Your car’s brake fluid is one of the most vital parts that keep a car running. The fluid is the lifeblood of a car’s entire brake system. Some of the most important things to remember about brake fluid include:
1. It transfers force from the pedal. Brake fluid keeps force from pushing on the brake and translates it into pressure applied to the wheels. Pressing on the brake pushes a piston that releases the fluid into a series of pipes, one for each wheel. The fluid then forces the brake calipers to apply pads to the wheels and slow them down.
2. It serves as a lubricant. Brake fluid keeps the braking system lubricated, allowing parts to move more smoothly. It also prevents corrosion in those parts and improves their lifespans.
3. It can withstand high and low temperatures. Brake fluid is exposed to high temperatures, and needs a high boiling point to work properly. If brake fluid were to vapourize because of temperature, it would be harder to stop the car because vapour is more compressible. The fluid also works at low temperatures (to keep from freezing), which also makes it impossible to apply force through the fluid.
4. It can absorb moisture. The fluid keeps your brake system from corroding by absorbing some of the moisture the parts are exposed to. However, diluting brake fluid with water lowers its boiling point. This means that the fluid is more likely to vapourize when exposed to high temperatures. Vapour is more compressible than fluid, and having vapour bubbles in your fluid makes brakes more likely to fail when you push the pedal.
5. It needs to be replaced every few years. As time goes on, brake fluid needs replacing as moisture seeps in and makes it less effective. Moisture contamination of brake fluid can lead to loss of corrosion inhibitors and can damage the system. This also makes it more difficult for the fluid to cool the brakes, adding to wear and tear.
6. It is possible to leak. Wear and tear on the braking system can also lead to leaks. If there is a sudden loss of hydraulic power in your brakes, immediately seek the help of a reliable mechanic. Leaking braking fluid can lead to further problems down the line as parts become worn faster.
Brake fluid is one important part of a well-operating machine. At times, it is easy to forget about brake fluid because it is part of a closed system. If you need to check brake fluid or need other assistance with your car engine, contact Gerry’s Automotive at (604) 826-0519 to keep it running.