Don't Overlook Brake Line Care And Fluid Changes

Posted on: 15 May 2023

Vehicles require routine brake inspections. The various components of the brake system suffer from wear and tear resulting from friction and other factors. When a technician checks the brakes on schedule, problems could get caught sooner rather than later. Fixing problems earlier may not only result in less expensive repair bills, but the repairs might help a driver avoid a collision. Keeping an eye on the parts also includes keeping tabs on the brake fluid. After all, the hydraulic pressure brake fluid generates allows the brake system to work. Drivers should be mindful of less common issues that could undermine the brake fluid's ability to do its job.

Aged-Out Brake Fluid Troubles

Brake fluid breaks down over time and from use. Drivers should check a vehicle's owner's manual for the model's specific recommendations for changing the fluid. Asking a technician to check the brake — and other fluids — during a routine oil change may result in a suggestion to change the brake fluid immediately. Be aware that old brake fluid running through the system could cause severe damage. Brake fluid tends to absorb moisture, which is extremely unhelpful to the various parts since the moisture could corrode them. Corroded brake parts risk failing, meaning the car might not stop when the driver presses the brakes.

The Copper Risk

The average driver might know nothing about "copper contamination" and its effects on brake fluid. However, high levels of copper in the fluid (drawn from the copper in the brake lines) increase potential brake system corrosion dramatically. A test may reveal the copper levels as indicated by parts per million (ppm). If a test reveals the copper levels are higher than 200 ppm, changing the brake fluid immediately seems advisable.

Oxidization and Sludge

Another issue with old brake fluid is the combined effect of oxidization and sludge. Oxidized metal sends impurities into the line and creates a sludge buildup. Excess sludge could diminish the pressure in the lines since the fluid cannot flow through the system properly. Decreased pressure could result in brake failures. In addition to sludge, metal particles could build up in the brake lines, causing more potential troubles.

An Eye Out for Trouble

Regular inspections and fluid flushing could contribute valuable preventive maintenance to the brakes. Besides routine inspections, having a technician check the brakes when problems arise seems necessary. Brake failures may result in catastrophic accidents, so taking proper care of the brake lines should be a top priority.

To learn more, contact a vehicle brake service in your area.