Brake Fluid Change & Service North West
15 Feb 2020
Brake Fluid Change In The North West
You might service your car or commercial vehicle on time every year. But if you haven’t booked a brake fluid change in the last couple of years, you’re neglecting the most important part of your vehicle. Learn how you can book your brake fluid service online today and where you can get your brake fluid service undertaken in the North West area.
Brake fluid is often a forgotten aspect of vehicle maintenance – but you put your safety at risk by doing so, I mean who doesn’t want to stop?
That’s why at Fastlane Autocare we’ve put together an easy to follow but thoroughly comprehensive guide about everything to do with a brake fluid change. In this guide we’ll cover what it is, why it’s important, how it works in relation to the rest of your braking system and, most importantly, how you can keep your brakes in top working order keeping you safe!
Ok, let’s get straight to it.
How does brake fluid influence how your brakes work?
This diagram shows just how complicated the braking system actually is. This diagram is common to most vehicles but on some vehicles it can be even more complex having load compensator valves and electronic components.
Each wheel has its own individual brake component called a calliper. All four need to work together with each other to stop your car effectively. The front brakes are far more important than the rear brakes because they bear the brunt of the car’s weight under braking. Usually, this means you have far more efficient disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear.
When you press the brake pedal, a piston in the master cylinder is depressed. Most modern cars have four of these cylinders fitted, two for each hydraulic circuit, just in case one should fail somewhere in the system. The dual system allows for greater force transfer into the front brakes and shorter braking distances.
This system cannot work without brake fluid. No fluid = no pressure! No pressure = no brakes!
The fluid forces pistons out of the slave cylinders onto the brakes. It’s this arrangement that allows so much force to transfer from the slave cylinder to the brake because the pushing area is much greater. It also means each slave cylinder only has to travel a fraction of an inch, allowing for faster braking..
The composition of brake fluid
Brake fluid has an incredibly high boiling point to deal with the friction and heat generated under braking. Time, wear and tear and unnatural degradation can all affect the boiling point – which can lead to significant problems.
We described how a hydraulic braking system works but not every car uses one of them. An electromagnetic braking system, for example, doesn’t require a brake fluid change. There is no brake fluid used as the process is completely frictionless. If you’re not sure what braking system you use, check under your bonnet. If you have no brake fluid reservoir, your car has electromagnetic brakes fitted.
‘Lost’ brakes affect safety
The composition of brake fluid leaves it susceptible to turning ‘bad’.
It absorbs water and moisture as it travels through the system, which lowers its boiling point. And that lowers its efficiency.
Brake fluid works best as a liquid and absorbing too much water lowers the boiling point. That’s when things get dangerous as you can ‘lose’ your brakes when you’re trying to slow down. The car won’t slow down when your brakes are ‘lost’ as the pedal will just flop straight to the floor.
What’s more, rust and other gunk can build in your brake lines reducing the efficiency of your brakes and potentially causing a leak.
Remember, no fluid = no pressure which means your car won’t stop when you want it to. And there’s no way you can drive your car without brakes.
Make sure you choose the right type of brake fluid!
As with everything, there’s a range of brake fluids available and each one is different. Therefore, it’s important to remember that you can’t mix and match them!
Each car is designed to work with a specific type of brake fluid, so bodging a brake fluid change can leave you with as many problems as an incorrect oil change.
If you have put the wrong type of brake fluid in It’s important to let our mechanic know what you’ve done and then ask them to flush the system completely. Once your other problem is fixed, make sure the correct brake fluid is used. You can find which one you need in your vehicle’s handbook. Topping up your brake fluid isn’t the same as a brake fluid service. With a service we will completely flush the system and replace all the fluid.
DOT 3, 4 and 5.1 can all be used in regular vehicles and, if absolutely necessary, compatible with each other. DOT 5 is off-limits to all cars except those designed to run it. It doesn’t attract water, thus preventing rust, but is incredibly expensive and doesn’t offer you many benefits. The main reason it can’t be used with any of the other types of brake fluid is that it’s a silicon-based fluid and all the others are glycol-ether based. So, it’s basically a chalk and cheese situation which will only end up costing you money.
If you do need to top your brake fluid up yourself, only buy a small bottle of the correct type. Why? Well, air doesn’t mix with brake fluid. At all. And contaminated brake fluid is no use to anyone. In an unopened container, brake fluid can last up to two years, but it’s contaminated almost instantly when you open it. If you’ve got an old bottle lying around, it’s best to dispose of it rather than use it for a brake fluid change. Your brakes might not work if you use old fluid.
Regularly book a brake fluid change for your own peace of mind and best results!
The best time frame for a brake fluid change is once every two years. Leaving it any longer between flushes can be dangerous because of the potential water content in your brake fluid lines. As an example, DOT 4 brake fluid usually has a boiling point of 230 degrees Celsius – when it’s wet, that drops to 155 degrees Celsius.
It’s a lot easier to ‘lose’ your brakes at that temperature.
Braking generates a huge amount of friction, so this difference is both significant and dangerous. Don’t neglect a brake fluid change! What’s more, if you ever ‘lose’ your brakes, you need to book an appointment with a mechanic immediately. Just don’t drive yourself to the garage.
A leak in the brake fluid lines could be to blame. A leak that will cause your brakes to stop working altogether.
Call your recovery provider and ask them to tow you instead.
Where can you book a brake fluid change in Merseyside?
Fortunately, you don’t need to look very far. Here at Fastlane Autocare we offer a brake fluid change as a fixed price product – so you’ll always pay £144.95. When you choose us to keep you safe, you choose a high-quality service delivered at the best possible price. Why not book today? We come to you to do your brake fluid service and we cover the whole of the North West including Manchester, Cheater, Liverpool, Northwich, Blackpool, Wigan and Warrington to name just a few of the areas we cover