Monthly Archives: October 2015

How to Get Quality Automotive Services

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How to Get Quality Automotive Services

Automotive repair services are no different from any other service. You are entitled to get what you pay for, but how do you know you are getting good repair services if you do not know how a car works, and therefore how long a particular repair is likely to last? How can you tell that you are not being ripped off by an unscrupulous mechanic or repair shop if you don’t know what they did to your car to get it working again?  Read on and we will tell you how to tell if you are getting good auto repair services.

Look for Professional Certifications

The processes of training and certification of auto mechanics differ from country to country, but almost all countries have systems in place to regulate these processes. In fact, in many countries it is illegal for a mechanic to perform car repairs unless he is properly certified by a governing body, so your first step should be to ask about the qualifications and certifications of the people that are going to work on your car.
Qualifications and certificates of competence always include the name(s) of the training and/or certification authority, so be sure to check with these bodies if you suspect that a certificate may not be authentic.

Expect Great Customer Service

Repair shops depend on their good reputations and level of customer service to keep their existing clients, and to attract new business. If the reception you receive is poor, it is almost certain that you will receive poor repair services as well. If the management refuses to answer your questions or discuss your concerns with you, walk away because you will not receive quality service from such an establishment.

Get The Cost of Repairs Upfront

Price alone should never be the sole determining factor, but then again, the quoted price you receive should not differ by more than 10-, or 15% of that charged by other shops in the area. What is more important is the willingness of the shop staff to give you a breakdown of the costs of a repair. An honest mechanic will always tell you what needs to be done to effect a professional repair, and what each step in the repair process will cost, with both parts and labor charges included, as well as an estimate on the time required to carry out the work.
If you are provided with this information in a friendly, open, and transparent manner, it is certain that you will receive high quality services and customer care as well.

Ask About Parts Quality

Many mechanics use cheap, substandard parts to save costs and increase their profits. This is a world-wide phenomenon, and your best defense against this is to insist on the mechanic telling you where he gets his parts from.  No reputable mechanic will have a problem showing you the packaging of parts he uses for other cars, so check for well known and trusted brands.

Unbranded packaging is a sure sign of poor quality parts, and if you see this in a repair shop, you will receive poor, substandard services.

Look for A Neat and Tidy Shop

Repair shops that are neat, tidy, and well organized take pride in their work, which translates into good service and customer care. Return visits by unhappy clients because of recurring problems are bad for any repair shop, but shops that are proud of the quality of the services they provide are unlikely to see many customers return because the original problem was not repaired properly.
The same cannot be said for shops that are dirty, disorganized, or cluttered up by derelict cars and tools, parts, and other rubbish lying on the floor. Such a shop is not capable of providing high quality services, so avoid them at all costs.

Ask About Warranties

Mechanics that are proud of their work and professionalism will have no problem with issuing a warranty on the work they perform. This is especially important in cases where cars are no longer covered by factory warranties or maintenance plans.
In some countries, mechanics are legally obliged to issue warranties on workmanship, but where this is not a legal requirement, insist on a warranty against defects in workmanship- if the mechanic is honest and professional, he will have no problem with it, since his reputation depends on the high level of service he provides.

A final thought…

If you follow the tips outlined here, you can be almost certain that you will receive professional, high quality automotive services; however, you will never receive high quality services if you continually jump from one mechanic to the next, or if you are not clear about your needs and expectations. Mechanics are prohibited from carrying out unauthorized work unless the unauthorized work is required to compete the requested work safely, which means that replacing, or repairing something you did not authorize does not necessarily mean you were ripped off.

Honest and professional mechanics will always inform you if something else needs to be fixed, replaced, or rebuilt to complete a repair safely and reliably, and if this happens, you can be sure you are receiving a professional, high quality service because the mechanic or repair shop has your safety as their first priority- which is always a good thing.

How To Replace Your Car’s Headlight Bulbs

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How To Replace Your Car’s Headlight Bulbs

On many modern cars, it is almost impossible to replace headlight bulbs on a DIY basis because of the very cramped conditions in the engine bay. In some cases, the battery and/or other components have to be removed, while in many other instances, the entire headlight assembly has to be physically removed from the vehicle to gain access to the bulb. In these cases, the better option would be to have the bulbs replaced by professional mechanics.

