If you are a vehicle owner, knowing how to check brake fluid should be your concern. This is because of the critical roles the brake fluid system plays in your vehicle. It serves as a connection between the mechanical action of the brake pedal and the friction that halts your vehicle when it comes against the wheel.
Thus, this write-up will guide you on how to check brake fluid in your vehicle. Also, we will take a look at a way to top up your brake fluid when required, and precautionary methods to avoid contamination of the brake fluid in the reservoir.
You need simple household tools to check the brake fluid. This includes:
- hand glove or shop towel
- funnel (optional)
- a bottle of the specified brake fluid for your car (optional)
Always try to buy the exact volume of brake fluid you can exhaust at single application. Brake fluid is generally hygroscopic. That is, it absorbs air from the environment which renders it unsuitable for use at a later time.
How To Check Brake Fluid: Step-By-Step Guide
The approach is so simple that you don’t need to have to be a professional or possess mechanical knowledge to check your vehicle brake fluid. You can as well top it up if required.
- Step 1: Prepare the vehicle
Park your vehicle on a stable surface. Make sure the engine is at low temperature before you open the hood of your car.
- Step 2: Locate the brake fluid reservoir
You can find the reservoir at the driver side of the vehicle around the area of the brake master cylinder. It lies behind the steering wheel on the side of the firewall.
- Step 3: Open brake fluid reservoir cap
Locate the lid and open it by turning counterclockwise with your hand.
- Step 4: Check the brake fluid level
You can achieve this by checking the outer part of the reservoir for a point marked as “maximum level”. It indicates the highest the fluid could go. Topping beyond the maximum level is not advisable.
- Step 5: Check the condition of the brake fluid
A golden brown color shows that the brake fluid is in excellent condition. If the color is changing to dark brown, you can only manage it for a few days. It is essential to change the brake fluid.
- Step 6: Top up the brake fluid if necessary
Anything below the minimum level requires a top-up. Aim at the maximum mark while filling the brake fluid. Don’t be tempted to overfill the brake fluid.
- Step 7: Clean up the reservoir
You must prevent pollutants from gaining access into the brake fluid reservoir. Subsequently, clean the split fluid and dirt to avoid contamination.
- Step 8: Close the cap
Ensure the cap is cleaned correctly and then close the lid tightly.
Technical Notes While Checking Brake Fluid
Learning how to check brake fluid may look very much simple, but there are things you need to put into consideration:
- Always check the owner’s manual to ensure you are using the right brake fluid for your vehicle.
- Do not be careless or allow the brake fluid to touch the paint of your vehicle as it may put a dent on your car
- Make sure you top your brake fluid when it’s getting low, and never exceed the maximum limit mark outside the brake fluid reservoir.
- Avoid leaving the master cylinder opened or uncovered. Make sure you get rid of the extra fluid as it would not be useful anymore.
We have provided some answers to the likely questions you may have on how to check brake fluid of your vehicle.
Where does brake fluid go?
The brake fluid goes to the brake fluid reservoir where it is stored for use while applying the brake
Where is the brake fluid?
You have to locate your brake reservoir to be able to find your vehicle’s brake fluid. The location of the brake fluid depends on the type of car you own.
Where is the brake fluid reservoir located?
You can locate the brake fluid reservoir under the hood on the driver’s side of your vehicle, near the base of the windshield against the back of the engine compartment, usually up near the firewall.
What could happen if the brake fluid is low?
When the brake fluid is too low in your vehicle, it could cause the brake failure that may lead to an accident or loss of life and properties.
How do I know if my brake fluid is low?
The first sign is to watch out for the Anti-Locking Braking System (ABS) light. If it turns on, then your brake fluid might be low. Also, brake fluid is considered low if it does not reach one or two-inch below the cap.
Other signs of low brake fluid include; a reduction in the braking efficiency of your car, and when your vehicle takes too long to stop after pressing the brake.
Furthermore, note the color of your brake fluid. If it is dark, your vehicle may require a brake fluid flush and replacement.
Do you check brake fluid hot or cold?
It is advisable to check the brake fluid of a vehicle on a level surface when the engine is cold.
Knowing how to check brake fluid is an essential task every vehicle owner must learn. Failure to check and replace the brake fluid at the required time may result in brake failure. This, in turn, can lead to loss of lives and properties. Follow this guide, and you will save yourself from a lot of costly damages.