You should take basic car maintenance seriously for several reasons. The worst-case scenario for neglecting periodic brake fluid changes is complete brake failure, which can result in expensive repairs and collisions.Small pieces of debris gradually find their way into your braking fluid, which can cause complications and reduce stopping power. Along with the debris, moisture infiltration into the system can lead to rust, which in turn produces more debris in your brake fluid. Your car won't be able to stop as quickly as it should if your braking system is damaged. Of course, doing this is extremely risky and should be avoided.
The lifeblood of your engine is oil, as you've surely heard. In essence, it is what motivates you. For you to be able to stop, brake fluid is equally important. Following the advice of your manufacturer is the best approach to determining how often you need to change the brake fluid.
You should replace your brake fluid every two years. Although the process is not difficult, you must exercise caution because it may get very messy and easily mess up your paint.
Checking the brake fluid reservoir, which is often located on top of the master cylinder under the hood of your car, to verify if the fluid is still fresh may help you determine when it's time for a replacement. When new, brake fluid in certain cars is clear, but as it ages, it darkens and becomes murky due to water contamination. Brake fluid is typically light brown.
Signs That Your Brake Fluid Needs to Be Replaced
A complete brake failure is an obvious sign that your brake fluid needs to be changed. Fortunately, there are other less severe signs that it's time to replace the brake fluid in your car. Have your car mechanic check your brakes if you experience any of these signs.
- The ABS is on
When the ABS (anti-lock braking system) suddenly illuminate, it indicates that there is a problem with your car's braking system. You may need to replace or add brake fluid to your car as a typical fix for this issue. Of course, there are other reasons why brake lights may illuminate. To make sure the issue isn't more serious than you think, always have a professional check your brakes.
- Failure of the Brake Pads
You probably need fresh, clean fluid if pressing down on the brake pedal is difficult or if the pedal feels "squishy."
- Burning Smells
After forceful braking, if you detect a chemical odor, your brakes may be overheated. You need to stop right away and let your brakes cool before continuing. Your brakes could stop working if your brake fluid heats up too much.
- Noisy brakes
You might hear noises emanating from your brakes if your brake system is old or insufficiently lubricated. Your brake pads may also squeal or grind if your fluid is low or dirty.