• Mike F

Mechanics ripping me off! I DON'T need to replace my Brake Fluid!!!... Do I...?

Your running late for work! your flying down a local back mountain road (at the speed limit of course!), wind in your hair (because the passenger window now won't work after you reluctantly offered to drop your neighbours kid to school holiday camp and fiddling with the window switch was apparently wayyyyy may more interesting than talking to me! You see a set of brake lights ahead in the distance, slowly approaching the "slow poke" car with each corner. when all of a sudden.... Brake pedal goes to the floor at the last second and you HAVE NO BRAKES!!!!! You try desperately to slow down using the gears and applying the emergency brake but its all too late... Crash! But why did that happen? I only had my car serviced less than 2 weeks ago! The answer (assuming its not brake fade- we will get into that another day) is the brake fluid! You see brake fluid is the hydraulic fluid that controls the braking system in nearly all vehicles. Issue is, the fluid gets incredibly hot when under stress and braking. Brake fluid is Hygroscopic, meaning it attracts water from the atmosphere over time, raising the water percentage causing the boiling point of the brake fluid to reduce to such a point that, in the instance above, boiled under heavy braking, creating air bubbles in the fluid and the pedal straight to the floor! Good mechanics use a brake fluid tester, a tester that tests the water percentage of the brake and clutch fluids... If the logbook says to replace the fluid this service, this is not always the case and often placed in there as a preventative measure assuming the technician may not have this tester... Make sure to have your mechanic or "Bazza, your mechanically minded mate" to look at this, failure to do so may cost a life.... Safe travels, Mike.

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