Speaking of all the safety systems in your car the brake system is the most important safety device ever built. In the early stages of the automobile just after the second world war was relatively simple and were easy to repair and maintain. Over the years as cars got faster and faster and there had to be major improvements made to the brakes to stop today's high performance cars. Just for comparison sake the winning Formula 1 car in 1966 had 310 horsepower from a tree litre v8 engine. Today the a BMW M-3 with a 3.2 litre engine is produce 333 horsepower with street drivability and with very minimal emissions.
Also it equipped with fantastic brakes and integrated dynamic stability control which in turn tied to the brake system with the assistance of multiple computers and subsystems. Brake fluids are by nature hygroscopic which means they absorb water from the air (humidity, like magnet attracts the metal shavings). Due to this property the brake fluid became corrosive. There is an increasing awareness of the dangers of water induced corrosion in the modern brake/traction/dynamic stability control systems.
When water dilutes the brake fluid it lowers it's boiling point (beyond the corrosive effects) of the fluid to the point where even in ordinary conditions your brakes could malfunction. There could be a vapour lock in the hydraulic brake system from overheating and or from ice crystals forming in the fluid in the winter. There is only one solution to reduce the effect of water absorbtion. The brake fluid must be replaced under regular maintenance.
Most manufacturers recommend brake fluid replacement every two years due to the ageing of the fluid. Most severe cases if you look into the container (reservoir) of the fluid it may be dark to brownish in color, that's an indication the brake fluid should be replaced. The new brake fluid is beige to light yellow in colour and yes there are different type of brake fluids available. They all have different properties, naturally the better ones last longer and can withstand higher temperatures.
If you are in doubt about the quality of your automobile's brake fluid, we have German brake fluid tester device which uses a tiny electric current to detect the amount of water in the brake fluid. If you're in doubt, just to be safe, please don't hesitate to call us at 905.795.0419.
Related: Brake Sets for Import Cars