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Is the Condition of My Brake Fluid Important to Brake Performance?

If you step on the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid rushes to your brakes, acting as the main component of your automobile's braking system. The rotors attached to the wheel hubs are later pressed into service and slow down your vehicle. Brake fluid can deteriorate or become contaminated over time, affecting brake performance.

What is Brake Fluid?

Experts say that brake fluid amplifies the stopping power of braking systems by converting force into pressure. Hydraulic brake systems use brake fluid. If hydraulic brakes get utilized on a vehicle, it's essential that the braking fluid is sufficient. Brakes may not function without enough brake fluid. Having defective brakes can have disastrous results. If the alarm on your car sounds or if you feel your brakes spongy or loose when driving, you should have your vehicle serviced.

What does it mean that brake fluid is hygroscopic?

Even when the brakes aren't on, moisture can penetrate through brake lines and brake fluid reservoirs. DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake fluids are typically hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs liquid when exposed to air. In humid environments, fluids naturally undergo this process.

Approximately 2% of moisture gets absorbed by brake fluid after a year of service, which reduces its boiling point and increases the chances of a brake failure. Follow the manufacturer's manual to use the correct brake fluid.

Why are brake fluids hygroscopic?

Your vehicle's brake pads can reach very high temperatures, and the heat transfers to the brake fluid can be over 200°C. When the brake fluid gets too hot, tiny air bubbles form as it boils, and since air is more compressible than fluid, it can lead to a spongy brake pedal. It may be difficult to stop at intersections once the brake pedal goes down to the floor without much force applied to the brake pads due to repeated heating of the fluid past its boiling point. Brake fade is what causes this phenomenon.

Need help with your brake Fluid?

Are you or anyone you know experiencing a brake fluid problem? If you need brake repair, we invite you to bring your vehicle to MotorHaus today!

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