Moisture Presents a Brake-Fluid Issue

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Source: Goodyear Brakes blog post

CHARLOTTE — You may keep a careful watch on the wear of your brake pads. But how about your brake fluid? Did you know brake fluid is not a lifetime fill and should be changed as needed? Unlike motor oil, common DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake fluid is hygroscopic; that is, it draws moisture from the air. It’s why you should use only fresh brake fluid you’ve recently opened, and it’s why the brake fluid in your vehicle may be overdue for a change.

The automotive experts at FDP Virginia Inc., which develops and sells Goodyear Brakes, offer some tips for assessing the health of your vehicle’s braking system, as well as advanced solutions for addressing any issues.

The new line of Goodyear Brakes provides premium quality brake kits, calipers, rotors, brake pads that are made in the U.S.A. and all the hardware for today’s most popular vehicles, from daily drivers to SUVs and light trucks, all backed by a national warranty, decades of production experience and one of the best-known names in automotive excellence. The Goodyear Brakes product lineup offers drivers the ideal solution for almost every braking need – whether you are looking to save money on your vehicle repairs, upgrade your performance or restore your perfect car.

Why Is Moisture in the Fluid a Problem?

Moisture in the brake fluid can cause problems because it lowers the boiling point and it can cause corrosion in the braking system. Repairs can get expensive if bad fluid corrodes calipers, brake lines and parts in anti-lock brake system (ABS) controllers.

A lower boiling point reduces brake performance in severe braking conditions, such as driving down a mountain road. Although you’ve downshifted into a lower gear, you find you still have to apply a heavy foot to the brake pedal to keep your speed controlled, which heats the brakes and fluid, causing it to boil and form vapor pockets.

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Instead of transferring braking pressure to the caliper pistons – pushing the pads against the rotors and braking your vehicle – the vapor in the fluid compresses. That causes a low, spongy pedal and less braking force, which results in increased stopping distances, or in extreme cases, a complete loss of braking until the fluid cools.

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