Why should I have to change my brake fluid?

One of the great things about this web site is that I can now share many color photos that I wanted to include in my book “If That Car Could Talk.” If you have a brake job done it is not a bad idea to have your brake fluid exchanged out for new.  When I say “exchanged for new brake fluid” that means have all of it replaced and not just the fluid that is in the brake fluid reservoir. Most repair shops will not recommend that you replace brake fluid, and the only time it may get replaced is when a brake line or other component fails.

Even then you usually will not get all the fluid replaced; only the fluid that was lost will be added after the failed brake system component has been replaced.

If you look at the photo above you can see that the new brake fluid on the left is nearly transparent. The brake fluid in the middle is 5 years old and should have been replaced at least two or three years prior. The brake fluid on the far right is known to actually be twelve years old, I actually spoke to the customer and they told me that they purchased the car new in 2000 and never changed the brake fluid. Are you curious as to why the fluid is green? When a brake line is brand new the inside of the line is coated with copper, and as the fluid gets older and older and attracts more moisture it turns acidic. This acidic condition actually can eat away at the copper lining inside of your brake lines. See page 100 of my book “If That Car Could Talk” for more information about brake fluid.

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