Case Studies

Basic car maintenance: How to check the brake fluid

10 July 2019

Brake fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid that allows your vehicle to stop safely. It's responsible for transferring force into pressure and increasing braking force. Ever wondered what happens when you press down your foot on the brake pedal? Once engaged, the fluid moves down to the brakes, activating the brake pads. If there's insufficient fluid, the air is allowed to pass through brake lines, causing your vehicle to have a difficult time stopping properly. Without adequate brake fluid, your car won't be able to stop safely, posing a risk to you, your passengers and fellow motorists. It's non-negotiable - your brake fluids need to be checked regularly!

When checking the brake fluid, the first thing you need to do is to locate the reservoir. This plastic canister is located depending on the type of vehicle you have. Usually, it is placed near the firewall and in front, where the brake pedal is located. Older vehicles have no plastic reservoir in its engine. Instead, they may have a master cylinder which is a small metal box with a lid that must be removed for you to check the level of the fluid.

After locating the reservoir, make sure its top is clean before opening it. Even a small amount of dirt can ruin your brakes as it causes the internal seals of the master cylinder to fail.

Once you're done cleaning it, you can now open the top of the reservoir. If your car has a plastic reservoir on top, simply unscrew the cap. But if your car has a metal cylinder, release the lid using a screwdriver. Just make sure to never leave it open for too long. The brake fluid soaks up moisture causing hydraulic components to tarnish.

Check the fluid levels. If the fluid level is not enough, add the appropriate type and amount of brake fluid to the "full" line. Make sure to not overfill. If it's empty, don't ever think about driving your car. You may cause damage to the brake system, or worse, cause fatal failure.

More often than not, the most important thing gets ignored all the time. When it comes to checking and changing your brake fluid, call the most trusted mobile mechanic from Brisbane's southside, Stouch Auto and Mechanical. You can call us via phone, 1300 568 603.

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I no longer have the inconvenience of dropping my car off or collecting it from a workshop when it needs a service. It i... more

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