Brake fluid is something that’s important for the safe operation of your vehicle, but most people don’t know how or when it should be changed. The average person drives anywhere from ten to fifteen thousand miles per year, and they use their brakes about 75,000 times. That’s a lot of wear and tear on your car’s brakes, and changing the brake fluid is only one way to keep your car running smoothly.
Why it’s Important to Change Your Brake Fluid
Almost half of all cars and small trucks that have been on the United States’ roads for ten years or more have never had their brake fluid changed, which is a problem. After just three years, the boiling point of the average brake fluid has dropped to the point where it no longer meets minimum federal standards. Brake fluid’s boiling point drops when it is contaminated by moisture, so it’s important that you change it regularly to keep water out.
Most car-care experts say that brake fluid should be changed every year or so, to keep contamination problems from occurring. This recommendation is made because most modern brake fluids contain glycol, and they begin to retain moisture from the moment they are added. Water can get into brake fluid through tiny holes in rubber hoses, and it can also get through seals. This problem is a lot worse in more humid locations. So if you live in a tropical climate, it is especially important that you change your brake fluid often.
You may not think much about it, but good brake fluid is key to keeping your car on the road. With preventive maintenance, you can keep brake problems from happening, or keep a small problem from getting any bigger.