Ask a Mechanic: Yes, the brake fluid should be changed

Pricey Inquire a Mechanic,

I am a tiny puzzled about a letter I gained from the Honda dealership the place I acquired my CR-V past year. The auto is a 2019, and the letter tells me that I want to convey it back for a brake fluid alter. I have owned cars and trucks from different companies for shut to 50 decades and have hardly ever had to improve brake fluid. Is this something new?

Fluid flummoxed

I’m betting that if you had been to look at the reservoirs of a random sample of 100 cars and trucks at the wrecker’s property, you’d possible locate less than 10 that didn’t even now have some of their unique brake fluid however in them. So why is the dealer telling you that your CR-V requirements its fluid altered? The simple fact is that brake fluid must be replaced regularly as a element of typical routine maintenance.

Selected automakers make a position of encouraging this service. Get BMW, which has had this as an product in its services-reminder procedure considering that at the very least the mid-2000s. It is also specified in most more recent Hondas. It is item No. 7 in your CR-V’s Upkeep Minder, and it’s been involved on the company’s service plan for decades.

Brake fluid is hygroscopic, which signifies that it absorbs humidity. It will do so via the cap in the grasp cylinder and through the seals and hoses in your brake program. This attribute is why fluid should be improved periodically. Automakers that program a transform usually advise getting one each two or 3 decades, regardless of mileage.

There are two factors for this. First is the reduction in the boiling position of the brake fluid as it gets to be contaminated by h2o. The DOT 3 fluid which is frequently applied has a specified least “dry” boiling stage of 205 C and a least “wet” boiling stage of 140. Notice the sizeable change moisture saturation tends to make.

Under extended hard braking, repetitive stop-and-go visitors, driving on hilly terrains or when towing, brake temperatures could boil the fluid in the calipers. If that transpires, the final result can be something from a delicate pedal to an outright lack of braking drive.

The other purpose — corrosion — is applicable to all auto entrepreneurs. Most brake parts are made of aluminum, steel or iron. Interior corrosion can seize pistons and parking-brake mechanisms, and it can lead to leaks at seals. Metallic and rubber particles also insert to the contamination of the fluid. Flushing it all out is comparatively economical, prolongs the lifespan of the brakes and maximizes the performance of this security program.

Ask a Mechanic is published by Brian Early, a Purple Seal-certified automotive technician. You can send out your concerns to [email protected] These responses are for informational purposes only. You should talk to a certified mechanic before getting any do the job completed to your car or truck.

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