How to Check Brake Fluid

Brake fluid check

Your brakes play a vital role. And while brake pads are obviously important, it’s also important to know how to check your brake fluid. Learn how to check your brake fluid and well as what color is brake fluid below before exploring more tips, like fuel-efficient driving habits.



What is Brake Fluid?

Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid that helps your brake pedal move. It lubricates the braking system, and it keeps the system from corroding. Most brake fluids are glycol-ether-based, but silicone-based (DOT-5) and mineral oil-based (LHM) fluids are available. Always check your owner’s manual for more specific information about your vehicle.

3 Steps to Checking Your Brake Fluid

  1. Find your vehicle’s brake fluid reservoir on the master cylinder under the hood. Check your owner’s manual to find the exact location since this can differ.
  2. Look for “minimum” and “maximum” lines on the outside of the reservoir. Check the brake fluid against these lines. If the brake fluid is closer to the minimum line, it’s time for a brake fluid replacement or brake service.
  3. Look at the color of the brake fluid. Dark brown or black coloring and an oil-like look mean you’ll need a brake fluid flush.

Why Does Brake Fluid Need to Be Changed?

  • Brake fluid becomes contaminated as it ages, and this can cause small particles to develop that can damage brake-related systems over time.
  • Brake fluid also naturally attracts moisture, and that moisture can cause corrosion to your brakes over time.
  • ABS and traction control systems generate heat when they activate, and these can shorten the lifespan of your brake fluid.

Checking your brake fluid every now and then helps San Bernardino drivers avoid these scenarios. At Riverside Kia, our service center can take care of this check and more for you, and you can even order parts from us for your DIY projects.

What Color is Brake Fluid Normally?

What color is brake fluid and why does the color matter? Brake fluid should be yellowish or almost completely clear normally. Your brake fluid will darken over time as it gets contaminated with debris. Darker colors mean that it’s time to change your brake fluid.

Recommended Brake Fluid Service Intervals

We generally encourage Fontana drivers to check their brake fluid levels during every oil change or at least once a year. Brake fluid will last generally four to five years until it needs to be changed. This can vary based on how often you drive, your driving conditions, etc.

Choose Riverside Kia for Your Brake Services

Does your brake fluid need to be replaced? Reach out to our service team to learn more about your service options. We also offer plenty of service specials for your next visit!


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