Do I really need a brake fluid flush? Yes, here’s why

Q: I recently had my oil changed at a repair shop in Libertyville, and as part of their inspection, they recommended that I flush my brake fluid. I’ve never heard of flushing brake fluid. Was this a legitimate recommendation?

A: Yes, flushing brake fluid to remove dirty, contaminated fluid from the system is part of the recommended maintenance we prescribe for today’s vehicles. I can’t speak to whether you’re due for a brake fluid flush right now, but we’ll give you some tips on determining that in just a moment.

But first, here are several reasons why we recommend flushing brake fluid:

  1. Brake fluid is “hygroscopic,” which means it actively absorbs and retains moisture from the air. Many parts of your braking system are made of metal, and flushing the brake fluid helps to prevent corrosion and subsequent failure of your metal components.
  2. As brake fluid gets older and has more debris in it, the boiling point of the fluid goes down, which reduces braking performance and, in extreme cases, can lead to the brakes not working at all.
  3. The ABS module and your traction control components are exceptionally sensitive to dirt and debris. Flushing that old fluid removes the moisture from the system and gets rid of that debris, saving you a $1,000 ABS module repair.
  4. As your ABS and traction control systems activate, they generate heat, which further breaks down the fluid.

How do you know when it’s time for a brake fluid flush? At Auto Lab in Libertyville, we have an electronic tester that measures the amount of moisture in the fluid. We perform an electronic test with every courtesy inspection.

We take our responsibility to keep your family safe very seriously, and this is just one more way we do that—while trying to keep your vehicle maintenance costs as low as possible.

More questions about brakes? Call Auto Lab in Libertyville today at 847-367-4488, or if you’re in need of an appointment, schedule online.

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