However, for the purposes of this article, we will assume that access to the bulbs is possible without having to remove anything, so below is a step-by-step guide on how to replace your own headlight bulbs.

Step 1

Locate the wiring that leads into headlight. The wiring will often pass through a protective rubber cap, which has to be pulled off the back of the headlight assembly to gain access to the bulb holder. Remove this rubber cap, but note its position, since they often only fit back on in a particular way.

Step 2

In almost all cases, there will be three wires that are connected to the bulb with a plastic connector. Be careful when detaching the connector since in many cases, the connections can be extremely tight. Excessive force can damage, or even destroy the spring clip that holds the bulb in place in the headlight assembly. Apply a steady force, and move the connector from side to side slightly while pulling it off the bulb, but avoid sudden, violent movements that could damage the bulb holder.

Step 3

With the wiring detached, take a moment to look how the bulb is held in place. In some cases, there might be an intricate spring clip that hooks onto the headlight assembly in a certain way. In other cases, there might be small screws, so before you do anything, make sure you know how the bulb is held in place. At this point, it might be a good idea to take several clear pictures for future reference.

This is important since in some cases, you will not be able to see the indentations and notches that determine the bulb’s orientation in the holder. All bulbs fit into the holders in a certain way, which makes it important to have pictures to refer to if you cannot see how the bulb fits.

Step 4

Remove the old bulb from the holder, and fit the replacement without touching the glass part. The oil on your skin will stick to the glass, which will cause that part of the glass to heat up more than the rest, which in turn, will drastically reduce the life of the new bulb.
Replace all retaining devices in the exact reverse order of removal, and made double sure that nothing can come undone by checking that all screws are tight, and that the spring loaded retaining clip is properly hooked into place.

Step 5

Re-attach the plastic wiring connector, and replace the protective rubber cap. Make sure this cap is securely in place to prevent dirt and water from entering, or coming into contact with the wiring.  Switch on the headlights, and check that both the high-and low beams are working.

Helpful Hints and Tips

  • If you accidentally touch the glass of a new bulb, use an alcohol-based solvent to clean it.
  • Since the brightness of bulbs decrease over time, always replace headlight bulbs in pairs to ensure that both lights shine at the same level of brightness.
  • Resist the temptation to buy tinted headlight bulbs, since they might be illegal in your country, even though they are widely available.
  • The best quality headlight bulbs are those sold at the authorized dealer. Many aftermarket bulbs that claim to be brighter than OEM equipment do not last as long, and besides, the best aftermarket bulbs available are less than 10% brighter than standard bulbs.
  • If your car still uses sealed beam-type headlights, and you have replaced them for whatever reason, always have the lights reset at a reputable repair shop to ensure the lights do not blind oncoming drivers, and that they illuminate the road correctly to ensure proper vision at night.

Five Signs Your Car Battery Is Failing

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Five Signs Your Car Battery Is Failing

Nowadays it is rare to find a car battery that lasts for longer than three years or so, mainly because car batteries have reached the limits of their development potential. The demands of modern automotive electrical systems are such that batteries work much harder now than they have ever done in the past, and unless completely new battery technology is developed, all of us will at some point get that sinking feeling when the engine suddenly will not crank- just as we are leaving for an important meeting across town.

So how do you know when your battery is about to die on you? Some symptoms are not clear cut, since there are other issues that can mimic the symptoms of a flat or defective battery, so read on, and we will tell you how to diagnose a defective battery.

Slow Engine Cranking Speed

08-1_Weak-HeadlightsSlow cranking speeds can be caused by a defective starter motor, and/or poor ground connections, but if the engine cranks slowly, one way to test the battery is to let go of the key, and to switch on the wipers and the headlights.

If the wipers work noticeably slower than usual, or if the headlights appear markedly dimmer than usual, the battery is most likely defective.

If the lights and wipers work normally, the cause of the slow cranking is more likely to be:

  • A defective starter motor
  • Poor ground connections between the engine and the body work on the one hand,
  • Poor ground connection between the battery and the engine.

However, in some cases, the engine might start to crank fast, but gradually slows down as the battery fails. This is a sure sign of a defective battery, and most other possible causes can be ruled out.

Illuminated CHECK ENGINE Light

Check Engine LightEven though the car might start normally, low battery voltages can trigger the CHECK ENGINE light. Most critical systems that collectively make up the Engine Management System require full battery voltages to work, and even though they may work, they will not work at peak efficiency, and the fact that they receive less than a full battery charge will register on the OBD system, which will trigger the light.

