There are several types of fluids your car needs to perform its best. While most drivers remember their engine oil and coolant, the brake fluid is often overlooked. Brake fluid is essential for safe braking. The brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid; this means that any pressure your foot puts on the brake pedal also transfers to the brake pads and wheels. No vehicle component can last forever without proper maintenance. Over time, the brake fluid can break down.
In some cases, the lines that carry the fluid can also become worn and damaged. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will have recommendations from the manufacturers on a set time frame brake fluid should be changed. However, your driving habits can play a significant factor in how often you should have your brakes serviced. Below are four common signs it’s time to have your brake fluid changed.
A Burning Smell
A noticeable burning smell can indicate that the brakes are overheating. If you recently had new brake pads installed, you may notice an odor for a few hours. In some cases, the emergency brake has been left up. However, If the brake pads aren’t new, there may be a significant problem at hand. Pullover and allow your brakes to cool down, and consult your trusted automotive specialist.
Squeak While Braking
If the brake fluid is low or old, the brakes will squeak and grumble. If you’re noticing a sputtering sound coming from your brakes this fall, have the brake fluid changed. Any noise from the brakes is their way of alerting you to an issue.
Hard Brake Pedal
If you’re driving and notice the brake pedal feels unusual and isn’t responding normally, the brake fluid may need to be replaced. Your brake pedal shouldn’t feel too stiff or spongy. The brake should be easy to press but not so loose that it sinks to the floor.
If the ABS light illuminates the dashboard, it’s a huge indicator that the brake fluid needs professional assistance. While it’s easy to assume that the brake fluid needs to be topped off. Once the dashboard light comes on, consider having an expert check the system for any damage.
If you notice your brakes are displaying any of the above signs, it’s essential to have the brake system inspected as soon as you can. The brakes are a crucial part of a vehicle’s safety system and render the drive extremely dangerous without them. If you suspect your car needs a brake fluid change, click here to schedule an appointment or reach out to our professional service advisors at 323-543-7422.