Brake Fluid Flush & Replacement

A brake fluid flush is a method that removes old brake fluid and replaces it with new brake fluid in your brake system.

But When are you going to need one? And how useful is it?

What Is A Brake Fluid Flush?

Brake fluid flush is the process of draining old or contaminated fluid from your brake system to replace it with clean and fresh brake fluid. Flushing your vehicle’s brakes helps to keep them healthy and effective.

But What Exactly Does A Brake Fluid Do?

When you press down on the brake pedal, the brake master cylinder is activated. The brake master cylinder, in turn, forces the brake fluid along the brake line to the brakes at each wheel.

A plunger inside the master cylinder forces pressurized fluid into the brake caliper pistons— if your vehicle has a disc brake system. These hydraulic pistons then press the brake pads against the wheel rotor, causing friction. And this frictional force helps in the vehicle’s stopping.

In a drum brake assembly, on the other hand, pressurized brake fluid acts on the wheel cylinder, pushing a set of brake shoes against the drums to stop your wheels.

There are two types of brake fluid flushes, regardless of whether you use drum brakes or disc brakes:

  • Chemical flushing is a decontamination method in which a chemical, such as denatured alcohol is used to flush out contaminants and restore the quality of your brake fluid.
  •  Routine maintenance flush involves completely draining the old or dirty brake fluid and replacing it with new brake fluid.

4 Signs That You Need A Brake Fluid Flush

Your brake system is made up of various components that function together.

Many of these components are linked by brake lines and hoses, which transmit and amplify forces using brake fluid. As a result, it’s critical to ensure that your brake fluid maintains its quality and does not compromise with the function of your other brake components.

Here are several warning signs that your brake fluid needs to be replaced:

  • The ABS light turns on
  • There is a brake fluid leak
  • The brake pedal is spongy. 
  • The brake fluid is much darker or dirtier

How Often Should You Flush Your Brake Fluid?

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to fluid flushes.

Most experienced mechanics recommend that you change your brake fluid every 30,000 miles or every two years. This should alleviate most of the consequences of aging and poor brake fluid.

You can also review your vehicle’s owner’s manual for a more precise estimate of how often a brake flush is required for your vehicle model.

However, if you frequently use the vehicle’s brakes aggressively, such as in stop-and-go traffic, you might need a brake flush sooner.

How Much Does A Brake Fluid Flush Cost?

A brake fluid flush can range between $90 and $200.

It depends on the type of new brake fluid you will choose and the cost of auto repair labor in your area. Furthermore, it can be affected by the year, model, engine, and make of your vehicle.