Brake Fluid Exchange and Technology
TRW recommends that brake fluid is changed every year for DOT 3 systems and every 2 years for DOT 4 and DOT 5.1 to maintain maximum braking performance and safety.
Water contamination or debris can shorten the life time of the braking system. Brake fluid absorbs moisture via the brake hoses – the older the hoses, the higher the penetration of moisture.
As brakes are used, the brake fluid will heat up. Over time, the boiling point of all brake fluids will begin to lower as moisture from the air is absorbed. If the brake fluid boils, ‘vapour lock’ will occur resulting in brake failure for the driver.
If brake fluid is not changed regularly, the master cylinder rubber parts will corrode - visible as black coloured brake fluid. Very dark to black brake fluid is a sign of contamination.
If you detect dirty fluid, this needs to be exchanged immediately, otherwise it will do harm to systems like ABS and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC).
Brake Fluid Technology
Vehicles are becoming increasingly complex and many are now fitted with electronic stability programmes (ESP).
ABS hydraulic units contain very small bores (often less than 0.1mm) that guide the brake fluid to the valves and pumps. Low viscosity brake fluid allows a faster increase and decrease of the pressure required for different braking demands.
Electronic Stability Systems are counting time in milliseconds – the faster the system is modulating the pressure, the shorter the stopping distance.
TRW have developed Universal DOT 5.1 ESP brake fluid with low viscosity, providing the best flow properties for these systems, especially in cold conditions.
Using TRW Universal DOT 5.1 ESP brake fluid reduces the latent risk of longer stopping distance and a loss of vehicle control. This brake fluid keeps its viscosity, even at extremely low temperatures, meaning it can react more quickly, whatever the conditions.
This fluid has a wet boiling point (WBP) in excess of 180˚C, while keeping the viscosity at -40˚C (below the maximum specification of 750 centiStokes (cSt), required for ESP.
All other ESP fluids on the market are DOT4 because the highest minimum WBP any of them can achieve is 170˚C. This means they cannot be used for vehicles with a higher DOT requirement.
TRW’s new Universal DOT 5.1 ESP fluid can be used for any vehicle using DOT specification fluid, meaning that drivers can be confident that systems relying on an ESP fluid will work correctly.
Click this video link for more information on Universal DOT 5.1 ESP brake fluid.