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What Is Brake Fluid?

What is Brake Fluid?

Brake fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid used in hydraulic braking systems to transfer force into pressure, bringing the vehicle to a complete stop when the brakes are pushed in. Similar to your engine, modern braking systems require routine flushes and replacements of the brake fluid at designated intervals.

Brake fluid helps your car stop?

The relationship between brake fluid, hydraulic braking system, and vehicle motion is a great real-life example of Pascal’s law. This principle states that when a fluid experiences any type of pressure change in an enclosed space, the pressure is transmitted equally in all directions.

When you press your foot on your brake pedal as you approach a red light, a rod forces a piston into the cylinder, creating new pressure throughout the entire hydraulic system. This newly added pressure is distributed throughout the system by forcing brake fluid throughout the brake lines into the caliper pistons. The pistons then apply the force to your brake pads, applying force to the spinning tire rotors and slowing down the entire vehicle.

Brake fluid help prevent Rust and Corrosion?

The majority of brake fluids are hygroscopic meaning that its great at absorbing moisture. This means that not only does it lubricate all the moving parts and components of your car’s braking system, but the fluid also soaks up any moisture in your system to prevent corrosion and rust.

How does water get there in the first place? Typically, water can enter your system via leaks in your brake lines or broken seals in the master cylinder or caliper.

How do i check my brake fluid?

Checking your brake fluid is very simple and can be completed virtually anywhere. It’s important to remember that brake fluid is toxic and should be handled with care.

Follow these simple steps to check your car’s brake fluid:

  1. Locate your car’s brake master cylinder. This is the brake fluid reservoir and is usually a simple plastic container on the driver’s side of the vehicle, up against the firewall.

  2. Check the fluid level by either inspecting the side of the reservoir and making note of the fluid level compared to the fill line. If your vehicle is older, you will need to remove the metal cap, paying special attention to not letting any type of debris fall in. Once opened, make note of the line marked inside the reservoir.

  3. If the fluid level is low, you can add brake fluid to the full line to provide some temporary relief and save your system from major damage.

  4. Replace the cap or top and close your hood.

It’s important to note that any type of drop in your vehicle's brake fluid usually indicates that your brake system requires maintenance or there may be a leak in your line. Either way, it’s important to have your car and brakes inspected as soon as possible.


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