Why Should I Flush My Brake Fluid?
By: Sheri Edgecomb
Why Flush My Brake Fluid?
The standard recommendations on flushing brake fluid is to perform this service every two years. At Edgecomb’s we test the moisture content of your brake fluid instead. Moisture content above 2% is when your fluid will begin to cause problems. In hydraulic braking systems your fluid runs through many, often expensive, components in your car such as your master cylinder, slave cylinder, and calipers. When your fluid has a high content of moisture, you are risking corrosion and internal damage to these components.
Most frequently, we see the calipers fail. Calipers are what squeeze the brake pads onto your rotors. They must have proper movement to allow for proper braking as well as releasing of the brakes. When calipers fail, they often seize in a closed position, causing your car to brake constantly, or longer than usual on one or more wheels. In turn, this failure will often lead to damage of the brake pads and rotors themselves. Since a repair of calipers, pads and rotors typically costs around $400-500, flushing your fluid preventively, a cost of approximately $115, is a very good investment.
Less frequently we see failure of the brake master cylinder or what is known as “brake boil”, an overheating of the brake fluid. Either of these can lead to complete, unexpected loss of brakes. In the Charlottesville area the risk of experiencing brake boil is very low, this is more likely to occur with long braking in mountainous areas.
If you are unsure of the status of your brake fluid give us a call. If you are a regular customer we may have documentation which we can share with you on your car. If you are a new or returning customer we would be happy to perform a moisture test at no cost to you.