Why and How Often You Need Your Brakes Flushed
For most people, getting their brakes flushed is a lot like flossing. Everyone claims to do it and knows it’s a good idea healthwise, but few actually take the time to do it. So let’s compare the math: Getting a brake flush service for $100 or less, or replacing brake lines and other brake parts that become ruined due to contaminated brake fluid? That will cost you easily in the hundreds of dollars. The answer is as obvious as the cost of dental floss compared to root canals. Get it done, get it over with, and be proactive about the brakes in your car.
Inspection: The Only Way to Tell If Your Car Needs a Brake Flush Service
What doesn’t make the problem any easier is that car manufacturers can’t seem to agree on how often a brake flush needs done. Chevrolet says every 45,000 miles. Mercedes say 20,000 miles. Hyundai says every three years, whether you’ve just driven the continental US or have the car in storage. The bottom line is it needs to be inspected periodically. It’s the only way to know for sure.
Brake fluid works in a sealed system. It doesn’t go bad on its own, but moisture from the surrounding air, leaks in the hoses, and other parts can contaminate the fluid. This lowers the boiling point, and effectively its stopping ability. It also causes internal corrosion in the brake lines, calipers, the master cylinder and other components, which can cost you hundreds to replace.
Bottom line: Schedule a brake fluid inspection. Your mechanic will tell you if you need to have them flushed or not.