When should you flush brake fluid
Some car makers say you should flush brake fluid every two years. Here’s why. Brake fluid is hygroscopic, so it absorbs water. Water in brake fluid reduces its boiling point and that reduces your braking ability. Brake fluid also contains anti-corrosive additives and those wear out over time.
Your shop says brake fluid looks dark
Brake fluid flushes usually come up when the shop lets you know that your brake fluid looks dark. But bobody can determine the condition of your brake fluid with just a visual inspection. There are two tests to determine if the fluid needs to be changed. The first is a test strip that checks the level of copper in the fluid. The inside of the brake lines are brazed with copper. As the anti corrosion additives wear out, copper dissolves into the brake fluid.
The second test is done with a moisture meter. Dip a tester into the fluid and it tells you when the moisture level exceeds a certain level.
Is brake fluid flushing a scam?
Not really. But it depends on whether the shop actually tested your fluid or is just recommending it to add to their bottom line.
How can you avoid getting scammed on a brake fluid flush?
Buy a package of brake fluid test strips. Open the brake fluid
reservoir and dip the strip into the fluid. Wait the recommended amount of time for the strip to change color. Then compare the color to the chart on the package. If the chart shows the fluid is old, change it. If not, don’t.
Where’s the best place to get a brake fluid flush?
Avoid oil change shops. PLEASE! If you read the news, you already know that the chain operated shops are known for scamming customers. How do they scam you on a brake fluid flush? Simple. They use a turkey baster and suck the dark fluid out of the brake fluid reservoir. Then they add clean looking fluid. They never actually bleed the old fluid out of the system.
So find a reputable independent repair shop. Read this post first before you start looking for a good mechanic.
If you’re doing your own brake fluid flush
Always suck the brake fluid out of the master cylinder reservoir before using a pressure bleeder to flush the rest of the system. If you don’t you’ll push sediment into the ABS mechanism and that will cause problems.
©, 2016 Rick Muscoplat
Posted on by Rick Muscoplat
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