Brake fluid - an essential component for your brake function
The braking system is a very critical function, especially during emergencies on the roads. However, braking fluid is the most neglected component when making plans to send for your annual car maintenance.
Brake fluid is the medium to transfer the force from the brake pedal to the wheel hub to decelerate the speed of your vehicle. Heat is generated under the brakes. The temperate and pressure of the fluid affect the performance. Significant problem arises, if the overheating of brake fluid occurs. Therefore, timely checks and replacement of brake fluid ensure brake pedal effectiveness and avoid brake failure.
Why does Brake Fluid need checking?
Over time, brake fluid absorbs the moisture from the air, reducing the performance of the liquid in the brake system. It is advisable to maintain a schedule check about every 50,000 km or on an average of every 1 to 2 years depending on the model of your vehicle. Brake fluid also serve as a lubricant to many moveable parts and prevents corrosion. Thus, ensuring it is properly functioning ensures that the performance of your vehicle is not compromised.
Types of Brake Fluid
Brake fluid comes in 2 types:
- Glycol-based fluid (DOT 3, DOT 4 AND DOT 5.1) - Applicable for vehicles with antilocking braking system (known as ABS)
- Silicone-based fluid (DOT 5) - Applicable for vehicles with non-antilock braking system (known as non-ABS)
If you are wondering whether a mix of the fluids makes sense, mixing the fluid does not relate to better braking performance. Thus, it is generally not recommended.
DOT represents Department of Transportation which indicated the different boiling point of fluid. The higher the DOT, it can withstand a higher temperature, and also the higher the cost. Different vehicles may work better at a particular DOT standard.
Is brake flushing needed?
It is common to have old fluid replaced with brake pads, calipers and rotors every 4-5 years. Nonetheless, beware of unnecessary brake disaster scare. Every 2-3 years flushing may probably be too often. However, go through it if it helps you sleep better at night. Most importantly, always clarify with the technician or the owner’s manual on which DOT fluid best suits your car before you proceed.
Have questions on our service?
More about DOT 3, Dot 4 brake fluids etc
DOT 3 is the most common type of brake fluid for cars and trucks. It has a minimum dry boiling point of 401°F and a minimum wet boiling point of 284°F. Over time, excessive moisture of the fluid does lead to corrosion in the brake system causing spongy pedals.
DOT 4 fluid is more stable and can be used by all vehicles. It has a higher boiling point than DOT 3 and it does not absorb moisture as fast. Over time when the fluid begins to absorb moisture, its boiling point will drop to a DOT 3 formula rapidly. DOT 4 fluid have a minimum dry boiling point of 446°F and a minimum wet boiling point of 311°F. The differentiating factor between these 2 is its viscosity limit, its effect and rates of water absorption.
DOT 5 fluid are use for applications in water absorption resistance. It is use in antique cars for its low corrosion as it does not dissolve paint finishes. As such, the DOT 5 is of little value to conventional automotive or high-performance application. It cannot be mixed with other types of fluid.
DOT 5.1 fluid has a high boiling point of over 500 degrees. It has a formula which is suitable for severer duty and high-performance applications. The differentiation is that it has lower viscosity requirements but do not offer superior boiling points than DOT 4 formula. It does not equate to better performance as compared to the other fluid.
Have questions on our service?
After my free servicing period for my car, I thought it was time to look out for better priced alternatives. I gave ECV Car Service Singapore a call and tried out their service. It was a hassle free experience and good value. - Kenneth Chin, Buona Vista
I had a tire leak caused by a puncture after driving over some construction debris. ECV Car Service Singapore could fix this up for me so I don't need to spend on a new tire. Friendly workshop! - Mr K.T. Liew, Redhill
My car aircon was not functioning and I was not sure what the cause was. I initially brought my car to the dealer workshop and was told the compressor is down. But the price quoted for the compressor replacement was so high. I then gave ECV Car Service Singapore a call, and the price turned out to be much lower, and quality of service good. Thumbs up! - Joel Tan, Bukit Batok
At the heart of our service is to build a trusted relationship with you. When you send your car for car servicing, maintenance and repairs with us, you are assured your car is in good hands.
Our mechanics are experienced, with care for detail. We seek to delight you always, with the quality of our workmanship and good value for our services.
At ECV Car Service, we seek to develop a trusted, long term relationship with you. It is hence essential to us that we are transparent with you on our service and to provide you with various options for you to consider and choose from. Our mechanics are experienced wand dedicated to their craft, and will thoroughly check the issues with your brakes and brake fluid and what is behind the cause of the issues you face. We would then advise you whether you just need a brake fluid top up or some repairs, as well as give you a cost quote before proceeding with the works.
We look forward to being of service to you, for your car servicing, maintenance or repair needs.