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Is a Brake Flush Necessary?

You just visited your local Utah brake repair company to get your brakes looked at and they recommended a brake fluid flush. Is this something that really needs to be done? The answer: absolutely!

As brake fluid ages it becomes contaminated and doesn’t function as it should. If you look at the color inside the fluid reservoir the color should be clear or light yellow. If it’s brown, that’s a good sign to change your fluid.

Moisture in a brake system is the greatest threat of not changing your fluid. The older the brake fluid is, the greater the chance that you have moisture in the system. The fluid will absorb moisture from the air through the lines, fittings, etc.

The main danger of moisture in the lines is that it lowers the boiling point of the brake fluid. When you’re in a hurry coming down, say, Little Cottonwood Canyon and the temperature reaches the boiling point it will, well, boil. When the fluid boils it creates air bubbles in the system. Air can compress, so instead of squeezing the brakes the air bubbles are now what’s being squeezed making your brakes useless. It’s time to use the e-brake and hope you can stop.

To prevent a serious situation like this don’t put off changing your fluid when it needs it. To begin, decide if you’re going to bring your vehicle in to your favorite Utah brake repair company or if you’d like to try to change the fluid yourself. If you want to change it yourself it’s a pretty straight forward process. Just get rid of the old fluid that’s in there while adding the new fluid without getting any air in the system.

There are a lot of tool options to help you with your endeavor. The cheapest option is to just use nothing but a wrench. I would recommend at least getting a clear plastic tube so that you can see when all the old fluid is out of the line.

If you really want to get tools specific to the job, check the reviews on products first. I haven’t had much luck with the cheap $20 hand pumps. I’ve had a hard time getting a good seal on the fitting, but at least you get a clear line. If you have an air compressor you can get some nice tools to use with it that are quick, clean, and easy (the type your local Utah brake repair company uses).

If you’re planning to work much on your own car, it’s important to have a decent tool set. Don’t use 12 point sockets; you’ll have a much greater chance of rounding the bolts and nuts off. Use the correct size, which is metric. If you do occasional work, you can get by with a cheap toolset, but check your sockets before you use them as they have a tendency to use cheap metal that cracks and distorts.

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12 Apr, 2010

Brakes

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