A lot of attention is paid to your car’s engine and its vital fluids – and rightfully so. But arguably even more important is your car’s braking system. If your engine blows or stops working for any other reason, it’s usually just a major inconvenience for yourself at worst. But if your brakes fail while you’re driving around Long Beach, it could very likely lead to a collision, which would almost certainly cause an insurance nightmare, and possibly damage to your car and injury or even death – even worse, if you crash into another vehicle or pedestrian.
One of the things that you need to do to make sure that your brakes don’t fail you is to keep your brake fluid fresh. The recommended service intervals for changing brake fluid can vary widely depending on your vehicle, so you should consult your owner’s manual if you’re not sure when to change yours. Some manufacturers even seem to imply that brake fluid never needs to be changed, only recommending that it be inspected periodically. Chevrolet says to change the brake fluid on most models every 45,000 miles, but Honda says to do it every three years regardless of the vehicle’s mileage. Three years is also the recommended interval for most Volkswagens, but Mercedes-Benz vehicles typically call for fresh fluid every two years or 20,000 miles.
That makes it you, the owner’s, responsibility to know what your manufacturer says and make your own decisions based on your owner’s manual and your trusted mechanics here at Orozco’s Auto Service of Long Beach.
Brake fluid is contained inside of a sealed system and can last for several years. However, moisture in the surrounding air can still seep into the hoses and other parts of the brake system, or components can wear out and break the seal. Water in the brake fluid will lower its boiling point, and diminish its stopping ability as the system heats up. Moisture can also cause internal corrosion in brake lines, calipers, master cylinder, and other components. A brake fluid flush and replacement will usually only cost $100 or less, but replacing rusted components that can no longer function adequately can cost several hundred dollars, so keeping your brake system well maintained is important.
A good rule is to have your brake fluid inspected and tested for moisture content every few years. If you notice discoloration, it is most likely time to replace your brake fluid. If you have any questions about your braking system or need a brake fluid inspection, or flush and replacement, call our certified mechanics today at (562) 426-6322. Orozco’s Auto Service is Long Beach’s number one vehicle repair and service center!