Check your car's brake fluid to make sure the corrosion inhibitor hasn't worn out. It protects the steel brake lines from rust.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine:April 2008
Dip the test strip into the brake fluid reservoir and
wait for it to change color.
Compare the test strip with the color chart to determine the condition of the
fluid. Replace your brake fluid if the color of the strip falls in the “required
As with every other fluid in your car, brake fluid contains a main ingredient along
with protective additives. The main ingredient in brake fluid doesn't degrade, but the
additives do. The most important additive is a corrosion inhibitor. The corrosion
inhibitor prevents internal rusting of steel brake lines, calipers and ABS (antilock
brake system) components. Once the inhibitors are exhausted, even minute amounts
of moisture can cause dangerous and costly corrosion.
Most car manufacturers recommend a complete brake fluid flush every two
years or 24,000 miles. Rather than rely on a general recommendation, you can test
the actual condition
of your brake fluid.
Remove the cover of
the master cylinder
and dip a strip into
the fluid. Shake off
the excess fluid and
wait 60 seconds
before comparing the
color of the strip with
the guide on the
package. The guide
tells you when it's
time to change the
fluid. Find a package of
25 BrakeStrip test
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
You'll need plastic gloves.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
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