How Often to Replace Brake Fluid?

Our brake fluid flush service keeps your brake system working properly. Brake Fluid Fluid Service at Dulles South Chantilly Automotive

Brake fluid, also known as hydraulic fluid, moves the various components of your car’s braking system. When the fluid becomes contaminated, your brakes may not work properly.

Brake fluid operates under high temperatures and high pressure. Without it, your car or truck can't stop when you push the brake pedal. Brake fluid delivers the force created by your push on the brake pedal to each of the brake rotors on the four corners of your vehicle. This applies pressure to the wheels and slows or stops your movement.

How Brake Fluid Works

Here is a simplified look at how brake fluid works within a hydraulic brake system:

  • The driver depresses the brake pedal.
  • The pedal presses a pin inside the brake master cylinder.
  • This compression increases the pressure inside the brake lines and sends the brake fluid into motion.

The pressure of the brake fluid then causes the brake calipers to squeeze down on brake pads, which then make contact with the rotors, slowing and eventually stopping wheel rotation.

Brake Fluid Flush Options

There are many types if brake fluid, which can be confusing when it is time for a brake fluid flush.

  • Glycol-based fluids
  • Silicone-based fluids.

Glycol-based brake fluids are typically used in cars with anti-lock brake systems (ABS). Silicone-based fluid works only in cars and trucks without ABS technology.

Glycol-based fluids are classified by a Department of Transportation (DOT) number up to 5.1, which indicates the boiling point of the fluid. Higher DOT numbers indicate the fluid can withstand higher temperatures.

To know what type of brake fluid is best for your vehicle, consult your owner’s manual or give one of our auto mechanics a call.

How Often to Replace Brake Fluid

Over time, brake fluid can absorb moisture from the air. That will cause the fluid to degrade and not work properly. A brake fluid flush will drain the fluid out and replace it with new fluid to ensure proper brake fluid function.

We recommend that you replace brake fluid every one to two years, although every vehicle has different maintenance needs. Since the purpose of brake fluid is so integral to safety, check your owner’s manual for the recommended brake fluid change schedule.

If it is still unclear how often you should change out fluids or you suspect there is something amiss with your braking system, call us for help.

Watch Us Work

Here's a quick video of brake fluid service in action!

Brake Fluid Flush