Honda Owner’s Guide to Changing the Brake Fluid
Did you know that there were nearly 5.3 million Honda vehicles sold in 2017 alone?
Most of these automobiles were sold in North America and it’s safe to say to this car company is highly popular among US citizens. They like it because it’s reliable, easy to drive and require less maintenance in comparison with other vehicles. This means reduced costs when it comes to replacing brake fluid, changing brake pads or air filters. In fact, you can save even more money by doing certain maintenance tasks on your own. For example, you can do a Honda brake fluid change in less than an hour without requiring complicated tools.
Does that sound interesting to you? If the answer is yes, keep reading to learn more about brake fluid changes and how often should you do it.
What Is Brake Fluid?
Your Honda has a hydraulic-based break system. This involves a fluid which travels through the brake lines and applying pressure on brake pads. These pads transfer this pressure to the wheels of your car, slowing them down. The more pressure you apply, the quicker your car stops.
If the brake fluid gets contaminated, pressure decreases while pressing the brake pedal and this means that your car will be unable to stop quickly enough. This can lead to dangerous situations and you probably now understand how important it is to keep your Honda’s braking system in check.
Why Brakes Get Deteriorated Over Time?
The brake fluid is contained in a closed mechanical environment, so theoretically, there are no leaks. However, as you use your vehicle on a daily basis, moisture might leak into the braking system and cause gunk or even rust. This will reduce the efficiency of the braking fluid and that’s how brakes deteriorate.
Similarly, contaminated brake fluid reduces its boiling point. As a result, any water content in the braking system will evaporate, leading to reduced pressure when braking. Since less pressure is applied, the brake pads won’t work as efficiently and the brakes of your Honda will be compromised.
How Often Should I Change The Brake Fluid?
Each manufacturer offers a certain schedule when it comes to changing the brake fluid. For example, your Honda might require a brake fluid replacement once every 3 years. Check the car’s owner manual for more details about this. If you’re not sure, a good rule of thumb is to change the brake fluid once every 2 years. It’s better to be on the safe side when it comes to the braking system of your car and that’s why you should change it more often.
With that being said, the brake fluid changing schedule also depends on the performance of your vehicle and how you use it. For example, very fast vehicles with a large engine capacity tend to put more stress on their braking system and you’ll have to change the brake fluid once every 6 months. Racing cars might require a brake fluid change every 1-2 months.
Types Of Brake Fluid
There are several types of brake fluids available on the market. However, it’s important to know that in most cases you don’t need a special type of brake fluid for your Honda vehicle. As long as you don’t have a race car, the standard brake fluid you can find in auto shops is good enough.
With that being said, here are a few types of brake fluids you need to know about:
1. DOT 3
This Is a glycol-ether based fluid and it’s ideal for regular vehicles. The DOT 3 brake fluid can have a boiling point around 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. DOT 4
This type of brake fluid is similar to the DOT 3 one, but it might contain additional additives to increase the minimum boiling point. DOT 4 brake fluid is usually used for high-performance vehicles and race cars. However, you can also use DOT 4 for regular vehicles if the manufacturer of the car allows it.
3. DOT 5
This brake fluid is more expensive than the other fluids and used for special purposes. It’s not suitable for regular vehicles, so you can avoid it next time when you shop for brake fluids.
4. DOT 5.1
The last one in our list is DOT 5.1 which is relatively similar to DOT 3 and DOT 4 fluids, but it has a lower viscosity. Some vehicles specifically require this fluid, but if it’s not stated in your car’s manual, you can also avoid this one and go for the DOT 3 or DOT 4 instead.
How to Bleed The Brakes?
Bleeding the brakes is a process required when changing the brake fluid.
You can do it on your own and it implies pushing new brake fluid through the brake lines to force the old fluid out of the system. This will also eliminate any gunk, rust or other impurities accumulated in the braking system.
For this, you’ll need a wrench to open the brake calipers, a container and someone to press the brake pedal to force fluid out of the system. The catch container will receive old fluid as it gets out of your vehicle.
It’s important to carefully bleed the brakes of your Honda, without opening the valves too much because this can let air bubbles get inside the brake system.
Change The Brake Fluids Of Your Honda Today!
If the process mentioned above seems complicated or you simply want a professional to change the brake fluid of your Honda, you should find a nearby Honda service shop and take your vehicle there.
The professionals won’t only change the brake fluid for you, but they can also do other maintenance operations which ensure that the braking system works correctly. After all, your safety on the road is the most important thing in the world, right?