Vehicle Fluids Part IV: Brake Fluid

For part IV of our vehicle fluids series we will like to discuss brake fluid. And, we're gonna just jump right into it!!

The brake lines in your vehicle are filled with a hydraulic fluid known as brake fluid. When you depress the brake pedal, the fluid filled lines transfer force to activate the vehicle's braking system, which aids in the movement of the brake pads at the wheels. Brake fluid also acts as a lubricant and an anti-corrosion fluid that will make sure your brake system is working at its' best.

Brake fluid is made up of a mixture of varying glycols, which are derived from a mixture of non-petroleum and other alcohol based fluids. There are other higher end fluids that are silicone based. These particular high end fluids should not be mixed with other types of brake fluid and that is why it is important to understand the differences between types of brake fluid.

Brake fluid will get hot at times and needs to have a high boiling point. Do to the fact that brake fluid can reach temperatures as high as 1200 degrees, but can be subjected to very low freezing points, the brake fluid needs to be extremely stable to be able to maintain its' specific properties. In addition to temperature variances, brake fluid is also designed to not damage the rubber components that it comes in contact with in the braking system. But, because of the chemical combination of the fluids that make up brake fluid, it tends to permanently damage paint. Due to this, it is always recommended to be extremely careful with brake fluid and if it does spill, be quick to clean the spill thoroughly.

Brake fluid is what they call, 'hydroscopic,' which means it will naturally absorb moisture. Unfortunately, over time the added moisture possibly can create corrosion build up or decrease the boiling point of the fluid. Modern technology has improved brake hoses by making them more flexible, which is said to prevent some of the moisture issues. Today most of the brake fluid issues are caused by high levels of copper and resin from additives that have been expended. It is always best to check your brake fluid health at every service so that you can avoid brake system component corrosion or worse, sludge build up. This will occur when the fluid has reached its' life limit and it no longer has adequate anti-corrosive inhibitors.

Shige's Premier Auto Service will test your brake fluid at every visit. We use the FASCAR technology rating system that will identify exact amounts of moisture and copper in your brake fluid. Copper in your brake fluid is a sign of corrosion. We will show you exactly what it looks like so that you will know what your brake fluid copper content level is and whether it will be necessary to flush your brake system. It is really important that you maintain your brake fluid to avoid corrosion that can deplete your braking system or as FASCAR says, 'Corrosion can pit the metal bores of the master cylinder, slave cylinders, and ABS components. This means that pistons cannot move freely, seals can be damaged, and cylinders can develop internal and external leaks. A thorough brake fluid flush is cheap insurance (FASCAR TECH).'

The brake system is for your safety, as well as the safety of others. It is our goal here at Shige's Premier Auto Service to keep your vehicle safe, reliable and on the road! So, give us a call at 310-323-1824 to make a reservation for your vehicle today!

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