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Brake Fluid Flush Service & It’s Importance

Ferrari Braking Hard - Brake Flush Article

Brake Fluid Flush Service & It’s Importance

SPRINT MOTORSPORTS Auto Service: Brake Fluid Flush Service & It’s Importance

What is a Brake Fluid Flush Service and why do I need it?

 

A brake flush is meant to purge your brake system of old brake fluid and replace it with brand new and healthy fluid. Your brake system uses a hydraulic fluid called brake fluid, to transfer the force of your foot on the brake pedal to apply the brakes at the wheels, thus making your car slow down and stop. Even though the brake fluid is in a sealed system, over time it still manages to absorb water moisture. Sludge and other contaminants, whether absorbed from external sources or caused by internal corrosion, heat, and wear of the braking system, eventually contaminate the brake fluid.

 

Brake Fluid has a lot of work to do. When you apply the brakes, a by-product of the friction generated by the brake pads contacting the fast rotating brake rotors is heat.  The heat generated can be anywhere from several hundred degrees in light braking to well over a thousand degrees in heavy braking. Your brake fluid must be able to absorb some of that heat without boiling. Once your brake fluid boils, you get what is commonly referred to as Brake Fade. It is a scary thing when your brakes stop working due to fade, especially when going up or down a steep hill, or when they suddenly give way during a panic stop or heavy braking. Therefore, brake fluid must have a high boiling point in order to consistently provide good braking without brake fade. The buyer must advised, there is a significant difference in boiling point between cheap brake fluid and good quality fluid (like 200 degrees or more). That brake flush deal that you saw may be placing crap fluid in your system.

 

Brake fluid is highly hydroscopic, as soon as it is exposed to the atmosphere it starts wicking moisture from it. It is not uncommon to get a brake flush at a shop or dealership, only to have another shop tell you its bad. The buyer must pay close attention to the service being performed on their car. Brake fluid should only be dispensed from a sealed special pressure servicing unit that can cost anywhere from $600 to a couple grand for a top of the line unit. If you see the shop using a hand-held pump device, a suction type device connected to an air hose (vacuum bleeder) , or using two people; one at the pedal and one at each wheel to flush and bleed the brakes, then you should have your car serviced by a better equipped auto repair shop. Despite what mobile mechanics (i.e. YourMechanic) and some shops say, these are not industry approved methods of bleeding brakes.

 

Professional Brake System Pressure Bleeder for Properly Performing a Brake Fluid Flush.

 

When moisture enters the brake fluid, even as little as 2%, the boiling point of the fluid drops drastically, thus increasing the possibility of unsafe brake fade. Contaminants can also reduce the boiling point. Water moisture and contaminants together quickly contribute to internal corrosion of brake system components, such as the ABS unit and brake calipers. Therefore, all vehicle manufacturers recommend that you flush your brake fluid or brake system every two years. Competent and credible car repair shops will test your brake fluid with an electronic meter or litmus test strips to verify it condition.

 

Note: The auto service shop and dealer should  service their brake system flush equipment periodically. It is easy to contaminate a car with healthy looking fluid that is bad. At Rennwerks, we encounter bad fluid frequently in cars that had just had a brake system flush performed by another auto repair shop or dealership.

 

What are Common Symptoms Indicate that you may need to have a brake flush?

 

  • Clean and good condition brake fluid should look like vegetable oil. Brown, dark, or black fluid should be flushed.
  • Brake Pedal feels spongy: A spongy brake pedal means air as entered the braking system. No air can be present in the braking system at all. Air in your braking system or a spongy pedal is indicative of a brake fluid leak. Take your car to a quality auto repair shop and have it inspected immediately.
  • Diminished brake performance: You noticed brake fade occur in a driving scenario that is not uncommon for you or shortly after some brief or moderate periods of hard braking or constant brake application.

 

How Important is the Brake System Flush Service ?

 

If you do not regularly flush your brake system, it will end up costing you a lot more money down the road. As the brake fluid becomes contaminated, the internal corrosion will cause things like brake fluid line leaks, brake master cylinder failure (very expensive!) , and ABS unit failure (very expensive!).

 

General Brake Fluid Service Procedure:

 

  • Inspect brake pads, rotors, lines, and hoses.
  • Remove contaminated or old brake fluid from the reservoir.
  • Refill with fresh brake fluid.
  • Attached pressure brake bleeder device.
  • Bleed a pint or more from each brake, starting at the corner furthest from the reservoir.
  • Clean any spilled brake fluid.
  • Check brake system while under hard pedal pressure for fluid leaks or soft pedal.
  • Test drive car.

 

Additional parts and labor that may be needed:

 

  • An inspection may reveal that you need your brakes replaced.
  • Bleeder screws at the brake calipers or wheel cylinders may get rusty, shear off, or seize in place, thus preventing a brake fluid flush and requiring more extensive repairs.
  • Brake hoses may need replacement.
  • Older car may have their brake master cylinder fail during a brake fluid flush.
  • It may be discovered that your plastic brake fluid reservoir may need replacement due to visible cracks or because it has become brittle from old age.

 

Preventative Maintenance Recommendations for Brake System:

 

Insuring that you have good brakes is a major safety issue for you and other drivers on the road. Make sure that you go to a shop that is competent and credible. You should have your braking system thoroughly inspected every 30,000 miles or 15,000 miles for sports cars. The rubber brake lines at each of your wheels should be considered for replacement every 5 to 6 years and should not have any visible cracking in the rubber. Brake fluid should be flushed every 2 years or 24,000 miles.

Motul RBF600 brake Fluid. An excellent Brake Fluid with a high Boiling Point.

Phone: 408-831-3730

– Quality and Excellence –

We have the know-how to keep your vehicle top-notch condition. At SPRINT MOTORSPORTS we provide the best quality OEM brake parts and brake fluid from manufactures such as Bosch, ATE, Jurid, AP, Centric, Motul, Brembo, and Stop-tech. We have expert trained staff that undergo constant training and education to stay up to date with the latest industry technology. We have dealership level equipment. Give us a call!

We strive to be the BEST auto repair shop and performance shop in the cities of San Jose, Campbell, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Cupertino, and Santa Clara of the South Bay Area. We are committed to providing you personalized, detailed, and friendly service. Our relationships are built on trust, communication, integrity, and commitment to our purpose; to be the best shop we can be to you.

Give your car the proper love and car that it needs by experts at Sprint Motorsports with the proper tooling and equipment and avoid using the ill-equipped mobile mechanics.

To schedule an appointment for a Brake System Flush, routine car service, or car repair; contact service@sprint-motorsports.com or 408-831-3730. We welcome you to stop by our auto repair shop at 2099 S 10th St Unit 40, San Jose, CA 95112. If you have any questions about your car’s performance, auto repair needs, or maintenance, feel free top ask our friendly staff for assistance.