Car maintenance always involves replacing consumables. One of these is brake fluid. In this article, let’s look at what quality brake fluid is, what you should pay attention to when choosing it and how often you should change it.
Brake fluid is an important component of driving safety, because the lives of motorists depend on the soundness of the braking system. There are traditionally strict requirements for brake fluids and timing of their replacement. An urgent question for car owners is how often to change the brake fluid in the car. Of course, if the car has turned into a pile of junk, it doesn’t need brake fluid. These guys give good money for cars like this: https://scrapcar.cash.
Brake fluid is needed to stop the car efficiently and quickly. The mechanism of its action is simple. When the driver presses the brake pedal, pressure is created, which goes to the elements of the brake system. Depending on the type of car drive (front, rear), the pads are compressed or diluted by the brake calipers. Next, the pads exert pressure on the brake disc, a braking process that generates heat as the pads rub against the metal. The system components experience thermal stresses of up to 150 degrees Celsius. If the heat generated begins to heat the fluid more than it can handle, boiling will occur. Then vapor congestion will occur. The mixture of liquid and vapor will become compressible, the brake pedal will start to “fail” and the brakes will not work, with tragic consequences.
To prevent this from happening, you must pour special brake fluids, not the usual water and alcohol. Water reaches boiling point at high temperatures, and at low temperatures it freezes and turns to ice. This is due to the physical and chemical characteristics of this substance. Another reason against its use is that water oxidizes and promotes the appearance of rust. This leads to rusting of pistons in calipers, bursting of glands. As for alcohol – it can boil, it can ignite. Therefore, it is advised not to experiment, and to use quality brake fluid in the operation of the machine.
Quality fluid has the following characteristics:
lubricate well (necessary for proper operation of the cylinders)
protect parts from corrosion, to withstand severe temperature fluctuations (-30 +150 degrees Celsius). The large range is due to the temperature of the brake cylinders operating in the mode of active, emergency braking.
be non-aggressive to the rubber elements, as it is in contact with metal parts and rubber seals.
How to choose brake fluid for a car
Brake fluid consists of a base and special additives. The base takes 92-98 percent of the composition, the rest are additives. The type of fluid is determined by the type of base composition:
Mineral fluid. It has a low degree of aggressiveness to rubber materials, high lubrication properties, hardly absorbs moisture. Used in older cars with brake drums. It contains oil, alcohol, and various minerals. Each manufacturer used different impurities. Mineral fluid is considered obsolete, as it boils at high temperature (from 110 degrees), thickens at -20 degrees and does not allow the brakes to work properly.
Glycol fluid. Composition: polyethylene glycols and polyesters. Glycol fluid meets many of the characteristics of a good brake fluid: excellent lubrication, good protection from corrosion, does not damage rubber parts, and withstands the desired temperature range. There is a disadvantage, the fluid easily and quickly absorbs moisture, it should be changed at least two or three times a year. Otherwise, the calipers will corrode, which will lead to improper operation of the brakes.
Silicone Fluid. It is based on polymers. Silicone fluid absorbs almost no moisture and is neutral to metal and rubber elements. It has a high fluidity and does not feel temperature changes. Its disadvantage is low lubricating properties, which lead to gland wear. It is used in special sports cars for racing, less often in ordinary cars. It is recommended to change the brake fluid after a certain period of time (every 2 years). It is worth replacing earlier, if it has ceased to be transparent and sediment is visible. But it is difficult to check the condition of the brake fluid because of the technological features of the structure of the car.
If you are faced with the situation that you need to refill the brake fluid in the tank, it is important to know what kind of product was poured earlier. It is forbidden to mix brake products of different classes.