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What To Know About Your Vehicle's Brake Fluid

There are so many things that can go wrong with your vehicle. The key to keeping your vehicle well maintained is to know how it works and what problems to look for so that you can take it to be repaired sooner rather than later. Here is what you should know about your vehicle's brake fluid because you want to have problems fixed before the ability to stop your vehicle safely is impaired. 

Understanding The Hydraulic Brake System

It helps to understand how your hydraulic brake system works so that you know what is going on under the hood. When you put pressure on the brake pedal, a pistol goes inside a master cylinder that pushes fluid through the brake lines. That fluid then goes into the wheel cylinder where it then forces friction material to push against the rotors, which causes the vehicle to stop. 

Your vehicle has two hydraulic circuits, one each for the front and rear tires. These operate independently so that if there is a problem with one hydraulic circuit, you'll still have brakes that work from the other circuit. Your braking power will be reduced, but you'll still have working brakes. 

Identifying A Brake Problem

There is a simple test you can perform to tell if you have a problem with the brake fluid traveling through your vehicle's brake system. Start by testing the brake pedal with the vehicle turned off, and get a good feel for how far the pedal goes down and the type of resistance that you are feeling. Hold the brake pedal down and start your vehicle. The brake pedal should go down slightly and feel firm, which means that the brake fluid is working properly. 

Be concerned if the pedal feels different when you start your vehicle. For example, the resistance may change, the pedal feels loose, or the pedal goes straight to the floor. This means that you have a problem with the hydraulic brake system. You could have a master cylinder that is not working like, a leak somewhere in the brake fluid lines where you are losing pressure, or air trapped in the brake fluid lines. 

Fixing The Problem

A mechanic will inspect the brake system by looking at the master cylinder and checking for damage. They'll also inspect all lines to identify leaks and replace brake lines if necessary. The will also bleed the brake lines, which is the process of removing any air from the lines that is causing the problem. 

To learn more, contact a company like Northern Brake and Transmission.