Brakes Select Auto Imports
Image via Flickr by Thomas Nes Myhre

Go ahead. Admit it. Whenever you take your car to get serviced, you’re afraid you’re going to get swindled and told to replace everything under the hood for no good reason. The people who do this give good mechanics a bad name.

Even if you used to get under the hood of your own car and do a lot of the work yourself, times have changed. Computer systems, new technology, and smaller engines make it hard for most people to work on their own vehicle. When someone tells you that you need work done, you don’t always have a good way to verify it for yourself.

One of the most common service recommendations that people doubt is the suggestion to get their brakes flushed. Take a look at a few facts about getting it done for your vehicle. When your mechanic suggests it the next time you go in for service, you’ll have a better idea of what the mechanic is talking about.

Understanding Brake Flushing

Getting your brakes flushed means that all the current brake fluid is removed completely and new, clean fluid is added. Each car manufacturer has their own recommendations about what brake fluid is right for your vehicle. DOT 3 and DOT 5 are common. The type required for your vehicle is the only kind that should be used.

How Often Brakes Should be Flushed

Some manufacturers recommend a brake flush every two years, while others recommend flushing them every 20,000 or 30,000 miles. A few manufacturers don’t list brake flushing as a recommended service. If you drive one of those vehicles, consider getting your brakes flushed every few years, and ask your mechanic what he or she thinks your specific vehicle needs.

Why Getting Your Brakes Flushed Is Important

Brake fluid absorbs moisture that gets into your brakes and holds onto it. Anti-lock brake systems are most susceptible to moisture build-up. At a certain point, if enough moisture makes its way inside your brakes, the fluid can’t keep up and reaches its capacity. Once your brakes are at the point of having too much moisture, the water can rust your brakes from the inside out, or worse, cause your brake fluid to boil when you brake hard.

What you don’t need is for your brakes to fail right when you need them most. Any time your brakes don’t stop your car easily and quickly, you definitely want to get them checked out. If you service your brakes on a regular basis, the culprit could be moisture, and it may be time to flush your brakes.

Take a look at the owner’s manual for your vehicle. Check the recommended services for your model. Don’t be surprised if brake flushing is something the manufacturer recommends. Getting your brakes flushed is a less expensive option than replacing your anti-lock brake system. Not having a car that won’t stop when you need it to is never an option, either.

When you take care of your vehicle, it can last a long time. Getting your brakes flushed every few years is one of those services that can help keep your vehicle on the road for years to come.

Do I Really Need My Brakes Flushed?

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