Since the brakes are one of the most important parts of your car, along with the engine and the transmission, keeping your brakes and the brake fluid in optimal condition is key to the longevity of your car. Over time, the brakes of your vehicle and system wear down – keep the brakes around as long as possible by figuring out the brake flush cost for your specific car and when you should perform the brake fluid flush. Usually, the brake flush cost will run at around $100, with the majority of this total cost going towards labor, and the parts only costing around $10-$25 in total.
What is brake fluid?
In order to realize the importance of the brake flush in your car and the overall brake flush cot that you will have to pay to keep your braking system working optimally, you will need to figure out what brake fluid is and how it works in your vehicle.
When you press down on the brake pedal to bring your vehicle to a stop, the brake pads that are coated with friction material are in charge of squeezing and creating pressure. Since the brake pads are fixed to the car’s suspension, and the brake rotors will rotate with the tires, this forces the vehicle to slow down and come to a stop.
Keep in mind that the brake rotors are iron discs that connect to the tire’s hub and are in charge of working with the brake pads in tandem to stop your vehicle and bring it to a sharp stop when the driver wants the vehicle to. Knowing what this part does and the mechanics of the braking system can help you determine the total brake flush cost.
A hydraulic system in the braking system of your vehicle is used to transfer the mechanical pressure from your foot pressing down on the brakes. A piston inside of the brake master cylinder compresses the brake fluid into a series of steel pipes and hoses that travel around the car, transferring the fluid to all parts of the vehicle. The master cylinder is the control device that converts the force from the driver’s foot to the hydraulic pressure.
Once this occurs, this pressurized brake fluid then moves the pistons inside of the car and inside the calipers or brake drums, which then force the brake pads to friction against the rotors or the brake drums.
What are the consequences of contaminated brake fluid?
If you realize that your brake fluid is old and you will need to pay for a brake flush cost, then it is key to know what can happen if you do not take the necessary steps and maintenance towards fixing your vehicle.
Brake fluid that has soaked up too much water will have a much lower boiling point than it should, which can lead to a complete brake failure if you press the brake pedal too much or under extreme duress in braking consistently. At this point, you won’t have to worry about the brake flush cost, but more of a total brake replacement cost, which will be much more expensive. A brake replacement cost is around $150 per axle and can range upwards of $300 per axle.
If you realize that the brake failure is going to occur, then this is a sign you need to pay for the brake flush cost. In addition, too much moisture can lead to excessive corrosion in the rest of the braking system and cause steel lines to become rusted over time and leak. Brake fluid that has been contaminated due to the rust will gain debris and dust, and can cause a further breakdown of rubber seals. If the seals break down too quickly, then this can lead to master cylinder leaks and the potential of the anti-lock braking system to fail. If you reach this point, a brake flush cost is the least of your concerns.
A routine brake pad replacement will not generally include the brake flush cost. Any braking system repair that involves opening the hydraulic system, like needing to repair a caliper or check the master cylinder, will have the price of the brake flush cost added in to the overall replacement cost, since the system needs to be purged of air after the fix has taken place. If you are not having any parts replaced or repaired, then a simple brake flush cost should be around $80-$100, including the price of new brake fluid.
Signs of Contaminated Brake Fluid
Knowing when you need to address the brake fluid is key to figuring out when you should pay for your brake flush cost and determining any other repairs or replacements that need to be done in your braking system.
The first sign that you need to analyze your brake fluid is that your ABS light has illuminated on your dashboard. This is one of the key symptoms and easily noticeable signs that your brake fluid either needs a quick change, or you need to top-off the brake fluid since the levels are too low. The ABS system is the anti-lock braking system, and is a sure way to tell that your braking system is what needs to be fixed.
The next symptom of contaminated brake fluid that needs a brake flush are issues with pressing the pedals and strange characteristics of the brake pedals. If you find that you are having to press harder on the brake pedal to come to a stop or that the pedal is not springing back to your foot after letting go of the pedal, then this could be a sign that you need more brake fluid. If you feel like the pedal is “soft”, you should definitely look into the brake flush cost.
Thirdly, another sign that your brake fluid has been contaminated and may need a brake flush is that you hear strange noises that are coming from your brakes. If you do not have enough brake fluid in your car or if the brake fluid is old and filled with debris, then your brakes will start making noise. If you hear any noise at all, then you can take your vehicle in to get it checked out before any other problems come up that are more expensive than a brake flush cost.
