Bosch Genuine Car Service & Repairs
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Bosch Genuine Car Service & Repairs
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Why is This So Important?

Why Changing Your Brake Fluid Is Important

The reality is the brake fluid in the majority of cars on the road never gets changed. At best, the fluid gets topped up when a garage attendant notices the level has dropped. So why is this an issue? To answer the question we need to understand the critical role brake fluid plays in the braking system of a vehicle. Simply put, when the driver pushes the brake pedal, the brake fluid exerts pressure on the brake pads, which brings the car or truck safely to a stop. Also, it is manufactured to perform at high temperatures to cope with the heat generated by the friction caused by braking. It also provides lubrication for all moving components and keeps the condensation from causing corrosion in the braking system as a whole.

Now as the fluid gets older, the braking system becomes less efficient. This means the vehicle takes longer to stop consequently covering a greater distance. This can be absolutely disastrous especially if you are traveling down a steep road or in wet weather conditions. If you are in any doubt, please call us or pop into our Bosch workshop for a brake fluid check.

Bosch Genuine Brake Fluid - Bosch Auto SuperiorAlso, it is manufactured to perform at high temperatures to cope with the heat generated by the friction caused by braking. It also provides lubrication for all moving components and keeps the condensation from causing corrosion in the braking system as a whole.

Now as the fluid gets older, the braking system becomes less efficient. This means the vehicle takes longer to stop consequently covering a greater distance. This can be absolutely disastrous especially if you are travelling down a steep road or in wet weather conditions. If you are in any doubt, please call us or pop in to our Bosch workshop for a brake fluid check.

What Makes Brake Fluid Deteriorate

To know this, we need to understand what makes the fluid less effective. Over time, the fluid becomes polluted by moisture and other debris caused by wear and tare in the system. The moisture comes from condensation and the atmosphere. Brake fluid is designed to absorb water (the technical term is hygroscopic) to prevent it from causing corrosion. So here comes the tricky bit – at some point, the fluid can’t soak up any more moisture. Now the way it was designed starts to work against it and the excess water causes several problems:

It reduces the boiling point of the brake fluid which potentially could cause “fluid boil” leading to brake failure. The heat from excessive braking (driving downhill, towing a caravan etc) can cause the moisture to suddenly vaporise producing gas pockets to form. The thing is, gas can be compressed so rather abruptly the brakes will seem spongy. In some cases, the pedal may go right down to the floor without actually applying any braking force. The seals start swelling and breaking down allowing more moisture in which makes the contamination even worse all the metal surface areas start to corrode and rust which leads to pitting of the master cylinders, caliper pistons and wheel cylinders etc.

  1. It reduces the boiling point of the brake fluid which potentially could cause “fluid boil” leading to brake failure
  2. Heat from excessive braking (driving downhill, towing a caravan etc) can cause the moisture to suddenly vaporise producing gas pockets to form. The thing is, gas can be compressed so rather abruptly the brakes will seem spongy. In some cases, the pedal may go right down to the floor without actually applying any braking force.
  3. The seals start swelling and breaking down allowing more moisture in which makes the contamination even worse
  4. All the metal surface areas start to corrode and rust which leads to pitting of the master cylinders, caliper pistons and wheel cylinders etc.

When Should You Flush The Brake Fluid

First off, take a look at the colour of the brake fluid. When new it’s transparent with a tinge of amber in colour. As it gets older, the fluid starts to get cloudy and then turns a brownish black colour. Get the fluid flushed as soon as possible. Secondly, as a general rule you should schedule a flush every 30,000 km or at least every eighteen to twenty four months. This duration is less if you live in a humid area. Be sure to check the car manual or speak to the dealership for advice.

Useful Tips

Regularly check the levels in the brake fluid level reservoir. If you notice that the level has dropped, then it needs to be topped up with the correct type. Check your owner’s manual to determine if your car uses DOT 3 or DOT 4 or DOT 5. Each of these has different characteristics as well as boiling points. DOT 5 should never be used in cars designed for DOT 3 or 4 whereas you can use DOT 4 in a car that specifies DOT 3.

Ensure that the top up brake fluid comes from an unopened container. Remember the liquid is hygroscopic so even if the unused portion has been standing for a couple of weeks it has already absorbed moisture from the air in the bottle. Rather buy a new bottle of fluid. Be very careful when opening the reservoir lid to ensure that no debris falls into the brake fluid. Wipe the lid clean before screwing it back on. Also, don’t allow the brake fluid to drip onto the paintwork as it is corrosive.

Remember, it is always an advantage having a trained Auto Superior Bosch Car Service Randburg workshop technician who can check your brake system and diagnose any potential issues, such as master cylinder problems etc. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call 086 108 8884 or come in and see us if you are concerned about the condition of the brake fluid.

Bosch Genuine Brake Fluid - Bosch Auto Superior

CONTACT US:

Telephone:
086 108 8884
Email:
service@autosuperior.co.za
Address:
97 Republic Road,
Ferndale,
Randburg.
Business Hours:
Monday-Friday
08h00 – 17h00