Some symptoms of low battery voltages include rough, or erratic idling, misfiring at high engine speeds, and sporadic illumination of various warning lights, slow wiper speeds, malfunctions of the alarm, security, and central locking systems, erratic instrument readings, and even frequent, and unpredictable stalling of the engine.

Moreover, low input voltages can damage sensitive components, which can add huge amounts to the replacement cost of the battery, so never ignore any warning lights, even though the car may appear to be functioning satisfactorily, since not all cars will exhibit outward signs and symptoms of low battery voltages.

The only reliable way to confirm or eliminate the battery as the faulty component is to have a comprehensive diagnostic check performed, since even professional mechanics often overlook the battery as a possible cause of the illuminated battery light.

Frequent Jump Starts Required

08-2_Jump-StartsBatteries can fail without warning, so if you require a jump start in the afternoon when the car started normally in the morning, the battery is very likely at fault, especially if it is older than two years.

Another indicator of a defective battery is if the car will not start in the morning during cold spells, but starts in later in the day when temperatures have risen somewhat. The reason for this is that batteries are less efficient at low temperatures than at higher temperatures, which is why your battery has a “cold cranking capacity”.

In new batteries, this refers to the amount of power a battery can deliver at low temperatures, but as a battery ages, this capacity diminishes significantly, until it reaches the point where it does not work at all at low temperatures. The only reliable way to determine if this is the case is to have a “draw” test performed. Most battery centers will perform this test at no charge, provided you buy the replacement battery from them.

Smell of Battery Acid is Present

08-3_Car-Battery-AcidIf a battery has internal short circuit, the electrolyte, which is a mixture of sulfuric acid and distilled water, starts to boil, hence the characteristic smell of sulfur around the battery. However, a defective alternator can also cause the electrolyte to boil when it overcharges the battery, which will not necessarily trigger the CHECK ENGINE light, but it will eventually destroy the battery.

Nonetheless, even slight overcharging will damage the battery, which is why it is important to have the cause of the “rotten egg” smell investigated immediately it becomes apparent, or noticeable. Do NOT ignore this symptom, because a boiling battery generates large volumes of highly flammable hydrogen gas, which can produce potentially devastating explosions in the engine compartment, or worse, in the passenger compartment if the battery is located in the car, such as in many German cars.

Moreover, an overcharging alternator will not only damage the battery; it will almost certainly damage, and possibly destroy sensitive electronic components as well.

Battery Will Not Hold a Charge

08-4_Battery-Not-Hold-ChargeThere are several reasons why a battery will not hold a charge, such as defects in the electrical system that continually drains the battery over a period of hours to the point where it will not be able to start a car. However, other reasons include internal short circuits in the battery, or overcharging of the battery over extended periods of time, which causes the battery case to swell, deform, or form bulges on the sides of the case. Batteries that are damaged in this way will also run down in a matter of a few hours, and it may not be possible to recharge them when they do.

If this type of damage occurs, the only remedy is to replace the battery, and to have the car’s charging system checked at the same time to either confirm or eliminate overcharging as the cause of the battery failure. A thorough inspection of the car’s electrical system is also a good idea, because it will confirm or eliminate serious short circuits that could damage the replacement battery as well.

6 Signs That Your Car Needs Transmission Repairs

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6 Signs That Your Car Needs Transmission Repairs

No matter how well you look after your car in terms of regular maintenance and servicing, it is almost certain that you will encounter transmission related problems during the life of your car. Modern transmissions are extremely complex, and there are many things that can go wrong, but how do you know when it the problem is serious enough to warrant immediate attention?

The short answer is that any transmission problem is potentially serious (and expensive to repair), so if you recognise any of the symptoms below, have the issue investigated immediately to avoid adding to the repair bill.

Hesitation

There should be no hesitation at all when you try to move off from a standstill. Hesitation can be caused by low transmission fluid levels, excessive mechanical wear, and by fluid that is dirty, contaminated, or degraded as the result of overheating.
Hesitation is also dangerous from a safety perspective, since you could be hit by other cars from behind when they assume you are going to move, or, by drivers that don’t know your car is hesitating, especially when you plan to turn into, or across oncoming traffic from a side road.

