Brake fluid is an integral element of a vehicle's braking system, as it transfers the force of the brake pedal to the brakes. It's important to maintain the brake fluid to ensure that the braking system works properly and safely.
Over time, brake fluid can absorb moisture and "water down," leading to decreased brake effectiveness. Moisture can also cause corrosion of the brake lines, which can result in brake failure. Lastly, old or contaminated brake fluid can also cause problems with the ABS (anti-lock braking system).
Signs of Brake Fluid Problems
There are several signs that your vehicle's brake fluid needs attention. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it's best to have your brakes inspected by a professional:
- A spongy or soft brake pedal
- A brake warning light on the dashboard
- A grinding noise when you brake
- A burning smell coming from the brakes
Brake Fluid Maintenance Tips
- Check the brake fluid level regularly. The brake fluid reservoir is usually situated under the hood near the brake master cylinder. Check the fluid level regularly and add fluid as needed.
- Flush the brake fluid. Brake fluid should be flushed and replaced every two to three years, depending on the manufacturer's recommendations. Flushing the system will remove old fluid and any contaminants that may have built up in the system.
- Use the recommended brake fluid. Check your owner's manual to determine which type of brake fluid is recommended for your vehicle. Using the incorrect type of fluid can harm the braking system.
- Don't mix different types of brake fluid. Mixing different types of brake fluid can cause a chemical reaction that can damage the braking system.
- Have your brakes inspected regularly. Regular brake inspections can help identify potential problems before they become serious. A professional mechanic can review the brake fluid, brake lines, and other components of the braking system to ensure that everything is working correctly.
If you notice any signs of brake fluid problems, have your brakes inspected by the brake experts at Oakmont Auto Care. We can keep you safe on the road.