Niagara Gazette

Columns

November 14, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: Severe and normal service recommendations for fluids in your car

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — If the fluid appears to be overheated, check the pump for internal wear, as a worn pump is usually the cause for overheating of the power steering fluid. If you catch the pump early enough and replace it, you usually circumvent replacing the steering gear later due to wear from ground metal circulating through it from the worn pump.

Brake fluid

Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid used as a medium to generate the hydraulic pressure needed to activate the braking system of your vehicle. When you press the brake pedal, the master cylinder, much like a pump, sends fluid coursing through the system applying your brakes. On most vehicles, brake fluid does not show up in the maintenance schedule and thus, there are no severe or normal service recommendations for brake fluid. The only suggestion I have here is to check it every oil change, inspecting closely for proper level, color and/or evidence of rust sediment, indicating that moisture has contaminated the brake fluid.

Brake fluid that is black in color has been overheated, usually due to a brake caliper that has stuck in the applied position from rusted slides or a stuck piston in the caliper bore, if this is evident, check the system for evidence of conditions afore mentioned. If you live in a state where you experience winter or a lot of rain, keep a close eye on brake fluid every oil change because brake fluid is hydroscopic in nature, that is it absorbs moisture and if the system is not properly sealed from the environment, it will absorb moisture and develop rust and sediment buildup, impeding brake performance.

‘Til next time ... Keep Rollin’.

“America’s Car Show” with Tom Torbjornsen airs 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. Saturday on WBBZ-TV.

"America's Car Show" with Tom Torbjornsen airs 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. Thursday and 11 a.m. Saturday on WBBZ-TV.

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