Check Engine Light

Check Engine Light

On some cars the engine is controlled by the transmission, in the sense that the engine will not accelerate or respond to throttle inputs if there is something wrong with the transmission. In these cases, the CHECK ENGINE LIGHT will illuminate, even if the driver is not yet aware that a problem is developing.

CHECK ENGINE warning lights should never be ignored, and especially if the transmission is fitted with several “modes” of operation. The only reliable way to determine whether the engine or transmission is at fault is to have a comprehensive diagnostic check performed by qualified and certified technicians. If the transmission or transmission control module is defective, the transmission can fail completely and unexpectedly- even if the driver does not yet realize that there is an incipient problem present.

Mechanical Noises

All transmissions, regardless of whether they are manual or automatic, should operate without noises of any kind. Any clunking, grinding, whining, knocking, or thudding sounds are abnormal, and a sure sign that there is something seriously wrong with a transmission.
The most common cause of noisy transmissions is lack of lubrication, or the use of unsuitable lubricants and fluids, which from the perspective of a transmission, amounts to the same thing. Therefore it is vitally important to maintain the correct levels of only the lubricants that are specified for your vehicle.

Transmission Noise in Neutral

Transmissions may be noisy in neutral, but silent when gears are selected, which is a sure sign of worn parts, or fluid issues. In manual transmissions, this problem is almost always related to the condition of input shaft bearings, but in automatics, the problem could be any one, or all of a great many causes, such as worn or damaged clutch packs and planetary gears, among others.

However, resist the temptation to have the transmission flushed, even if a mechanic recommends it, on the grounds that the fluid might be dirty or degraded. Many, if not most mechanics cannot diagnose the cause(s) of noise(s) in automatic transmissions just by listening it, which is why you should only consult knowledgeable technicians on this particular issue.

Some transmissions are known to develop secondary problems after a flushing procedure, which why some manufacturers, such as Honda, prohibit the flushing of their transmissions. Other manufacturers might not ban the practice outright, but very few approve of the practice, so talk to your dealer before you flush your transmission.

Difficult, Harsh, or Erratic Shifting

There are dozens of possible causes for all, or any of these problems. Moreover, some symptoms can be the result of one or more problems, which is why it is very important to have any of these problems investigated and resolved as soon as they appear, because continued use of the transmission can lead to total failure.

Some of the more notable problems include the following:

  • Refusal to engage any gear.
  • Gear shifts are accompanied by mechanical noises, or harshness.
  • Vehicle does not accelerate as before.
  • Shifts happen unpredictably, or in some cases, erratically.
  • Hesitation in moving off from a standstill.
  • Vehicle has to be held stationary with the brakes while in “P”
  • Transmission “misses” some gears, for instance; it might shift into 3rd straight from 1st, or it might downshift from 4th gear into 1st, without going through the range as it should.

Vehicle Surges

While there are many possible causes of surging, one possible cause is occasional, or intermittent blockages of some fluid passages in the valve body of the transmission. The controlling mechanism of the transmission depends on sustained fluid pressure at different points at different times, which means that if a fluid passage is blocked intermittently, the clutch packs that transmit power in the transmission could slip, and engage on an intermittent basis.

Again, resist the temptation to have the transmission flushed, because the object that causes the intermittent blockage could become permanently lodged in a position where it could conceivably plug, and thus disable pressure circuits in the transmission.

When it comes to transmission problems, it is sometimes more cost effective to replace a transmission, as opposed to attempting repairs. Some failures and defects cannot be repaired economically, especially if the fluid had overheated.

Overheated transmission fluid forms several kinds of waxes and varnishes that can “weld” small parts together permanently, so when this happens to you, you might be better served by simply replacing the transmission, but be sure to have the cause of the overheating resolved as well to prevent a recurrence of the problem.

The Importance of Proper Wheel Alignment

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The Importance of Proper Wheel Alignment

While modern suspension systems work extremely well, they depend on complicated geometry to keep the wheels aligned, and the slightest misalignment results in poor directional control, rapid tire wear, and a host of other problems. It is no longer enough to have the wheels aligned only when you replace the tires: modern cars demand regular alignment checks to ensure long tire life, proper handling, and good fuel economy. But what is wheel alignment exactly and how is it performed? Read on and we will explain the issues.

What is Wheel Alignment?

