When it comes to your vehicle's brake maintenance, you are probably very familiar with having to replace brake pads from time to time. It is a common brake repair and is typically need at least once in a vehicle's lifetime, if not a few times. While brake pad replacement is a critical maintenance item, many vehicle owners don't know about their brake's fluid and how important it is to the overall operation of the brake system.
What is brake fluid exactly? Well, your vehicle's brake system is a hydraulic system, meaning it uses brake fluid in a highly pressurized system in order to create the force necessary to slow or stop your vehicle when you step on the brake pedal. It is an integral part of this system and without it, your vehicle's brakes wouldn't work.
So, does the brake fluid need to be serviced? The typical answer is yes - most vehicle manufacturers will recommend a brake fluid flush at least once in your vehicle's lifetime. This is to ensure that your vehicle's brakes work as they should and have the force necessary to slow or stop your vehicle when you need to.
Aside from manufacturer recommendations, there are also instances where you may need a brake fluid flush sooner than the noted interval. When there is a leak somewhere in the brake system, such as with a seal or hose. When this happens, air can get into the brake fluid which is detrimental to hydraulic systems - it causes your brakes to be much less effective. If there is just air in the system, bleeding the brake system is an option.
However, if the brake fluid is low, leaking, or dirty, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- Brake pedal feels "spongy"
- Brake pedal goes to the floor
- Brake pedal needs to be pumped
- It takes longer to slow or stop than normal
As soon as you notice any of the symptoms, we invite you into Bay Diagnostic for an inspection. A brake fluid flush may be needed, and if not, rest assured our professionals will identify the correct issue and get you back on the road with a safe and reliable vehicle.