Knowing how to check brake fluid is essential. Along with regular replacement of your brake pads and brake rotors, checking and replenishing your brake fluid is one of the best ways to ensure that these crucial safety features always work as intended. Thankfully, all you need to do is pop open the hood and check the reservoir. Find out what to look for below!
Confused about what brake fluid is, or what it’s supposed to be doing? Brake fluid is one of several hydraulic fluids in your vehicle. When you press the brake pedal, the hydraulic system goes to work, ensuring that your brake pads press into your rotors with enough pressure to bring the vehicle to a halt.
Brake fluid also lubricates the entirety of the braking system and prevents corrosion at the same time. Check your owner’s manual or ask an expert at our parts center to find out what kind of fluid is appropriate for your vehicle.
In most cases, you won’t need to get your hands dirty in order to check your brake fluid levels. In the event that you do need to add more brake fluid, keep in mind that brake fluid is highly toxic and can damage your vehicle’s paint job. Use proper safety equipment, including gloves and safety glasses, and ensure proper disposal after you’re through.
With this much out in the open, let’s find out how to check brake fluid levels the easy way:
If you need to add more brake fluid, just open the reservoir cap and add more! If you don’t have time to take care of the job yourself, or if you don’t have the proper safety equipment on hand, take a moment to schedule service. If you’re interested in taking on more DIY service tasks, find out how to check coolant levels today.
We noted above that brake fluid will start to take on a darker tone as it ages, and begin to resemble motor oil. It may also pick up dirt and debris. New brake fluid will be mostly clear, with a yellowish tint.
It’s a good idea to check your brake fluid every time you change your oil, at least once or twice a year depending on how, and how often, you drive. Brake fluid will eventually wear out no matter how well you take care of your vehicle, so you’ll want to replace it once every four to five years. Check out our other service tips to learn more about regular maintenance.
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