BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Mini, Rolls-Royce, Porsche, & VW 294 Reviews
8498 Miller Road, The Woodlands, TX 77354 Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Brake fluid- what’s the big deal?

REMEMBER ABR Houston is giving away free brake pads for the Marines Toys for Tots this November- Bring in new unused toys, and we’ll give you FREE brakes!

Brake Fluid Basics

Brake fluid is a specially formulated hydraulic fluid that plays a critical role in your vehicle’s braking system. It serves as the medium through which the force you apply to the brake pedal is transmitted to the brake calipers, which in turn squeeze the brake pads against the rotors. This generates the friction needed to slow down and stop your vehicle.

Types of Brake Fluid

There are several types of brake fluid, with the most common ones being DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5. These classifications are defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and they have distinct properties:

  1. DOT 3 Brake Fluid: This is a glycol-based brake fluid and is commonly found in most everyday vehicles. It has a relatively low boiling point, making it suitable for regular driving conditions.
  2. DOT 4 Brake Fluid: DOT 4 brake fluid is also glycol-based but has a higher boiling point than DOT 3. It’s commonly used in performance and European vehicles. Its higher boiling point makes it more resistant to brake fade during aggressive driving.
  3. DOT 5 Brake Fluid: Unlike the first two, DOT 5 is silicone-based. It has a high boiling point and is less hygroscopic, meaning it doesn’t absorb moisture as readily. However, it’s not compatible with most brake systems and is primarily used in specialized applications.



Why is Brake Fluid Exchange Important? Brake fluid exchange is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Moisture Absorption: Brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means it can absorb moisture from the air. Over time, moisture contamination can lead to rust, corrosion, and reduced braking performance.
  2. Boiling Point: Brake fluid operates at high temperatures, especially during heavy braking. If it absorbs too much moisture, its boiling point decreases, potentially leading to brake fade, where the brakes become less effective.
  3. Protecting Expensive Components: Many modern vehicles, especially European ones, are equipped with advanced brake systems. Regular brake fluid maintenance helps protect these expensive components from damage, saving you from costly repairs. An Antilock braking unit (ABS) can cost thousands of dollars to replace. A brake fluid exchange is a fraction of this cost.

When Should You Exchange Brake Fluid? As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended to exchange brake fluid every two years. However, the specific interval may vary based on your vehicle’s make and model. We use a brake fluid moisture detector to know the actual moisture content. Always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for manufacturer-recommended service intervals.

Alex Noll

CEO – ABR Houston
832-797-9114 8498 Miller Road, The Woodlands Texas 77354

Welcome to ABR Houston, the leading European auto repair shop in The Woodlands. With over a decade of experience and a proven history of serving over 10,000 satisfied customers, we have recently relocated our shop to The Woodlands to better serve our valued clients. Our commitment to exceptional service and expertise remains our priority. From routine maintenance to intricate repairs, our dedicated team is determined to keep you confidently on the road. Trust in the experience and reliability of ABR Houston, where customer satisfaction drives our passion for excellence. Your Local Experts for AudiBMWMiniRolls-Royce & Volkswagen Service In The Woodlands.

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