If cars did not have suspension systems, the ideal set-up would be to have the wheels mounted perfectly perpendicular to the road surface and pointing straight ahead. However, cars do have suspension systems, and they consist of lots of components that all move and pivot in relation to each other, which change the position of each wheel in relation to the longitudinal axis of the car, as well as to each other.
Add to this the fact that almost all moving suspension components are mounted on flexible rubber mountings that wear out over time, which greatly affects the amount of wheel movement during both straight line tracking and cornering. Two more things to consider are the following:

  • Rolling resistance of a tyre tends to push the wheel towards the rear of the car
  • Torque on front wheel drive cars tends to pull the wheels forward.

Both of these motions exert large forces on the rubber bushings in the suspension, which deform to accommodate, or absorb these forces, but this results in the driving wheels being forced towards each other, which in turn, changes their positions in relation to the longitudinal axis of the car. Think of it this way: draw an imaginary line through each wheel along the length of the car, and the lines would extend forward to meet at some point in front of the car.

Now imagine applying driving torque to the front wheels, and being pulled forward, the two lines would move toward each other, since the deformation of the rubber bushings in the suspension are allowing the wheels to change their positions relative to each other. However, since the car is now moving, the rolling resistance pushes the wheels backward, which has the effect of separating the two imaginary lines, but only up to a point, since the force exerted by torque is larger than the rearward force caused by rolling resistance.

The Wheel Alignment Problem

The problem car designers have is to have the most tire contact with the road, with the least amount of rolling resistance, and to achieve this, they design cars in such a way that when they are at rest, the front wheels are either pointing away from each other, or in the case of rear wheel drive cars, pointing slightly towards each other. This is known as either “toe-in”, or, “toe-out”, which is cancelled out by the various forces at play when the car is moving under its own power. In cars on which the alignment is within specification, they tires will be almost perpendicular to the road surface, and pointing straight ahead, with the two imaginary lines extending nearly parallel to point very far in front of the car.

The same applies to the rear wheels; while they are subjected to different forces, the result is the same – the lines extending through each wheel will closely match those extending through the front wheels. On such a car, the wheels can be said to be aligned, and wear will occur evenly on the tires of each axle.

The Effects Of Miss-Alignment

Wheels can be miss-aligned on one axle, but also between axles, which usually happens when the rear axle is moved out of position because of accident damage or severe impacts with potholes and other obstacles. When this happens, the rear of the car will be pushed out of the track set by the front wheels, and while it may sometimes be possible to adjust the rear wheel alignment to compensate for this, in most cases the problem can only be repaired by replacement of the axle, or by extensive repairs by a competent accident repair specialist.

Other common effects of miss-aligned wheels include:

  • Rapid, or uneven tire wear:
    This happens because either the inside, or outside edges of the tire tread is forced into heavier contact with the road surface than other parts.
  • Poor directional control:
    Steering precision depends on the wheels being aligned in a certain way, and if this balance is upset, one, or both wheels will exert continuous steering forces on the car, which the other wheel(s) is forced to absorb, which in turn, causes rapid and uneven tire wear on both ties.
  • Increased fuel consumption:
    The rolling resistance of the wheels is just one force that needs to be overcome to keep a car moving, and with miss-aligned wheels, this resistance is increased in direct proportion to the amount of miss-alignment. Instead of the tire merely rolling along with the car, miss-alignment causes the tire to “rub” on the road surface, which can add as much a 10% to the amount of fuel used over a given time and period. Needless to say, tire “rubbing” can also reduce a tire’s life by up to 50%, and even more in extreme cases.
  • Increased wear on components:
    Miss-aligned wheels causes added strain on suspension parts such as ball joints, tie-rod ends, steering racks, control arm bushings, and others, since they are forced to absorb the increased forces involved in holding the wheels in place. With correctly aligned wheels, most of the forces involved in keeping the wheels aligned cancel each other out to some degree, which is one of the reasons these components last as long as they do.

There are of course other settings that influence wheel alignment, such as caster and camber, which determine the amount by which the pivot point of the steering moment deviates from the center of the wheel, and the amount by which the wheel deviates from the perpendicular relative to the road surface respectively.

Both of these settings are critical for correct wheel alignment, and serious deviations also lead to increased fuel consumption, rapid and uneven tire wear, added strain to suspension and steering components, and decreased vehicle control, which is why it is vitally important to have the wheel alignment checked, and corrected at least twice a year.
Doing this will not only save you fuel and extend the life of your tires- it will also give you a comfortable ride, and significantly reduce overall maintenance costs.

