If you're an enthusiastic motorist and love to cruise down Australian highways and byways with the top down on a sunny summer's day, you may have a convertible model that you only use when the season rolls around. For the rest of the year you may keep this vehicle in your garage under some dust sheets and may now be in the process of uncovering it and getting ready for some adventure. However, you need to take time to make some critical inspections before you even think of taking the car on the road and in particular, you should inspect your brake's hydraulic equipment. Why is this important and what do you need to be on the lookout for?
Risks of Inaction
If you live in a particularly humid part of the country, you should know that brake fluid is at greater risk of contamination, due to the fact that it tends to attract moisture from the atmosphere. In particular, fluid that is sitting within a car in storage will be far more likely to be contaminated, which can present a potential safety risk. Furthermore, rubber components that may sit still for a long period of time can start to deteriorate and this can also affect the security of the hydraulic system.
What You Need to Look for
Begin by having a look at the condition of the fluid by removing the cap on the reservoir and having a look inside. If you can see any residue in the fluid, then it's possible that it's contaminated and the entire system should be flushed through.
Next, have a look at the brake master cylinder and see if the seals are in good condition, and then continue by looking at all of the hoses (especially those around the brake disc and caliper) together with the metal brake lines found inside the engine bay. If you can see any evidence of leakage or deterioration, then you will need to replace those parts as well before replacing the fluid.
Don't be tempted to use some "spare" brake fluid that may be sitting on a shelf in your garage. It's always best to buy a brand-new product, which will be untainted.
Scheduling a Service
Before the season really begins, it's best to give your vehicle a complete service and don't forget to ask the technician to have a careful look at the hydraulic brake system, as a priority.