While it’s possible to get away with simply topping off your brake fluid with a brake replacement, Replacing the brakes is the ideal time to perform a brake fluid flush. For starters, you or your mechanic is already in position to do a brake flush without a lot of fuss. More importantly, however, any time your brakes are serviced, there is the opportunity for contaminants to make their way into your brake system and, ultimately, in your fluid. Any time your brake fluid is not up to standard, there is a marked increase in the risk of brake failure. Here are some other reasons why you should have a brake fluid flush with every brake replacement:
Moisture: When you replace brakes, there is an increased opportunity for moisture in the air to make its way into your brake system. Unfortunately, moisture is your brake’s worst enemy. It causes your brake fluid to chemically break down over time, decreasing the amount of pressure it can create within your lines. It also can rust metal surfaces and components within your system, and the consequent flaking can create clogs.
Grit and grime: Impurities like dust from the air or crud from dirty fingers can enter your brake system when you get a brake replacement. This has the potential to clog brake lines or otherwise interfere with fluid flow, which prevents the creation of enough pressure to activate your brakes.
While you may be tempted to try and justify putting off a brake flush when you get a brake replacement, this is one case where you should never cut corners. The minor cost you incur by adding a brake fluid flush to your bill is very little compared to what you risk by not having it done. When having any work done to your brake system, including brake replacement, your system is at risk of accumulating contaminants. This isn’t just something that can clog up the works; it can easily lead to brake failure and endangers you, your loved ones, and everyone else who shares the road with you.
If you want more information about the benefits of having a brake flush when you replace brakes or other advice about your vehicle’s brake system, our mechanics are available for consultations. They will be happy to discuss the finer details about your brake system and make any recommendations for other maintenance or repairs you may require.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Should the Brake Fluid Be Flushed Every Time the Brakes Are Replaced? and was authored by Elan McAfee.