Why You Should Check Your Brake Fluid?

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Why You Should Check Your Brake Fluid

The importance of keeping your brake fluid in good condition cannot be over emphasised, and it is not an exaggeration to say that it is the single most important fluid in any vehicle. How well the brakes work depends entirely how clean, fresh, and free of water and other contaminants your brake fluid is, which is why it is vitally important to check your brake fluid at least once a week. So what do you look for when checking the brake fluid? Read on and we will explain the issues.

Check the Level

Check Brake Fluid Level

On most cars, the level of the brake fluid will be visible through the translucent plastic of the reservoir, on which the correct level will be clearly marked. Over filling the reservoir causes leaks, but more importantly, spilled brake fluid will eat through the paint of the engine compartment.

A small, gradual drop in the brake fluid level is normal, and is caused by the normal wear of the brakes, but a sudden drop indicates a leak. Leaks can be in one, or several places, such as the rear wheel cylinders, ruptured pipes, or out of the back of the master cylinder where it attaches to the brake booster.

All brake fluid leaks are potentially dangerous, which requires that they must be investigated and corrected without delay to prevent unexpected brake failure.

Check the Color

Fresh brake fluid is either straw or amber in color and while some types, such as DOT 5, or Dot 5.1 fluid can be purple in color, these formulations are not usually used in normal production vehicles.

Over time, brake fluid absorbs water from the atmosphere, which can change the color to dark yellow, light brown, or even black. Other causes of discoloration are contamination by mineral engine oil, or the wear particles of moving rubber seals in the master cylinder. Brake fluid in this condition is dangerous, and the entire brake system needs to be flushed to purge the contaminated fluid from the system.

However, while it is possible to flush the brake system on a DIY basis, the procedure is best left to a competent repair shop due to the extreme complexity of many modern brake systems. Making a mistake could allow air to enter the system which might be impossible to remove by traditional bleeding methods.

The best way to purge brake systems is by extracting the brake fluid with a vacuum, which precludes the possibility of air entering the system if the procedure is carried out correctly.

How to Spot Brake Fluid Related Problems

The first sign of contaminated brake fluid is excessive pressure required to stop the vehicle. This could of course also be caused by vacuum issues, but in the case of brake fluid, the pedal will have a soft, or “spongy” feel.

This is caused by the presence of water that boils as the brake fluid heats up, and there is no remedy for this other than a complete brake fluid replacement. Other signs of degraded brake fluid could be:

  • Excessive pedal travel due to the presence of water in the fluid.
  • Increased stopping distances. There are many caused of this, but if the brake fluid is discoloured in combination with longer stopping distances, replacing the brake fluid will restore the brakes to full efficiency.

Can I Mix Different Brake Fluid Types?

The short answer is NO. Brake fluids with DOT 3 and 4 designations consist of glycol bases to which a package of additives is added. These additives are meant to provide lubrication of moving parts, as well as prevent corrosion, but generally, these types of brake fluid are fully compatible.

However, brake fluid with DOT 5 and 5.1 are based on silicone, and while they do not absorb moisture, they are significantly more compressible than DOT 3 and 4 types, and they can, and must only be used in systems that are designed specifically for them. Typical applications would be on race cars, and other systems that work at higher temperatures than those encountered on normal production vehicles.

Adding DOT 5 brake fluid to your system will at the very least lead to increased stopping distances, as well as having to apply more pressure on the brake pedal than normal.

How to Store Brake Fluid

Brake fluid should never be stored for longer that it would take to get the job of replacing it done. Brake fluid can absorb water from the atmosphere even in sealed plastic containers since most plastics are permeable to water in varying degrees, so if you have container of brake fluid that is older than a few weeks, discard it.

Only purchase brake fluid in the quantities you require immediately, and never use brake fluid from unsealed container because there is no telling how much water it contains. If you absolutely must store brake fluid for any length of time, only purchase brake fluid in metal containers. Metal is the only material that provides adequate protection against water absorption, but even so, do not use the brake fluid if the container had been left unsealed even for a few hours. Water is brake fluid’s greatest enemy, and if you allow contamination to take place, the water in the brake fluid will without any doubt be your greatest enemy as well.