Depending on what your manufacturer's manual says, it's usually prudent to not get your brake fluid changed more often than once every few years. But if your brakes start malfunctioning before the next recommended brake fluid change, your brake fluid could very well have suffered from unusually serious leaks, moisture buildup, or excess heat. If your brakes aren't in tiptop shape and any of these three situations apply to you, consider changing how often you get your brake fluid changed.
You Live In An Area That Gets A Lot Of Humid Weather
One of the most serious threats to your car's brake fluid is moisture from the air infiltrating the system and diluting the liquid. Even if your brake system is made of very high quality materials, water can still gradually get in through the rubber brake hose.
While this is usually a slow process, it speeds up considerably the more humid the weather is. Since a garage doesn't do much to protect your car from humidity, it's important to at least get your brake fluid inspected a little more often than you would in a more normal climate.
You Drive Through Crowded Intersections More Often Than You Drive On Highways
As your car is almost always driving at a constant speed, frequent trips on the highway won't necessarily be a death sentence to your brake system. However, if you constantly have to drive through crowded intersections and stop behind a bunch of cars, the strain put on your brakes could lead to some of your brake fluid leaking out.
If you can help it, drive when the road is less crowded so that you at least won't have to constantly slow down whenever a car is right behind you. When your brake system first shows signs of breaking down, don't assume that the brake fluid is fine just because it's not time for it to be changed yet according to your car's manual.
There's Been A Problem With Your Engine's Cooling System
An overheating engine is also a huge threat to your car's brake fluid. When it's too hot, the fluid won't flow through your brake system as smoothly as it would otherwise. Instead, it'll exert undue pressure on any containers it's in, possibly leading to a leak. These leaks could cause substances from the overheating engine to make contact with and contaminate the fluid.
Address any problems with your engine's cooling system as promptly as you can. Once the clearly defective parts have been replaced, at least give both the brake fluid itself and its main container a thorough inspection. If you're not sure how to do this yourself, a brake repair company like Elkhart Auto Center can help.