If you are having issues with your Brakes, you should bring your car to a repair facility so they can visually inspect your entire brake system to find out the condition of all the components. This would include your Brake Pads, Brake Rotors/Drums, Brake Fluid and the Brake Fluid lines.
When should you flush your Brake Lines?
The most common reason to flush the Brake line would be because water has has gotten into the line. Another reason would be because the fluid got contaminated with small particles of the brake system, as those wear out eventually as well. As with all fluids, it may have worn itself out.
How do you know what type of Brake Fluid to add to your car?
You can check the Brake Reservior Cap. There you will find printed on the top the type of Brake Fluid that should be used. In addition, your owners manual in the maintenance section and fluids
sections should identify the type of fluid to put into your car.
The most common Brake Fluid in vehicles todays, both cars and light trucks, are DOT3, DOT4, DOT5. DOT is the Dry Boiling Temperature.
DOT3 & DOT4 are a glycol based Fluid - which attracts water.
DOT 5 is a silicon based fluid and it does NOT attract water.
DO NOT MIX THESE FLUIDS - DO NOT SPILL ON PAINTED SURFACES as the fluid will eat most paint.
BRAKE DRUMS AND ROTORS
Drums and Rotors should be checked for thickness, heat cracks, distortion (warping) and hardspots (these may look discolored and darker than the rest of the surface.
Turning Drums and Rotors - wear is checked by a micrometer- the number in which they have no more life is usually printed on the surface of each piece. If they show no signs of damage, they may be turned (machined on a lathe) to a smooth finish, only if enough thickness is left for the life of the Brake Job.
Drum Brakes - More often than not, the hardware will have to be replaced.
Premium Brake Pads usually come with new hardware, if not, it is recommended to replace the hardware to get the maximum life out of the new Brake Pads.
Cleaning Brake Components
Brake Components should be carefully cleaned with a special solvent so as not to breath in the brake dust, which is hazardous to your health.