How to Check Brake Fluid

Mechanic checking brake fluid

 

Brakes are one of the most crucial parts of your vehicle, which is why it is imperative that you check your brake fluid levels to see if everything is functioning properly in order to drive safely on Houston and Porter roads. Learn everything you need about brake fluids from the Texan GMC Buick service center today! While you’re here, check out our brake specials.

What is Brake Fluid?

Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid that aids the movement of the brake pedal, and lubricates your braking system to prevent corrosion. Most vehicles are glycol-ether based brake fluid, but there are also silicone-based (DOT-5) and mineral oil-based (LHM) fluids available. Consult your user’s manual to confirm which type of brake fluid your vehicle uses.

3 Steps to Check Brake Fluid

  1. Find the brake fluid reservoir on the master cylinder under the hood. If it isn’t there, check your user’s manual to locate the reservoir.
  2. Check the brake fluid level on the “minimum” and “maximum” lines on the outside of the reservoir. It would be time for a brake fluid replacement if the brake fluid is closer to the minimum line.
  3. Check the color of the brake fluid. You’ll need a brake fluid flush if the color is dark brown and looks more like oil.

Why Does Brake Fluid Need to Be Changed?

It’s better safe than sorry to regularly check brake fluid to prevent a scenario where your brakes actually fail to stop your car. Here’s why:

  • Brake fluid can cause corrosion on your brakes over time due to accumulated moisture.
  • Brake fluid can become contaminated with small particles that can cause long-term damage to brake-related systems.
  • Heat generated from systems like ABS and traction control can shorten the lifespan of your brake fluid.

What Color is Brake Fluid?

The color of new brake fluid should be translucent with a yellow tint to it. As we mentioned, brake fluid can turn darker and more oil-like due to a pick up of dirt and debris over time, which can greatly affect your brake’s performance if left unattended.

Brake Fluid Service Intervals

You should check your brake fluid at least once a year along with your oil change. Typically, brake fluid can last about four to five years, but multiple variables such as the car model, driving habits, and driving conditions can affect how soon you’ll need a brake fluid change. Pairing the brake fluid change with routine scheduled maintenance at an OEM-certified service center can provide you with peace of mind and stability.

Texan GMC Buick Helps with Brake Service

You can refill your brake fluid at home, or you can schedule an appointment at the local service center near New Caney, where our highly trained experts can make sure your brakes are up to date and working properly.

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