Brake Fluid Bozeman MT
Meineke Car Care Center
2114 Boot Hill Court
Brake Repair,Electrical Repair,Mufflers Repair
Miles Toyota Specialists
2203 Lea Avenue, # B
Big O Tires
620 N 7th Avenue
Precision Automotive Repair
115 Commercial Drive, # B
Brake Repair,Electrical Repair,Mufflers Repair,Truck Parts
1401 E Main Street
Brake Repair,Clutch Repair
Keysers Auto Repair
100 Maus Lane, # A
Oil Change and Lube,Brake Repair
Accurate Auto Repair
621 E. Peach St.
Oil Change and Lube,AC and Heating Repair,Brake Repair,Cylinder and Block Repair,Emissions Testing,Mobile Auto Repair,Mufflers Repair,Truck Parts
Firestone Complete Auto Care
810 N 7th Avenue
AC and Heating Repair,Alignment Repair,Brake Repair,Retail Tire
Rising Sun Toyota Repair
2312 N 7th Avenue
502 E Main Street
AC and Heating Repair,Brake Repair
Don't Forget About Checking Your Brake Fluid
By Bill Siuru, PhD, PE
Most people religiously change engine oil, engine coolant and transmission fluid, but never give a thought to their brake fluid. It is estimated that about half of the cars and light trucks on American roads over ten years old still have the brake fluid that was installed at the factory. Of all fluids in a vehicle, brake fluid most directly affects safety. Neglect engine oil and you risk your engine; neglect brake fluid and you risk your life.
| How brake fluid degrades with time and moisture content. |
Most brake fluids are hygroscopic, meaning they readily absorb moisture from the air that gets into brake system past seals, via microscopic pores in brake hoses and from other sources of air that gets into the system. As the brake system heats and cools, condensation formed within the system can drastically reduce the brake fluid's boiling point temperature. When the fluid boils during severe brake usage, vapor lock can occur that greatly reduces braking efficiency. In the worst case, compressible vapor pockets replace brake fluid so that then when you hit the brakes, the brake pedal goes to the floor. Thus, moisture contamination is the reason that brake fluid gets old and why automobile manufacturers recommend brake fluid be replaced every two to three years.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has set the performance specifications for brake fluid that is accepted around the world. The original DOT and DOT 2 fluids were replaced by DOT 3 when disc brakes became common. High performance cars with antilock brakes needed a still better fluid, so DOT 4 appeared.
New DOT 3 brake fluid must have a boiling point of at least 401 degrees F, though most brands have dry boiling points of 460 to 500 degrees F. DOT 3 is considered wet or 'moisture-saturated' when the boiling point drops to under 284 degrees F. Only 3-percent moisture content can reduce the boiling point to 293 degrees F, very close to the minimum set by the DOT and the automakers. DOT 4 braking fluid has a higher minimum boiling points, at 446 degrees F when fresh and 311 degrees F when wet. While DOT 4 fluid absorbs water at a lower rate, the boiling temperature drops more drastically with increasing amounts of moisture. Here 3-percent moisture can reduce the boiling point by up to 50-percent.
After several years, brake fluid can contain 7- to 8-percent moisture. The problem is aggravated in wet and humid climates. With conservative braking, you probably will not notice the effects of high moisture content. However, under aggressive braking, you may find that moisture has taken its toll.
Moisture can also cause rust and corrosion which can pit master cylinders, steel brake lines, wheel cylinders, pistons and other critical brake system parts. If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system, replacing corroded and pitted ABS modulators can be an expensive proposition.
There is also a DOT 5 brake fluid on the...
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