No matter how advanced the safety features and quality of the car is, without an efficient brake, you would always be one step closer to death. There was a time not very efficient and they were simple, but, today, brakes are comparatively very efficient than their predecessors. However, without adequate brake fluid, even these advanced and efficient brakes could be worthless.
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What Is Brake Fluid?
Brake fluid is a special fluid pours in the car’s brake system. It serves to transfer the pressure exerted on the brake pedal to the brake pads and shoes. Good brake fluids have a low compression ratio and a high boiling point. Brake fluid is critical to safety and proper braking. Experts recommend checking the brake fluid once a year or every 10,000 km driven.
Uses and importance
Few people realize the importance of brake fluid in a car. People remember to change the pads, and often times, the discs too. However, few people remember to change the brake fluid. Besides causing serious damage to the car’s brake system, it can even reduce the car’s braking, especially in emergencies. The fluid is solely responsible for transmitting the pressure generated in the master cylinder to the wheel brakes. It pushes the pads against the brake discs, making the car to stop.
Brake fluid is a synthetic or semi-synthetic compound. Its main characteristics are its ability to not compress, withstand high temperatures and to absorb water over time. The fluid also works as a lubricant and prevents corrosion of parts throughout the system. Inside the master cylinder, there are rubbers that compress the brake fluid at very high pressures. With moisture, rust spots can appear on the cylinder body.
Even the most advanced and top-rated cars tend to have brake fluid leakage, while it might not happen to all, there is no way to prevent it from happening. But, there are ways to find out brake fluid leaking soon and repair it before it could do any harm. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms that could point you to brake fluid leaking.
1. Warning light –
Most of the cars today have sensors these days, they could detect any abnormalities in the engine and also the brake system. As far as we know, most of the cars, even the budget models come with sensors that could detect issues like low engine oil, brake fluid, radiator coolant, etc. You must pay attention to the warning light on the speedometer console.
2. Brake pedal would seem to be very loose –
For an expert driver, it would feel different if the brake pedal becomes comparatively looser than previous days. This could mean there is a brake fluid leakage. However, when it comes to beginners and intermediates, it might not be easy to distinguish this, but, you need to keep in mind that loosening of the brake pedal or if the brake pedal seem to go too far down with less effort, means there is an issue with the brake and it might be brake fluid leaking.
3. Brake pedal tends to be soft and spongy –
Losing brake fluid might not always mean that the brake pedal would go too far down with less effort, in some cases, air and the remaining brake fluid could create a resistance that might make it hard to distinguish it. However, there is a difference, if it is air and brake fluid that is creating the resistance, then while you press your foot on the brake pedal, you might feel spongy and squishy. In simple words, there would be a soft feeling when you press the brakes.
4. Visible brake fluid leakage –
Based on the color of the fluid on the floor, it won’t be easy to assume which fluid is leaking. However, if you are vigilant, you could just lean down and identify the section from where the fluid is leaking. Of course, if it is the brake fluid that is leaking, you will find the leak marks near the wheels or on the wheels. You mustn’t neglect any fluid marks on the floor where you park your car.
5. Poor brake performance
Expert drivers might always find it easy to notice that their brake performance is degrading day by day. However, beginners and intermediates might not be able to do the same. But, if you are aware of the fact that brake performance tends to deteriorate if the brake fluid is leaking, then, this self-awareness could raise your vigilance and identify the issues as soon as it happens.
Most of the accidents related to brake failure these days happen because the driver is too careless to identify the facts. You must always be vigilant and pay close attention to brake performance. If you feel there is any difference in the brake features, then, you need to get it checked. Do not be overconfident, no matter the brand, price, and quality of the car, you could face brake fluid leakage.
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