Typical Cost: Low
Mobile Repair? Yes
Typical Lead Time: 24 - 48 hours depending on mechanic availability
Brake fluid is a specifically created hydraulic fluid that is used to transfer the force created by pressing down onto the brake pedal into pushing the brake pads (or shoes) against the brake discs.
Unlike water for instance, hydraulic brake fluid doesn’t condense when pressure is applied to it. Due to its molecular structure this means that the force applied at one end of an enclosed area has reduced loss at the other end.
When the foot brakes are applied, a pressure is created in the brake master cylinder, which then transfers through the brake pipes to force the piston in the brake caliper or wheel cylinder out and therefore pushes the brake pads or shoes against the discs and drums.
Brake fluid is hygroscopic and will absorb moisture over time. The ingress of water reduced the fluid resistance to compression and this will make the brakes inefficient. You may notice a reduction in reaction and could even start to experience more brake fade as the water will reduce the boiling point of the fluid.
Therefore the fluid should be replaced every 5 years at least. Whilst you may not notice any reduction in braking ability, it will have been a very gradual decline and therefore not an immediate, noticeable drop off.
If you make heavy use of your brakes, from your driving style or towing a caravan for example, you may find that your brakes will loose their ability to slow the vehicle. This brake fade is due to the fluid’s boiling point being reached and that has a detrimental effect on its hydraulic properties. So, if you notice smoke coming out the wheels after heavy or prolonged braking it’s quite likely the fluid will have been boiled. Even though it will cool down, it will start to absorb more moisture and its efficiency will be reduced.
Changing brake fluid is a routine repair for all mechanics and can be done both kerbside as well as in the workshop, providing it is safe to do so.
Whilst there are variations between manufacturers, the basics are pretty similar.
The mechanic will;
Unless otherwise stated, the quote for your brake fluid to be replaced will cover;
Brake fluid change
Brake pads replacement
Brake discs and pads replacement
Brake caliper replacement
Brake pipe replacement
Brake hose replacement
Wheel cylinder replacement
The cost of replacing the brake fluid depends on your car and what fluid your car's manufacturer recommends.
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No, we will not fit customer supplied parts unless they are a brand new item, purchased from a dealership with the receipt as proof of purchase. There is no flexibility over this due to insurance and warranty issues.
In this scenario, the mechanic will provide a no obligation quote for the correct repair. Should you accept this, the mechanic can alter the booking accordingly. If you decide not to go ahead with the alternative repair, the mechanic can change the booking to a call out and diagnostic booking and charge according to the time spent with the vehicle and call out.