Tip & How-To about Acura CL

Brake System Maintenance For Safety

The brake fluid that we have inherited is rather a poor compromise dating back many years, and unfortunately there is little we can do about it because any replacement will not be compatible with the Glycol Ether based fluid we use. It has most of the qualities needed in a hydraulic brake fluid, such as some lubricity, high boiling point, high flash point and very low compressibility, but it has several very bad properties, the worst being that it is reasonably hygroscopic - it absorbs moisture from the air. This moisture forms globules and eventually droplets of water which find their way into the lower parts of the brake system, the wheel brake cylinders, and there it sits, peacfully eating into the cylinder walls.
To overcome this danger and protect the braking system of any vehicle, it is imperative that the brake fluid should be changed regularly, at least every two years, and in moist climates, once a year.
What this entails is removing the old fluid from the reservoir, refilling it with fresh fluid and then bleeding each wheel until new fluid is seen coming out of the bleeder tube. During this operation it is important to ensure that the reservoid is kept full or air will be introduced into the brake system and the bleeding process will have to be done over again.
This may sound like a major task, but it will save costly wheel cylinder replacements and prevent the danger of brake failure due to contaminated friction surfaces or through total fluid loss because of leaking corroded brake components.
As little as 4% contamination will lower the boiling point of the brake fluid from 230 deg. Celsuis to about 150 deg. Celsius, greatly increasing the possibility of brakes fading or locking under emergency conditions.
Water contaminated fluid also damages the rubber flex hoses in the system leading to clogging or perishing of the pipes with the possibility of brakes locking and causing skidding.

Posted by on

Cars & Trucks Logo

Related Topics:

Related Questions:

1 Answer

my zd30 has the front brakes coming on as you drive

The brakes will not come on and stay on as you drive. If that is what is happening then the issue is the front brakes pads are not releasing from the rotors after you take your foot off the brakes. This is caused by a blockage in the front flexible brake lines which will occur if the brake fluid is not kept clean and, more importantly, if the brake hoses are not replaced every 6-7 years with new ones. Typically, brake hoses will deteriorate and block up near the connection points and lock the brakes pads in position once the brakes are applied by the driver because the fluid will not flow back into the master cylinder when the brakes are released.

The only other means for the brakes to be applied (other than by the driver) is with the anti lock braking system if that system is fitted on your vehicle. However the system will not behave as you have described which I believe is caused by blocked front brake hoses due to very poor maintenance on the brake system.

Mar 10, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Our motorhome brakes go out at intervals usually after sitting for a short time idling then when brake is applied there is none. It is 1987 FordE 350. Is it a brake fluid problem? Is this inherit in that model? Help?

If the brake pedal sinks with light foot pressure but is hard when you stab the pedal the cause is the brake fluid bypassing inside the Master cylinder. Replace and bleed or rebuild the Cylinder.

Please 3 or 4 stars only or dont vote as 1 or 2 stars are negative feedback

Aug 03, 2011 | Ford E-350 Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

proper way to bleed brakes on 2004 chevy impala

To bleed brakes on your particular vehicle is the same as it's been for Years. Start at the wheel furthest away from the Master Cylinder. (a helper is needed to do this unless you have a pressurized brake bleeding unit). Start the car and have someone pump the brake up about ten times and hold the brake pedal down. Then at your right rear wheel, open the bleeder and allow the air and brake fluid to squirt out. Close the bleeder while your helper still has his foot on the brake and repeat until nothing but brake fluid comes out...then move to your left rear, right front and finally left front doing the same thing. Between going to another wheel, have your helper check the master cylinder's fluid level for if it goes dry during your bleeding operation, then you'll just be putting air back into the system. A couple of words of caution here...the first is that brake fluid is highly corrosive to paint, so make sure you immediately wipe it from painted surfaces and number two: DO NOT USE$ OLD BRAKE FLUID WHILE PERFORMING THIS OPERATION! Brake fluid has a quality about it that it absorbs moisture from the air...or the humidity. In this case, you're introducing water into your brake system which means all metal parts in your braking system that's in contact with this poor mixture will eventually fail due to rust. Yes, rust will form from old brake fluid with moisture in it and can cause a metal piston in a brake caliper to "freeze" causing a violent jerking of the wheel when applying brakes normally while driving. ALWAYS use fresh brake fluid (unopened), when performing a job such as this.

Hope this Helps,


"Still living on the Right Side of Dirt..."

May 18, 2010 | 2004 Chevrolet Impala

1 Answer

I changed the rear brakes on my Jetta tdi and now the brake pedal goes all the way to the floor. It does stop eventually and the parking brakes work. But it stops poorly

you probably have air in the line after brakes are done refill resevoir with brake fluid then the caliper has a little screw for bleeding brakes you must pump brakes 2-3 times leave your foot down until you have someone else open the screw on the caliper to release air or sometimes brake fluid close screw and repeat until the petal gets hard again do it to both rear brakes see if this works..

Mar 21, 2010 | 2000 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

Not finding what you are looking for?

2,079 people viewed this tip

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Acura Experts


Level 3 Expert

75077 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22095 Answers

Jeff Turcotte
Jeff Turcotte

Level 3 Expert

7768 Answers

Are you an Acura Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions