A hand unscrews and checks the brake fluid in a vehicle

Why does brake fluid have to be maintained?

Importance of Brake Fluid Flush

It can be tempting to forego routine maintenance on your vehicle. It’s just not a whole lot of fun, and your car is probably fine anyways, right? Well, you’ve probably guessed that we’re going to tell you that routine maintenance is indeed very important. Just like regular dentist/doctor visits are necessary to maintain human health, hitting up your local service center is the way to go to keep your car in tip-top shape and prevent bigger disasters occurring down the line.

One fluid in your vehicle that requires a routine flush and change is brake fluid. Why does brake fluid have to be maintained, and why is it important to do so?


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Neglecting your brake fluid can result in costly repairs, along with the obvious safety issues that arise if your brakes fail. Brake fluid needs to be routinely flushed and replaced because it gets a lot of wear from multiple sources. Some wear comes from internal contamination from parts of the brake system itself, and other damage comes from external sources such as moisture and condensation.

You May Also Wonder: What are the effects of driving on a flat tire?

Brake fluid drains into a canister under a vehicle.

How does condensation affect brake fluid?

Condensation tends to accumulate in the brake fluid system by about 1 to 2 percent per year. This dilution of your fluid can lead to weakening brake response, or “brake fade.” Such issues can occur with as little as a 3 percent water level in the brake system. Those adept at math will note this means issues can arise after just a few years.

In addition to causing brake fade, water in the brake system can lead to the corrosion of internal components. The result of this corrosion can be brake failure, which is not only dangerous but also costly to fix. Replacing the ABS anti-lock braking system due to water corrosion can cost between $1,500 to $2,000. Most individuals would consider this a not-ideal course of events.

How often should I change my brake fluid?

The way to avoid issues like brake fade and system corrosion is to get your brake fluid changed every 1 to 3 years or 30,000 miles.