Brake fluid is an essential part of a hydraulic braking system. It is intended to activate the brakes from your foot's force on the brake pedal. In order to achieve smooth and effective braking, your brake fluid needs to be at a suitable viscosity, have a high boiling point, and be anti-corrosive.
- Viscocity: A good, flowing liquid is a quality you should look for in brake fluid. The best way to determine which type is suitable for your car is to check the owner's manual or ask a trusted technician. This is an important task because most brake fluids are either glycol- or silicone-based, and you should never mix them!
- Boiling Point: Brake fluid must have a high boiling point because the friction from your brake pads creates a lot of heat. This ensures that your brakes don't fail on you.
- Anti-Corrosive: A good brake fluid usually has additives that help prevent corrosion in the brake lines. Brake fluid is prone to contamination from moisture.
Ways Brake Fluid Can Go Bad
In simple terms, yes, brake fluid can go bad. Brake fluid should be serviced per the manufacturer's recommendations.
There are a few reasons why your brake fluid loses effectiveness over time. Though the liquid is stored in a sealed container, it's impossible to prevent small levels of moisture from contaminating your brake fluid.
Over time, the particles build up to dilute the fluid, lower its boiling point, and slowly cause your brakes to lose their effectiveness.
Another common problem your brake fluid may need changing is corrosion in the brake lines. The problem can span from metal corrosion or the build-up of contaminants that intervene with the flow of brake fluid.
If you notice that your brakes have lost their braking power and need brake service, please do not hesitate to call or visit the experts at Paul's Automotive in Baltimore, MD, and Cockeysville, MD.