How to Check Brake Fluid

Mechanic checking brake fluid

Along with regular brake checks and other maintenance services, learning how to check your brake fluid is a great way to ensure your braking system is in optimal condition. But if you’re not sure what color is brake fluid or where to find it in your vehicle, Scott Evans Nissan is here to help! In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything that you need to know. Learn what brake fluid does and how to check it properly, and be sure to stop by the service center of Carrollton for all of your automotive needs.



What is Brake Fluid?

Your brake system is hydraulic in design, which means it requires fluid to move properly. When you hit the brake pedal on the Newnan roads, your brake fluid will start moving to bring your car to a stop. Braking fluid also plays important roles in lubricating your braking system and preventing corrosion. The most common formulations are glycol-ether based, but there are also silicone-based (DOT-5) and mineral oil-based (LHM) fluids available. Which is right for you? Check your owner’s manual for specific recommendations.

Why Does Brake Fluid Need to Be Changed?

Like most automotive fluids, brake fluid needs to be changed regularly for the best performance on the Douglasville roads. Why is this so important?

  • Brake fluid attracts moisture over time, which can corrode your braking system.
  • Brake fluid becomes contaminated with small particles with age that can damage your brakes.
  • Systems like ABS and traction control generate heat, which can cause your brake fluid to break down more quickly.

How to Check Your Brake Fluid Properly

  1. Find your car’s brake fluid reservoir. It will be located on the master cylinder under the hood, but if you can’t find it, check your owner’s manual for a diagram.
  2. Look for the “minimum” and “maximum” lines on the master cylinder. Check the brake fluid against these lines. If your brake fluid is between the lines, you’re good to go. If it’s close or under the minimum line, add more brake fluid.
  3. Examine the color of the brake fluid. If you notice that it looks more like thickened oil with a dark brown or black color, you’ll need to schedule a brake fluid flush.

Why Does Brake Fluid Need to Be Changed?

Does brake fluid need to be changed? The answer is yes for the following reasons:

  • Brake fluid attracts moisture, which can cause corrosion on your brakes over time.
  • When brake fluid ages, it becomes contaminated with small particles that can damage brake-related systems.
  • Systems like ABS and traction control generate heat when they activate, which can shorten the lifespan of your brake fluid.

What Color is Brake Fluid Normally?

You know that dark brown or black brake fluid is a red flag, so what color is brake fluid normally? New brake fluid should be almost clear with a faint yellow tint. It becomes darker over time as it picks up debris and contaminants, which is why a darker color can indicate a need for a fluid flush. If you check your brake fluid frequently, you can spot any changes before they become major issues.

Brake Fluid Service Intervals

Our service team recommends checking your brake fluid with every oil change, or at least once a year. On average, brake fluid can last four to five years. However, this depends on your driving habits, your car, your driving conditions, and numerous other factors. Our technicians can help you determine exactly when to replace your brake fluid during your routine maintenance visit.

Schedule Your Next Service with Scott Evans Nissan

Are you due for your next brake check? Feel free to contact us in Carrollton with any questions about brake maintenance or anything else pertaining to your driving experience in Villa Rica. We’d be happy to help, and you can even schedule your next service appointment online.


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