What Does Brake Fluid Actually Do?

In a hydraulic system, it takes brake fluid to keep your brakes working steadily and safely. Imagine the times you've come to a smooth stop at a traffic light or at a safe distance from another vehicle. Have you ever considered what could be credited for those safe stops? The answer lies not in the brakes but the fluid that allows motion to come to a full close.

A more concise analysis reveals just how this hydraulic pressure works. The brake fluid lies dormant within your car's brake lines. From there, the fluid is released when you step on the brake pedal. From there, it forges a complete stop on all four of your rotors from each corner of your vehicle. Consequently, the rotors activate the brake pads in time to allow your vehicle to come to a full stop as your wheels cease to spin.

Any vehicle with an anti-lock braking system would best benefit from the lower DOT fluids which have a glycol base and are made for normal driving. These fluids are a DOT 3 or 4 and are effective for normal driving. Any person who uses a lot of sudden stops may benefit from anything above a DOT 5, as these are silicon-based and can withstand the greater pressure you put on your brakes in general.

Using only one type of brake fluid is the best option, as it is not recommended to mix any two types. The impact on your brakes can have severe consequences, so if you're needing to switch from a glycol-ether base to something with silicon in it, it's best to seek the advice of an expert first.

The bad news about brake fluid is that water can build up over time. Factor in snow, rain, and the natural elements and you could soon be dealing with an aging fluid that could prevent you from stopping at a safe distance. A simple vibration or shaking test can also determine what's needed for your braking system. If you need to have your fluid changed, simply call our shop. We can also inspect and repair your brake system as needed.