3 Signs You Need A Brake Fluid Change
You may notice it’s time for a brake fluid change by checking the fluid to see if it's still fresh. Look in the brake fluid reservoir usually located on the master cylinder under your hood. Brake fluid color is typically light brown, light golden or clear (unless it's dirty or darkened through age). If the fluid looks murky have it tested at one of our mechanic shop locations for moisture build up and we'll give you our best recommendation.
The 3 signs you probably need your brake fluid changed include:
1) Your ABS Light Comes On
The general recommendation is to flush or change your brake fluid every 50,000 kms.
Brake Fluid Change Warning Signs:
ABS Brake Light Is On
One indicator that your brake fluid needs a change or a top up is the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) on your dashboard lights up. Later model vehicles may not be equipped with an ABS indicator. However newer vehicles with this feature inform somethings not right with your brakes or fluid.
Brake Pedal Problems
Another sign your brake fluid is low or needs to be replaced is if your brake pedal is not responding normally. You may experience a harder, spongy brake pedal feel or the pedal may go to the floor. This could mean your brake fluid is contaminated, low or there is air trapped in the braking system.
Brake Pad Noise Malfunction
If your braking system is low on fluid or the fluid is old and due for replacement, you may begin to hear brake noise. When your brake fluid is dirty, low or needs changing, it has a harder time flowing through the lines and unable to release brake pad pressure creating constant friction against your brake disc rotors.
How Much Does a Brake Fluid Change Cost?
The average brake fluid change cost across all makes and models is $89 - $139.
The cost of labor will make up the bulk of the price of a brake fluid change.
The brake fluid itself typically inexpensive, unless its a high performance grade. The cost is relatively the same for the majority of vehicles on the roads today.
It's a fairly straightforward service and we'll have you on your way with fresh braking fluid swiftly.
Depending on whether you take your vehicle to you local mechanic shop or the dealership for brake fluid service will also impact the price.
Why Should You Have a Brake Fluid Change?
Brake fluid is contained in a sealed system and can last for years but air moisture can find its way in through hoses and other parts of the braking system. If your brake fluid has become dirty or contaminated, it can effect your brake system operation.
For instance, your brake pedal may feel different, pressure is not according to specification and the accumulated heat affects from a multitude of stops. If water works its way into the fluid it can reduce the boiling point of the fluid which will greatly diminish your stopping power.
Over use, wear and time, moisture in the system can lead to internal corrosion in the brake lines, calipers, the master cylinder and other expensive braking components.
Benefits of Changing Your Brake Fluid
The main benefit of a brake oil change for drivers is it's vital to stopping the vehicle as much as engine oil is to keeping it running, but it doesn’t get as much attention as a regular oil change.
Depending on the vehicle you drive, flushing and replacing brake fluid may cost $100 or so, but replacing rusted brake lines, rotors, calipers, pads and other brake repair can cost several hundred dollars, so clearly there is much value in scheduling a brake fluid change.
A general rule of thumb is to have the brake fluid inspected and tested for moisture content every few years, and not more than 5 years. Drivers living in the area that gets it's share of winter weather should have a brake system inspection more frequently. Moisture and contaminants in the oil means it's time for a brake fluid change.
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