The brakes in your car are a very important component – without them, you would not be able to safely come to a stop and there would be dangerous scenarios consistently on the road. The brake fluid works in the braking system along with the hydraulic pressure to ensure the brakes stop the vehicle at the right time. When you press on the brakes, there must be pressure for the brakes to function – cue, the brake fluid.
Even though the brake fluid is so important, the brake fluid flush is generally overlooked in your car. Everyone knows that oil changes need to be done during the regular maintenance schedule, but did you know that brake fluid flushes need to be done as well? To keep your braking system working well, perform the total brake fluid flush cost between $80 and $200 to keep your car running safely.
What is brake fluid
Brake fluid is the specific kind of hydraulic fluid that is used in the hydraulic clutch and brake mechanisms in your car. The hydraulic fluid is the way that the power is transferred in hydraulic machinery – aka, your vehicle. The hydraulic brake is the braking mechanism that uses brake fluid to transfer pressure from the system to the brake mechanism to slow down your wheels and stop the car, while the hydraulic clutch is the device that engages and disengages the transmission during use.
The brake fluid in your car operates at higher temperatures and high pressure, meaning that you might need to check the levels and do the brake fluid flush cost analysis more often than other parts in your vehicle. Without the brake fluid working properly and without the right amount of fluid, your vehicle would no longer come to a stop when you press down physically on the brake pedal.
This means that it is absolutely crucial that every single car gets the right kind of brake fluid and the right amount of brake fluid. If your car does not meet these requirements, you should find out the total brake fluid flush cost for your car.
In addition, even if you have added the right amount of brake fluid to your vehicle and you have added enough to meet the certain level requirement, sometimes the oil and fluid just gets dirty or contaminated over time and prolonged use, meaning you need to check the brake fluid flush cost.
Keep in mind there are certain signs and symptoms that can alert you it is time to look into the total brake fluid flush cost for your car.
Types of Brake fluid
There are different kinds of brake fluid that you can purchase from a store – but be aware that not every kind of fluid is going to be the right kind for your car. You need to look back at your specific car’s manual to make sure you know the specific kind of brake fluid meant for your car.
DOT3: this glycol-base fluid has a low boiling point when compared to other offices and is able to easily absorb any excess moisture from the outside air or from the leaks within the gas line. For this reason, you need to keep the brake line completely sealed to avoid any contamination from outside air and moisture.
DOT4: DOT4 is very similar to DOT3, but there are additives included to change the temperature at which the liquid boils. These types of fluids are also standard for most modern vehicles on the market today, being able to handle high temperatures. However, this high temperature resistance means that it needs to be more frequently changed to avoid deterioration.
DOT5: The DOT5 brake fluid is more specific and is not compatible with the previous types mentioned. This type of fluid is silicone based, and does not absorb any water from outside air or from the lines. This means that the brake fluid has a higher boiling point, but can also cause your brakes to become more susceptible to corrosion after extensive use.
Symptoms of bad brake fluid
When determining the brake fluid flush cost, you first need to know if you even need to flush the brake fluid. if you notice some certain signs in your car, then the chances are you need to change the brake fluid and get the brake fluid flush cost before it's too late.
ABS Light – one of the quickest ways to know for sure that your brake fluid either needs to be cleaned, you need to add more brake fluid, or you need to completely change the brake fluid and look into the total brake fluid flush cost is that your ABS light turns on and illuminates on your dashboard, indicating you have an issue that needs to be addressed right away.
The ABS light in your car can turn on for numerous reasons, but this is a common one. ABS in your vehicle stands for Anti-lock braking system, meaning that your ABS light will come on if you need to add extra brake fluid or completely replace the fluid in your car.
Pedal Issues – if you find that the pedal is getting harder to press down to stop the car at the right time or the pedal has become soft and spongy while pressing down the brake, meaning that the car is not stopping at the same power as it usually is, then this means you probably need to add more brake fluid to your car before checking the total brake fluid flush cost.
Strange noises – If you do not have the right level of brake fluid stored in your car to keep the mechanism working correctly, or if the brake fluid is too old and worn down over time and prolonged exposure, the brakes will definitely alert the driver by making loud and strange noises. If your brakes make any noise while you are driving, take your vehicle to a mechanism to ensure you are safe on the road.
Brake pad problems – if your brake fluid is not topped off properly and you notice that you might need to research the total brake fluid flush cost at your mechanic, then this could be due to the signals of brake pad problems. If your brake pads are not working as they used to and you hear frequent sounds like squealing, grinding, or squeaking, then this can mean the brake fluid is to blame.
Burning Smell – A burning smell in your vehicle is never good. This usually alerts the driver to an immediate issue that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Furthermore, a burning smell can sometimes indicate that your engine or other internal parts could be at risk of a fire hazard, so the sooner you fix the problem, the sooner you can safely drive your car.
A chemical odor after consistent hard braking is usually a sign of an overheated clutch or brakes that are overheating due to too much wear and tear and friction. If this happens, make sure you immediately pull over and let your brakes cool down. If you continue driving, then you can risk overheating the brake fluid and cause premature brake failure, which is surely to be more than the total brake fluid flush cost.
How to check your brake fluid
When figuring out if you need to research the total brake fluid flush cost, it is important to know if you even need to change the fluid in the first place. By recognizing the signs and symptoms, you can pinpoint if there are any issues. Furthermore, you can check your brake fluid by locating the brake fluid reservoir and analyze the scene.
First, keep everything clean inside of the brake system. Even the smallest bit of dirt in the brake fluid can contaminate the liquid and the whole system, causing a break of seals and poor performance, eventually leading to brake failure.
Next, open the brake fluid reservoir by unscrewing the plastic cap to be able to clearly see the fluid level in your car. Make sure that you do this as fast as you can, since prolonged exposure to air can cause the brake fluid to become contaminated. After this, analyze the fluid level and see if there is the right amount added or if you need to look at the brake fluid flush cost.
Once this is complete, check the brake fluid’s condition and health level. Over time, brake fluid can break down and deteriorate, so if you have not changed your brake fluid within 2 years, then you should replace the fluid.
Once the steps of checking your brake fluid have been done, you need to look at the steps for the brake fluid flush.
How to change your brake fluid
If you want to save costs on the brake fluid flush and change the brake fluid yourself, we have the steps here you can use to follow this easy guide and save some money on the long run with the total brake fluid flush cost.
First, jack up your car to access the brake’s bleeder screws located on your wheel caliper or brake cylinder. Once you have located the screws, remove the master cylinder cap and the existing brake fluid by using a vacuum pump to suck out the liquid.
Once this is done, use the brake bleeder hose and insert the end into the fresh brake fluid, transporting the fresh fluid from the reservoir to the mechanism. Loosen the screw and press the brake pedal until there are no air bubbles.
After you have completed these steps, tighten the bleeder screw and continue this until there are no more bubbles when changing the fluid. Add fresh brake fluid to the reservoir and make sure it remains full throughout the process. Repeat these steps for each brake caliper and top up the final reservoir and replace the cap.
Doing this process on your own can save some money on the total brake fluid flush cost and ensure that you will not harm any other components in the braking system, causing you to have to repair or replace more parts and costing you much more money.
Do’s and Don'ts of Brake Fluid
To keep your total brake fluid flush cost low, there are certain things to keep in mind when you are performing this process and when dealing with the brake fluid in your car.
- Brake fluid is a toxic liquid, so make sure you handle it with great care and do not get it on any skin. Make sure you discard the brake fluid at a toxic waste center that is made to handle toxic chemicals, including any other materials, like rags or towels, that you used during the brake fluid flush process.
- Clean any excess brake fluid off of any exterior paintwork as soon as you notice it. The brake fluid is very corrosive and can break down substances, like the paint on your car, making it a higher total brake fluid flush cost.
- When checking your brake fluid in the anti-lock braking system, you need to pump the brake pedal a total of around 30 times before inspecting the reservoir. Check the manufacturer guide and the car manual before starting the brake fluid flush cost in the ABS car.
- Try to avoid removing the reservoir cap except when you absolutely need to. Every time you get to the brake fluid and expose it to outside air, this is a greater chance that the fluid becomes contaminated with the outside air.
Brake Fluid Flush Cost Comparison
To determine how much you might spend when paying for the brake fluid flush cost, you need to know the average price of what you might pay depending on the chain store you visit for your specific car. Luckily, this type of service is available at most repair shops and is even sometimes included in the maintenance attributed with your car’s yearly tune-up.
The cheapest place to go for the lowest brake fluid flush cost is Pep Boys, Firestone, Jiffy Lube, and Big O Tires, all costing around $69 for the brake fluid flush cost. The next cheapest option is SeeDee, costing around $80 for the replacement, while Midas comes in at $85. The most expensive place to bring your vehicle for the brake fluid flush is Brake Masters, costing you around $130 for the service.