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When Do You Need To Replace Your Vehicle's Brake Fluid?

Many vehicle owners pay attention to their rotors and brake pads to make sure they are in good condition. However, it's common for the brake fluid to often be ignored. Brake fluid is essential to the function of your vehicle's brake system, which is why you want to know when it's time to change the brake fluid. 

Brake Performance Issues

There are many issues that can cause the performance of your brakes to feel problematic. You may be applying the brakes and notice that it takes longer for the vehicle to completely stop. This is a sign that you have brake fluid that has become degraded and needs to be replaced. It often happens because the brake fluid has absorbed a lot of moisture, and it does not work as intended.

Brake Fluid Appearance

It is worth checking the color of the brake fluid to see how it looks. Contaminated brake fluid can look cloudy or dark when there are contaminants in it, which is due to debris, rust, and dirt getting into the master cylinder and traveling to the brake lines. When the brake fluid is in good condition, it will be slightly yellow or clear. Simply checking the color of the brake fluid can help let you know that it needs to be changed.

Brake Pedal Feel

Does your brake pedal feel spongy when you apply pressure to it? This is not normal, and it's a sign that there is moisture in the brake fluid. Replacing the brake fluid will help restore the pressure needed for you to effectively slow down your vehicle since the hydraulic pressure can be thrown off by air bubbles created by moisture. 

Burning Odor

Does your vehicle produce a burning odor when you are using your brakes? This is more likely to happen when traveling downhill and slowing down the vehicle. What's happening is the brake fluid is overheating, which is due to a decreased boiling point. If you replace the brake fluid, you are likely to no longer smell that burning odor when applying excessive pressure to the brakes. 

Warning Lights

It's possible that you have a warning light on your dashboard that relates to the brake system. Many vehicles can sense when brake fluid levels are low due to evaporation. It will be best to replace the brake fluid so that it is at the proper levels and completely free of debris and moisture. 

Contact a local auto brake repair service to learn more.