DO YOU REALLY NEED TO CHANGE YOUR BRAKE FLUID?
Most likely, each time you take your car into the shop for an oil change, you are told that you need to have the brake fluid changed. Even though we hear it time after time, most people have never actually done this—some have even switched shops because they got sick of hearing this advice. But maybe you should reconsider your decision to decline next time.
An increasing number of automakers are now calling for regular brake fluid changes in their service schedules. The reason: brake fluid absorbs moisture, and over time, that moisture can adversely affect costly braking-system components. The moisture can also adversely affect braking performance when the brakes heat, which happens when you drive in hilly areas or need to brake frequently.
Our advice is to follow your automaker’s brake-system maintenance schedule and, if the maker of your vehicle doesn’t address the issue of brake-fluid changes, have this service performed at least every three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. Many automakers specify a two-year or 24,000-mile interval.
This article originally appeared in the March/April 2018 issue of AAA World.