A car has mechanical elements, but also fluids. Of these, the brake fluid is one of the most important. Often overlooked, it is the one that allows you to brake your car and therefore requires special attention. So what brake fluid to choose for your car when yours needs to be replaced? We explain everything you need to know.
How To Control The Brake Fluid?
The brake fluid is at the heart of the brake system of your car: when you press the brake pedal, it can transmit the braking force directly to the four wheels. When using the brakes, the temperature of the fluid increases by several hundred degrees.
These variations, in addition to the moisture contained in the air absorbed by the brake fluid, alter the latter as and when. It is therefore advisable to have the brake fluid checked by a professional at least every two years, so that it does not degrade too much. For that choosing a brake fluid it is important.
How To Choose Your Brake Fluid?
There are two main types of brake fluids:
Silicone liquids: they are very resistant purple liquids and intended for military vehicles. It is unlikely that you will use it.
Synthetic liquids: these are the liquids that you will find in the trade and called DOT 3, DOT 4 or DOT 5.
- The symbol “DOT” attests to their compliance with safety rules. Each number indicates the equivalence of the boiling point of the liquid.
- The DOT 3 is suitable for normal use of the vehicle.
- The DOT 4 is suitable for cars equipped with an electronic trajectory corrector.
- The DOT 5.1 will be better suited to competition vehicles or equipped with an ABS braking system.
In any case, and whatever brake fluid you choose, we recommend that you have your brake fluid checked by a professional at least every 2 years or 20,000 kilometers, to ensure that it is in good condition. These types of brake fluid are usable.
A check every quarter is perfect. The level must be between the “mini” and “maxi” indicators engraved on the small jar generally placed above the master brake cylinder.
Make the level
Too generous filling does not cause any damage. But it is normal that the level gradually decreases over time: it corresponds to the lengthening of the race brake calipers (this is what makes them catch the wear pads). For this reason, the level is never reset to the “max” mark when the brakes are worn because when the pads are changed, the overflow will overflow the tank. With the different kinds of brake fluid this is very true.
Conclusion: check the brake pads
If the level is close to the mini, check the condition of your pads. If they are worn, replace them: the level will rise automatically by pushing the calipers pistons. However, if they are new or slightly worn, it is likely a leak in the braking system. Especially when you notice while braking slowly that your pedal sinks to the floor. Then consult a specialist without delay.