Do you want to refill your car brake fluid, but you’re unsure about the whole process? Don’t worry – we are here for you. Here’s how much brake fluid your car actually car needs.
The brake fluid in your vehicle plays a significant role in keeping your car’s braking system in its best condition. The braking system and your safety can be compromised if the fluid level decreases below the optimal level.
That’s why it’s crucial to track your vehicle’s brake fluid and change it at regular intervals, as suggested by the manufacturer. In this post, we’re breaking down everything there’s to know about brake fluids.
What’s brake fluid?
Modern cars use hydraulic braking systems, and the brake liquid is a chemical solution used in this system. The brake liquid will intensify the force you apply on the brake pedal and this, in turn, applies the proper pressure on the car’s brakes for the vehicle to stop. So, in simple words, the mere touching of the brake pedal does not stop the car if there’s no brake fluid.
Why does brake fluid go bad?
Brake fluids are hygroscopic in nature, and it means the brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air. Although the brake fluid is stored inside a closed system, some small amount of moisture finds its way into the system and gets mixed with the fluid.
This, over time, can increase the brake fluid’s water content. What’s worse, just a tiny amount of moisture content in the fluid can contaminate it and reduces its effectiveness. The contamination could happen because of various issues such as holes in rubber hoses, broken seals, or when the brake fluid cap is not closed correctly.
What are the signs of low brake fluid?
Puddle under the car
Your car could be leaking brake fluid if you notice a puddle of oily liquid beneath your car. The brake fluid could leak from rubber hoses, calipers, or the cylinder. Never take a brake fluid leak lightly, and it’s best to fix the issue as soon you notice it.
While applying the brakes, if you notice the pedal to be soft and if it touches the floor with little or no resistance. It usually means the brakes are not working correctly because of a lack of fluid.
Illuminated ABS light
If you notice the ABS warning light in your vehicle’s dashboard switched on, you’re running low on brake fluid. The brake fluid needs to be optimal for the ABS to work efficiently. So, when the brake fluid in the car decreases, the check ABS light gets illuminated.
How to add brake fluid
The most important part of adding brake fluid is picking the right product. You cannot fill any random brake fluid. Check the owner’s manual to find out the type of brake fluid you should be using, or seek the help of your local car mechanic.
Some cars used the standard DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid. On the other hand, a DOT 5 fluid is used on some cars. Therefore, before filling, make sure you have the correct fluid type.
Also, remember not to mix DOT 5 fluid with DOT 3 or DOT 4. By doing so, you could cause damage to the brakes.
Now the fluid goes into the reservoir. Keep an eye on the markings on the side of the reservoir. Once the fluid reaches the max and min line, pour the fluid slowly. Once the fluid is just below the max line, stop pouring the fluid.
Clean the reservoir area to clear any dirt and grime present there. Finally, close the reservoir tightly to prevent the entry of moisture and other contaminants.
How much brake fluid does a car need?
The brake fluid must be filled at an optimal level while you are adding or flushing the brake fluid. Most modern cars require about 32 ounces or one quart of brake fluid.
How much does adding brake fluid cost?
The brake fluid cost should be anywhere between $5 to $30. If you seek the help of a professional to get it done, you’ll be spending $100 to $150 on labor costs. However, you can save those bucks by doing it yourself using the steps mentioned in the post.
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