How To Check Brake Fluid

Mechanic adding brake fluid


Brakes are one of the most critical components of your vehicle, and it’s not hard to see why! Because of this, proper brake maintenance is absolutely essential. One of the most important maintenance tasks is checking your brake fluid. You may be wondering how to check brake fluid. It’s pretty simple! The experts at Auffenberg Dealer Group are happy to share the steps with our neighbors in the O’Fallon or Collinsville areas and beyond.

What is Brake Fluid?

Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid that helps with the movement of the brake pedal. Another important purpose is to lubricate the brake system. It also helps to prevent corrosion. For most vehicles, the brake fluid is glycol-ether based. In some other types of vehicles, the brake fluid could be silicone-based (DOT-5) or mineral oil-based (LHM). Before you add brake fluid, be sure to take a look at your owner’s manual to see what is necessary for your particular make and model.

Simple Steps for Checking Brake Fluid

  1. Find the car’s brake fluid reservoir, which should be found on the master cylinder under the hood. If you are unsure of the location, that information should be contained in your owner’s manual.
  2. The reservoir should have “minimum” and “maximum” lines on the outside. Check the brake fluid against these lines. If the brake fluid is closer to the minimum line, it’s an indicator that a brake fluid change is needed.
  3. Take a look at the color of the brake fluid. A brake fluid flush is necessary if the fluid is dark brown or black and has the appearance of oil.

What Color is Brake Fluid?

New brake fluid should be almost clear with a yellowish tint to it. As you keep using your brakes, the appearance will begin to change. When the oil becomes too contaminated, it will have that oil-like appearance. If you do not flush the fluid, it can lead to issues with the performance of your brakes.

Mechanic checking brake fluid

When Should I Schedule Brake Fluid Service?

Each time you get an oil change, it is also a good time to check your brake fluid. At a minimum, you should check your brake fluid once a year. Brake fluid can last about four to five years, however, there are a few factors that can affect this interval:

  • The type of car
  • Your driving habits
  • Driving conditions

If you think your brakes are in need of service, you can schedule an appointment with our expert technicians today.

Turn to Auffenberg Dealer Group for Brake Service

If you do not want to change your brake fluid at home, you can leave that task to the professionals at Auffenberg Dealer Group. We are your go-to destination for quality, affordable automotive service near East St. Louis. Contact us today for more information, like how to jump-start your car and how to bleed brakes.

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