There are at least 7 things to know about brake fluid. Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid used in most brake applications for the vehicles on the road today. The fluid is used to create pressure under force from the point of which it is created through the hydraulic lines to the braking mechanism. The reason it works so well is because liquids are not very compressible. So when force is directly applied at one point, it is transferred to another. While most brake fluids are similar, please check to make sure that if you are replacing your brake fluid, you are using the correct type for the vehicle.
Brake Fluids Must Meet Requirements
Brake fluids have to meet requirements defined by various organizational standards. These organizations such as the Society of Automotive Engineers and local government equivalents have created these specifications on which to consider certain values such as climate.
High Boiling Points
Brake fluids are subject to extremely high temperatures, primarily in the wheel clyinders. This is the reason why they must pass certain standards, ensuring that they do indeed have a high boiling point. Vaporization can create problems, because when vapor occurs in the brake system it causes the hydraulic fluid to become unable to transfer braking force.
Don’t Contaminate Your Fluid
Be careful not to contaminate your brake fluid with any grease, oils are other impurities. The reason for this is because these impurities can get into the braking system and cause certain defects. This will be detrimental to your health and safety concerns. Corrosion inhibitors are added to the base fluid to help protect against contaminants but the cleaner your fluid, the safer your braking system.
Brake Fluid Can Absorb Moisture
Certain standards bring up a brake fluid´s “wet” boiling point. What this means is that hydraulic fluids can absorb moisture, which results in a lower boiling point and can damage the fluids ability to perform. Keep this in mind if you are releasing pressure or topping off the reservoirs for prolonged periods that the brake fluid can become contaminated.
Brake Fluid is Corrosive
Brake fluid is a very corrosive substance. Even if you are topping off the vehicles reservoirs, you may spill some brake fluid onto your engine or surrounding area. Make sure that you wipe it off immediately as it can eat through metal and other unprotected surfaces. If you get the fluid onto your skin, wash it off immediately, and it should go without saying, if you consume the fluid, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Don’t Mix Brake Fluid
It may or may not be well known that brake fluid can contain explosive qualities. Do not under any circumstances mix hydraulic brake fluid with any other substance.
It’s a Toxic Substance
Brake fluid is a toxic substance, so one should take care when disposing of it. Because brake fluid is toxic, this is another reason not to mix it with another substance. Recycling becomes almost impossible. As a result of the dangers involved with brake fluid, it would be wise to keep it away from young children.