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What is brake fluid?

Car brakes on your car use fluid pressure to work. When a car’s brake pedal is pushed, a plunger in the brake’s master cylinder pressurises the brake fluid that resides in the hoses and pipes to make the other components of the braking system move.

How long does brake fluid last?

This varies from car to car, but most manufacturers suggest that the fluid is replaced at least every couple of years. Although the fluid is in a sealed system, moisture can still find its way in. It corrodes components over time and decreases the temperature at which the fluid is supposed to boil. Furthermore, as the internal components of the braking system wear out, debris contaminates the fluid, jamming everything up. All of this impacts on how well the brakes function, particularly in constant stop-start traffic with heavy braking.

What are the possible signs that a car needs new, or more, brake fluid?

  • If the brakes on a car feel in any way as though they are not functioning correctly.
  • When the car’s brakes are spongy when pressed.
  • When fluid is new, it has a light amber colour to it, so that is what to look out for.
  • As the light amber fluid darkens, which is a sign of contamination, the need to change it increases.
  • If the fluid ever becomes darker than brown, or even black, then it should be changed immediately.

How long does it take to change brake fluid?

  • The fluid can be easily replaced in around 15-30 minutes, depending on the vehicle.

How much does brake fluid cost?

  • The fluid is relatively inexpensive, certainly compared to the cost of replacing a corroded master cylinder, so it’s important to keep an eye on it.
  • The cost can vary from vehicle to vehicle but should be less than £50.

About Subaru

Japanese firm Subaru’s heritage comes from the skies: the company developed out of the Nakajima Aircraft Company (1917-1945), which in its day was the largest aircraft manufacturer in Asia. In 1954 the company debuted its first automobile with the Subaru 500, Japan’s first mini, but Subaru’s story really started in 1972 with the launch of its symmetrical all wheel drive. It’s this factor above all which makes Subaru stand out from the crowd - 4x4 is standard on every car that Subaru sells in the UK (apart from the Justy city car).

Subaru currently sells seven models into the UK including the popular Outback, the original ‘crossover’ and a trusty and tough SUV. Other much loved models include the Forester, a slightly smaller SUV ideally suited to rural driving, and the Impreza - a rally champion turned practical family car.

Subaru owners display impressive brand loyalty, and for good reason. These cars are known for their longevity - it’s not unusual to see Foresters and Outbacks on the used car sales boards with over 200,000 miles on the clock. Part of the reason for this is Subaru’s unique flat-lying ‘boxer’ engines, with pistons which punch horizontally, like a boxer, rather than up and down as in a traditional engine. This means less vibration and friction, and better lubrication, particularly on start-up. In some ways, Subaru build cars which are seemingly almost indestructible! For safety and reliability across the board they consistently score very highly indeed with drivers and independent reviewers.

The Subaru garages listed here provide a range of services. It doesn’t matter what problems you’re experiencing, you’ll find a specialist Subaru mechanic for the problems below and much more.

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