Brake Fluid Butte MT
Quality Auto Service
1815 Garrison Avenue
Bruces Quick Lube and Muffler
1111 E Front Street
Oil Change and Lube,Brake Repair,Electrical Repair,Mufflers Repair
Alby's Quality Auto Repair
2715 7th Ave N
Great Falls, MT
Air Conditioning Repair, Brakes, Electrical Service, Front End Repair, Machine Shop Service, Radiator Repair, Sound System Installation, Wheel Alignment
Mon:8:00 am-5:00 pm
Tue:8:00 am-5:00 pm
Wed:8:00 am-5:00 pm
Thu:8:00 am-5:00 pm
Fri:8:00 am-5:00 pm
Montana Tire Distributors
421 N 13th Street
Big Sky Tire
3848 Brooks Street
Dicks Auto and Exhaust
635 Maryland Avenue
Brake Repair,Electrical Repair,Mufflers Repair
3600 Harrison Avenue
Full Throttle Repair LLC
820 9th Street West
Columbia Falls, MT
2211 4th Avenue North
423 24th Street West
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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