The Science Behind Brake Fluid: A Deep Dive

Brake fluid check


Your car essentially has two primary modes when driving around Federal Way – it’s either in motion or temporarily stopped. Whether parking or stopping at a red light, brakes stop your car. One vital component Sumner drivers often overlook the brake fluid. To understand brake fluid science, the team at Sunset Kia of Auburn has compiled an accessible guide.

What is Brake Fluid?

Understanding brake fluid science begins with defining it. Put simply, brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid specifically formulated to transmit force within your car’s braking system.

Your car’s braking system operates on a hydraulic principle. When the brakes are depressed, the brake fluid, housed in the master cylinder, is pressurized. This pressure is transmitted through the brake lines to the calipers or wheel cylinders at each wheel, forcing the brake pads or shoes to contact the brake discs or drums. This friction is what ultimately slows down and stops your vehicle.

Understanding Brake Fluid Science

Understanding the science behind brake fluid lies in its ability to withstand extreme temperatures and pressure. Brake fluid is hygroscopic, naturally absorbing moisture from the surrounding air over time. This moisture absorption lowers the fluid’s boiling point, preventing potential corrosion.

Regular brake fluid maintenance is crucial. Periodic checks and timely replacements ensure that your brake fluid retains optimal properties. You can always schedule service and learn more about your vehicle’s maintenance schedule with one of our technicians near Puyallup.

Different Types of Brake Fluid

There are primarily two types of brake fluid:

  • Glycol-based brake fluid
  • Silicone-based brake fluid

A Department of Transportation number categorizes glycol-based brake fluids: DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5.1. In particular, DOT 3 offers excellent performance for everyday driving. Silicone-based brake fluid, or DOT 5, is less common and typically used in high-performance or specialty vehicles. We’ve pointed out elsewhere how you can check your brake fluid; ask one of our specialists if you need further information on the different types of brake fluid.

Understand How Brake Fluid Works Near Auburn

Understanding brake fluid science should be one step easier now. Rely on Sunset Kia of Auburn to answer your questions about the fluids that power your Kia vehicle. Aside from regular brake fluid changes, rely on us for the best oil changes near Renton. Visit our Auburn location today.


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