In addition, if your brake pads are not working properly and functioning at the right level, then this is a sign you have contaminated brake fluid. Low brake fluid or contaminated fluid will affect your brake pads. If your brake pads are not working correctly, then you could hear squealing or grinding coming from your brake pads.
Lastly, the final sign that your brake fluid is contaminated and in need of looking up the brake flush cost is the burning smell coming after hard braking. A chemical odor that is easy to smell by both the driver and the passengers is a sure sign of overheated brakes or the clutch system. If this happens, make sure you immediately stop driving your car to prevent any extra overheating and allow your brakes to cool down before continuing to drive.
How does a brake fluid flush work?
It is possible to change your own brake fluid to save money and lower the overall brake flush cost, but a mechanic can do this procedure quickly and with the brake-flushing machine that they contain in their mechanic shops. When you take your car to the auto body shop, the technician has to first find the brake fluid reservoir in your vehicle and remove the old fluid, which could be contaminated or dirty, and replace this with the new brake fluid.
To start the brake flush procedure, the tubing is connected to the brake valve on one end, with the other end emptying the brake fluid into a container to collect the miscellaneous and old brake fluid. A second technician at this point will have to pump the breaks and continually depress the brake pedal, while the other technician opens the valve. At this point, the old brake fluid will then empty into the container, coming out as a dark brown color.
The flushing process of the brake flush is repeated until the container just has clean fluid coming out into the container to catch the brake fluid. The process is continued repeatedly until all four of the brakes are clear, and the wheels are put back onto the car. After this has been confirmed, the last step is to do a road test on your vehicle to ensure the brakes work well and the overall brake flush cost is correct.
Brake Flush Cost Comparison
In order to give you an idea of how much you might pay for the overall brake flush cost in your car, we have given you some sample costs for brake fluid flush from some of the leading auto repair companies and the leading automotive part providers. Most local garages in your area and your local mechanic should be able to provide this service to you, and it could even be done as part of your annual check up for your car depending on what kind of make, model, and year you have.
If you decide to bring your car to your local mechanic, the average price of hte brake flush cost will run between $79 and $89, while bringing your vehicle to Midas will be around the same, running between $75 and $94 for both the parts and labor. Bringing your car to Mr. Tire for a brake flush cost evaluation will be between $83 and $95, while Pep Boys will charge you a little lower on the inexpensive end, ranging between $69 and $85.
If you are just looking for parts to do the brake flush cost and the service on your own, then you can go to either Amazon or Walmart for the parts only. The parts at Walmart will be only between $8 and $29, while the parts at Amazon will be between $3 and $35.
How to Save Money on a Brake Flush Cost
Your brake fluid flush is considered a low maintenance service that is not very expensive and should be easy enough for all mechanics to know how to do quickly and efficiently. However, for some people, you might be trying to save costs and cut corners, and this could still be more than you want to pay for your vehicle repair and maintenance.
If this is your case, then you might consider shopping around the local area for a cheaper price and also the possibility of doing this brake flush cost on your own. Looking around for a more expensive place won’t save you that much, since most places have the same range of prices, as we saw earlier with the sample costs.
To really save money, you will need to do the brake flush on your own. This is not a complicated or complex process, so you might be able to do this by yourself if you have the right tools and you feel confident about the steps in which to take.
Sample Brake Fluid Flush Cost
In order to give you an even more generalized idea of how much you might spend for your specific type of vehicle and the brake flush cost, we have given you some sample prices for various cars that are popular on the market today. The least expensive option is the Honda Accord, ranging between $74 and $94, and costing just $10-$14 for parts and $63-$80 for the labor. In fact, all of the cars on this list range between $63-$80 for labor, which is pretty inexpensive in terms of a mechanic doing their job. Since an hourly price is around $80, the job should supposedly take no more than one hour at your local shop.
The next cheapest price is for the Ford cars and the Chevrolet Silverado. The Ford F-Series, Focus, and the Fusion all run between $76 and $95, along with the Chevy Silverado, with the parts ranging between $13 and $15.
The most expensive cars for the brake flush cost on the high end of the spectrum are the two Honda cars – the Honda CR-V and the Honda Civic. Although the low end of the price spectrum ranges at just $73 and $75 respectively, the high end for these cars comes in at $104, with the parts cost ranging between $10 and $24.