How to Check Brake Fluid
When you’re driving around D’Iberville, Gulfport, and Hattiesburg, you trust your car to reliably bring you to a stop every time. Luckily, you don’t need to count on trust alone. Once you learn how to check brake fluid, you’ll be better able to make sure there’s nothing wrong with your brake system and address any potential issues before they get worse.
This quick how-to from Pat Peck Kia will teach you how often you should check your brake fluid, how to check it, and what to do if it’s low or dirty.
When to Check Brake Fluid
Don’t wait until you’re experiencing issues with your brakes to check brake fluid. It’s an easy process that should only take about a minute once you know what you’re doing. A general rule of thumb is to check your brake fluid every time you get an oil change or every time your hood is up.
How to Check Brake Fluid
1. Open the hood of your vehicle. Make sure it’s parked on a level surface, and the engine is off and cold.
2. Locate the master cylinder reservoir. This is usually located on the driver’s side, near the firewall between your engine and the driver’s seat. It’s generally a clear plastic container with a plastic screw-top, but some older vehicles have a metal reservoir instead. Consult your owner’s manual if you need help locating it.
3. Check the brake fluid level. If your reservoir is made of clear plastic, you should be able to see the fluid level from the outside. Make sure the brake fluid is between the “min” and “max” lines marked on the side of the reservoir.
4. Check the brake fluid quality. Use a clean, dry rag to clean off the outside of the reservoir before removing the cap. This will prevent any dirt or other contaminants from entering the fluid.
Then, carefully remove the cap and check the color of the brake fluid. It should be amber in color—if it’s dark brown or black, schedule an appointment to get your brake fluid flushed.
5. Put the cap back on. Leaving the reservoir open for longer than necessary can introduce moisture into the brake fluid from humid air, which in turn can corrode your brake system. Make sure the cap is securely fastened when you’re finished checking your brake fluid.
What Should I Do Next?
If your brake fluid is a little low, carefully top it off with the specific type of brake fluid recommended for your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual or call your service technician to find out what type to use. Make sure to wipe up any spills and thoroughly wash your hands after handling brake fluid, as it can be toxic and even eat through paint.
Extremely low brake fluid levels indicate an issue somewhere in the brake system, such as worn-out brake pads or a leak in the brake lines. Additionally, your brakes may not work reliably, so don’t drive your vehicle. Contact a professional service technician to get your brake system checked out.
Brake Issues? Schedule an Appointment!
While checking your brake fluid requires little more than a quick glance at the reservoir, replacing it is a much more involved process. If your brake fluid is low or needs to be replaced, contact Pat Peck Kia today to schedule a service appointment.
Our highly-trained technicians are proud to help drivers in D’Iberville, Gulfport, and Hattiesburg get the essential stopping power in their vehicle.