13 Nov

Should I Have My Brakes Bled?

Question: The owner’s manual for my car recommends too bleed my brakes every two years. Should I bleed my brakes as suggested in the manual?

Answer: Changing the brake fluid in your car will preserve the braking system. If your car has an ABS system or anti lock brake system it is highly recommended to have your brake fluid flushed as indicated in your cars operating manual.

The brake fluid in your car will take on moisture over a period of time. In a one year period your brake fluid can retain as much as 2 percent water.

There are several studies that have shown the damaging effects of what moisture can do to your brake system. One major problem that occurs is the brake fluid’s boiling point is reduced. New brake fluid has a boiling point of 400 degrees, with moisture in the fluid it can be reduced down to 225 degrees. This is referred to as brake fade, where heated brake fluid boils in the calipers causing steam resulting in a fading brake pedal. Your stopping distance is greatly affected and if you need to stop immediately, you won’t. Once your brakes have a chance to cool down they will operate normally again. If poor braking continues it is time to have the fluid changed out.

Dirty brake fluid can also damage the ABS components creating malfunctions to your ABS system. Another important thing to keep is mind is the moisture or water in your braking system is corrosive and over time will rust out the brake system.