Why You Need to Pay Particular Attention to Your Vehicle's Brakes
Most people take the operation of their vehicle for granted if truth be told, even though they are aware that certain parts will wear out. When it comes to vehicle maintenance, however, some components are more important than others. In particular, you need to pay attention to your braking system, as it has to deal with a lot of wear and tear and can sometimes degrade faster than it should. Why should you take special care here?
The braking system, like most other moving parts in the car, relies on a certain type of lubrication in order to function. This lubricant is known as brake fluid and is especially engineered to cope with very high temperatures. This should be the primary focus of your attention, as it cannot simply be added and then forgotten.
Brake fluid works through hydraulic action, as it causes pressure through the system in order to bring the vehicle to a stop. While engine oil is meant simply to lubricate moving parts, the brake fluid actually helps to push the pistons inside the brake calipers, slowing down the brake discs and stopping the car. A great deal of friction is generated during this deceleration process, and the brake fluid has to cope with high-pressure and rocketing temperatures.
The very nature of the brake fluid means that it is susceptible to moisture. This hygroscopic nature means that moisture will be absorbed into the fluid, should it come into contact with the air and it also has the tendency to absorb minute particles of water. Even though the system may appear to be completely sealed, a certain amount of moisture will nevertheless penetrate, and over time, this can cause a loss of efficiency.
The government is very careful to regulate the manufacture of brake fluid and applies specific safety ratings to each product. These ratings dictate how well the given product can resist the effect of heat and moisture. In turn, the automobile manufacturers design their system for brake fluid that has a specific type of DOT rating. Never use the wrong type of fluid in your system, and refer to your owner's manual for advice.
You should never be tempted to ignore service intervals recommended by the manufacturer. If you have done, book your car in for a service now so that you can have the brake fluid checked and flushed if necessary.