Most vehicle manufactures recommend that the brake fluid on your car be replaced at two or three year intervals. This is due to the fact that brake fluid absorbs water.
The hydraulic fluid in your brake system carries out several roles, the main one being to transmit the forces from your foot to the brakes via the master and slave cylinders. The other main role is to act as a lubricant and to protect the seals within the system.
If the brake fluid has absorbed more than 3 percent water it can have two very negative effects.
The first and most dangerous is a lowering of the boil point of the fluid. During heavy braking the heat generated is partly dissipated through the brake fluid. If the fluid has a high water content, ie 3 percent or more, then it stands the risk of boiling during these heavy braking actions. Boiling brake fluid cannot transmit the hydraulic force required and would lead to a loss of brakes.
The second risk is that a high water content coupled with old brake fluid, ie over 3 years old, can cause wear and damage on the seals within the components of the brake system. This can lead to premature failure of braking system components.
As part of any service or brake work carried out we will inspect and test your brake fluid to make sure you are safe.