid and apply the brakes until the new fluid comes out of the drain and there are no air bubbles.
- For the repair shop method, use a vacuum extractor to suck the brake fluid out of the drain port, add new brake fluid and continue to suck. Continue to suck until the removed brake fluid is clear and free of air.
- Use a brake fluid changer to change the brake fluid, which is a more convenient method. It does not require much operation. You can search online to buy one. For example, Mrcartool F118, which is one of the most advanced brake fluid change machine on the market. The fluid change process is automatic and requires only one person to operate it. It is fast and effortless, and the oil change is thorough.
When buying brake fluid it is recommended to choose a brand name brake fluid, the quality of the brake fluid affects the safety of driving. Also, choose the right brake fluid according to your car model.