October 5, 2011
The brakes are the most important safety system on your vehicle, and the entire system relies on the hydraulic power of brake fluid to function properly. Modern vehicles use hydraulically actuated brakes, which work by using fluid to transfer brake pedal pressure from the master cylinder down through the lines and eventually on to each individual brake. In reality, the system is not as complex as it initially sounds.
Brake fluid is a very specific chemical blend and is extremely resistant to boiling and breaking down. Over time, however, air and moisture can be introduced into the system, compromising your safety and the effectiveness of your brakes. This usually translates to the driver as a spongy or soft brake pedal. Fortunately, the fluid is relatively inexpensive and easy to change, and most shops won’t charge over an hour labor for the procedure. We recommend bleeding your vehicle’s brakes every two years or whenever brake pedal feel changes.