Let’s Talk Brake Fluid
There’s no getting around it. If you drive a vehicle, it must have brakes. Your life depends on it! You likely already know that the braking system has multiple components and that it uses brake fluid. You may wonder, however, exactly what this liquid does and why it’s so important. At AutoStream Car Care Center in Clarksburg, Maryland, we’re glad to answer those questions for you. Our ASE certified technicians are also here to assist you with all your brake repair needs regardless of what make or model you drive.
What Does It Do?
Brake fluid allows your vehicle to take advantage of Pascal’s Principle, also known by many as the hydraulic principle. This is the concept that allows you to apply a small amount of pressure to the brake pedal to stop the motion of a car that weighs several thousand pounds. The master cylinder holds the brake fluid until you’re ready to slow down. When you press the pedal, fluid travels through the brake lines to the calipers. Calipers force the brake pads against the rotors. In turn, rotors create friction with the wheels and reduce the car’s speed. Also, brake fluid lubricates the various moving components of the braking system. Further, it helps guard against corrosion and rust since many of the parts are metal.
What Should I Watch For?: The 3 L’s
Brake fluid is designed to last a long time. Think about how many times you press the brake pedal, sending fluid through the lines to do its job. Can you imagine the number you’d get if you counted brake taps per day, per week, or per month? How about over the span of a year? As good as it is, however, over time, brake fluid can break down, losing some of its protective properties. To use a layman’s term, the fluid can get lazy. If your technician determines that this has happened, they will recommend changing the brake fluid.
If you notice a slick yellow or brown puddle under your car, you could have a brake fluid leak. Obviously, if it’s leaking, you should have the vehicle repaired. Then you’ll need to start with fresh brake fluid once the leak is stopped.
If you have an insufficient amount of brake fluid (whether from use or a leak), you’ll begin to notice tell-tale signs. For instance, your brake warning light may illuminate. Also, your pedal may feel “soft” or spongy as if you don’t have adequate stopping ability. Further, your brake pads may begin wearing sooner than expected.
Your Local Brake Repair Shop
Don’t risk brake failure! If you need help with information on brake fluid or any kind of brake repair, contact AutoStream Car Care Center in Clarksburg, Maryland.