Braking efficiency is critical to vehicle safety, and a key component of this efficiency is often overlooked: brake fluid The automotive system can be broken down into major systems namely-the engine system, transmission system, suspension system, brake system, steering system, exhaust system, cooling system, electrical system, instrumentation and control system, emissions control system and fuel system among others.

Brake fluid maintenance is fundamental component central to vehicle performance and safety, yet it does not get the consideration it deserves. This blog post explores the topic of exchanging brake fluid, its effects on the handling of the car and the causes of reduced stopping power, as well as recommendations for proper care of the braking system.

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Understanding Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid used in brake systems. It is crucial for the operation of hydraulic brakes and hydraulic clutches. When you press the brake pedal, the brake fluid transmits this force to the brake components at each wheel, creating the friction necessary to slow down or stop the vehicle.

Given its vital role, maintaining the quality of brake fluid is paramount for the proper functioning of your vehicle’s braking system.

Functions of Brake Fluid

Brake fluid serves several key functions such as:

  • Transmitting Force: Brake fluid enables force acting on the brake pedal to be transferred to the brake mechanism itself.
  • Lubrication: It lubricates moving parts within the braking system, reducing wear and tear.
  • Protection Against Corrosion: It offers metallic parts the necessary barrier of safety against rust as well as corrosion.
  • Heat Absorption: It is responsible for the evaporation of the heat formed while brakes are in action.

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Why Brake Fluid Deteriorates

Over time, brake fluid can degrade and lose its effectiveness due to various factors:

  • Moisture Absorption: Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture from the air. This can lower the boiling point of the fluid, reducing its effectiveness and potentially leading to brake failure under high-temperature conditions.
  • Contaminants: Dirt, debris, and other contaminants can enter the brake fluid, compromising its performance.
  • Heat: Frequent braking generates heat, which can cause the fluid to degrade over time.

Importance of Regular Brake Fluid Exchange

It is necessary to change brake fluid at frequent intervals to ensure a quality striking system. This involves replacing the old fluid with a new one. Here is why it’s important:

Preventing Brake Fade

Brake fade is a situation where the brake fluid used in the system boils and thus cause formation of air which greatly lessens the braking power. New brake fluid has a higher boiling point, and his purpose is to minimise the chance of brake fade and enhance the vehicle’s brakes.

Protecting Brake System Components

Removing old brake fluid and replacing it with fresh one helps to reduce the corrosion and wear of considerable parts of the brake system that leads to its degradation and diminishes its structural stability.

Ensuring Optimal Performance

Changing the brake fluid from time to time helps the users to have efficient braking systems thereby offering them the best breaking power when they are required most.

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How Often Should You Change Brake Fluid

The interval between the two Brake Fluid exchanges will differ based on the type of car and conditions on the road. But as a broad guideline, it is recommended that brake fluid levels be replenished roughly every two years or every 20,000 miles (32,000 kilometres).

It’s also important that you look into the matter according to the guidelines provided by the manufacturers as specified in the owner’s manual of your vehicle.

Symptoms that your brake fluid needing a change

There are several indicators that it might be time to change your brake fluid:

  • Soft or Spongy Brake Pedal: If the brake pedal is mushy or soft on a foot application, then it is high time to think if the brake fluid has gone bad or contains moisture.
  • Inefficient Braking: This is perhaps true in case where you realise that your vehicle takes a long time to come to a complete stop feeling as compared to previous times this may be as a result of degraded brake fluid.
  • Brake Warning Light: Most of today’s automobiles uses a brake warning light that comes on in case of malfunction in the brake system including the brake fluid.
  • Dark or Dirty Brake Fluid: Look into the brake fluid filler. When the fluid colour becomes almost dark or resembles a dirty shade then it will be necessary for it to be replaced.


Brake fluid is a critical component of your vehicle’s braking system, and maintaining it properly is essential for safe driving. Regular brake fluid exchanges ensure that your brakes remain responsive and effective, protecting you and others on the road.

By understanding the importance of brake fluid maintenance and following best practices, you can maintain the efficiency and reliability of your braking system, ensuring peace of mind every time you get behind the wheel.