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Old 27-12-2011, 04:46 PM
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Bob the Boss Bob the Boss is offline
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Smile Fluid testing ensures brake system safety.

Fluid testing ensures
brake system safety.

Without the correct brake fluid, modern safety systems may not
be able to function correctly, finds out why and how your workshop could benefit.


BRAKE fluid condition and selection is central to effective functioning of ESC
systems.
Despite brake fluid being one of the most safety-critical vehicle components, brake fluid condition inexplicably forms no part of the MOT test.
Yet according to independent research – on 700 cars, 52% of all cars on UK roads need brake fluid replacement to restore full braking efficiency.
What’s more, no less than 29% of vehicles have contaminated brake fluid that is potentially lethal.


The technicalities.
Brake fluid is hygroscopic.
That means it absorbs atmospheric moisture which – over time – lowers it's boiling point.
As well as causing corrosion, water produces steam at high temperature and steam is compressible, causing a spongy pedal and, ultimately, brake fade.
Standard synthetic brake fluid is classified by DOT (the US Department Of
Transportation).
Below is a look at what the different classifications mean:



Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
This is a sophisticated evolution of the anti-lock braking concept.
Vehicle manufacturers use different acronyms to identify the system used on their vehicles, including Bosch’s ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) along with VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control) and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) to name just a few.
In essence, they all function in a similar way by operating in the background to, continuously monitor and compare the driver’s intended direction (by measuring steering angle) to the vehicle’s actual direction (by measuring lateral acceleration, vehicle rotation – also known as yaw – and individual road wheel speeds).
ESC intervenes if it detects the vehicle not going where the driver is steering. In other words, if it is skidding, understeering, oversteering or aquaplaning on slippery surfaces.
ESC calculates the direction of the skid, then asymmetrically applies the
brakes to individual wheels in order to generate set amounts of torque about the vehicle’s vertical axis.
This opposes the skid and brings the vehicle back into line with the driver’s
commanded direction.


Some systems simultaneously moderate engine power or
operate the transmission to reduce vehicle speed.
All of these operations are activated independent of driver input by a central control unit linked to wheel speed sensors and solenoid valves for each wheel along with brake fluid pumps for each hydraulic supply line.


Brake fluid – why correct application is critical.
ESC is a standard feature on nearly 40% of new UK passenger car registrations and it’s forecast to become a universal fitment by 2012. ESC systems operate at up to 50 cycles per second, so must be serviced with ultra-low viscosity DOT4 ESP fluid to enable instant operation from start-up, even in the coldest conditions.
Any other fluid may be too viscous at low temperatures for the system to operate correctly.
DOT 3 fluids now represent less than 20% (and constantly declining) of
applications in the car parc while DOT 4 fluid accounts for all but a very small fraction of the balance.


Top tips for success.
Believe it or not, there really are times when everyone wins – and testing your customers’ brake fluid is one of them.
It makes sure they’re driving in a car that’s safe while your workshop benefits from an extra income stream too.
Take a look to find out more.


AS A routine part of every service, always use a temperature test tool to
check brake fluid condition.
It’s by far the most accurate and also the quickest method – it takes no more than 30 seconds.
Here’s a look at the critical boiling point temperatures to look for:


Boiling at 200º.
If the fluid boils at this temperature, it means it is marginal and due for
changing.
Most vehicle manufacturers recommend changing fluid every two years.


Boiling at 180ºC.
At this stage, brake fluid is dangerously contaminated and liable to induce brake failure.
Statistically, research indicates you’ll be advising one
in three of your customers that – for safety’s sake – their car’s brake fluid
needs changing, now!.
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Gibbins Motors Technology Uk

The more you know the less you know!!
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