This article is a comprehensive guide to checking brake fluid in your car. We’ll tell you all the steps in performing this inspection, what tools are required for the task, and how frequently you should inspect your brake fluid.
What is Brake Fluid?
It is a hydraulic fluid used in a car’s braking system. It helps transfer force from the brake pedal to the brakes themselves and slows or stops the vehicle. Over time, it can become contaminated and need to be replaced. Checking the level regularly is an essential part of car maintenance.
There are two main types of brake fluid: DOT 3 and DOT 4. DOT 3 is the most common type and is compatible with most cars. DOT 4 is a higher-performance option that can withstand higher temperatures. When choosing a brake fluid, check your car’s owner manual to see the recommended type.
Why is it Important?
It is essential because it helps to transfer the force from your foot on the brake pedal to the brake calipers. The calipers are what press the brake pads against the rotors, slowing down or stopping your car. If you don’t have enough brake fluid, your vehicle won’t be able to stop as effectively. That’s why it’s essential to check the levels regularly and top off as needed.
How to Check the Brake Fluid
Assuming your car brakes, you will want to know how to check the brake fluid. It is simple to do and only requires a few minutes. You will need:
- A clean, dry cloth
- A container to catch any fluid that may drip out
1. Locate the brake fluid reservoir. This is usually located near the firewall on the driver’s side of the car. The pool will have a lid with a small opening.
2. Remove the lid from the reservoir and set it aside. Take a look at the level of fluid in the pool. You will need to add liquid if it is below the ‘minimum’ line. You will need to remove some fluid if it is above the ‘maximum’ line.
3. Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe away dirt or grime on the reservoir’s opening or the lid. This is important because you don’t want contaminants.
4. If you need to add fluid, open the brake fluid container and pour it into the reservoir slowly and carefully. Do not overfill! Replace the lid when you are finished.
When Should You Check?
There are a few different times when you should check:
- Every time you get your oil changed. This is because brake fluid can absorb moisture from the air, leading to corrosion and other problems.
- If your brakes, feel spongy or soft when you press the pedal. This could indicate that there is not enough.
- If your brake warning light comes on. This could mean that there is a leak in the system or that the level of fluid is low.
If you’re unsure how to check, consult your car’s owner’s manual or take it to a qualified mechanic.
We hope this guide has helped you understand how to check the brake fluid in your car and why it is so important. Remember, it is essential to keep your brakes functioning properly, so it is crucial to check them regularly and top them up if necessary. If you are ever in doubt, don’t hesitate to take your car to a professional mechanic for a check.