There are many items small mechanical workshops and dealerships sell to clients as “up-sells”. These items are considered to be preventative maintenance and not so much an essential item needing to be done immediately. Unfortunately, in many cases the person selling theses items have a monetary bonus tied to the sale of this and so the clients are not informed that these are not essential but rather are sold as a must. And we all stand around scratching our heads wondering why there is a trust issue in the automotive industry.
One item that is often left off this list is one that should be on it before all the others. The item in question is the replacement of a vehicles brake fluid also called a “brake fluid flush”
All manufacturers recommend replacing this every two years regardless of how many kilometres the vehicle has done. To be perfectly frank, not following this recommended time frame is incredibly dangerous and here is why.
Brake fluid is the major aspect to your cars brakes. Without it your brakes will not work. It transfers the pressure you apply to the brake pedal, to the vehicles brakes.
Brakes get hot, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that (whats with the assumption that rocket scientist are intelligent?). Brake fluid has a very high boiling point, this means that brake fluid in good working order will not boil. If brake fluid does boil, the fluid becomes a gas and you loose the ability to use your brakes. This happens a lot in motor racing due to the extreme heat and is often referred to as brake fade.
Now brake fluid is hydroscopic, this means over a period of time it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. If left for too long, your brake fluid becomes part brake fluid and part water. Water boils at a much lower temperature than brake fluid and as a result normal driving conditions with old brake fluid can give you brake fade.
Replacing your brake fluid every two years means you are removing any water in the system and insuring you don’t encounter brake fade and thus the loss of your cars ability to stop.