How to Check Brake Fluid

brake fluid

Car drivers know and understand that the brakes are an essential part of their vehicle. This is why you need to make sure they’re always working properly and aren’t too worn down. You can ensure everything is functioning properly by regularly checking the brake fluid, which helps keep your car safe on the roads in Elizabethtown. Learn what color brake fluid is and more from the service experts at Mercedes-Benz of Louisville.

What is Brake Fluid?

It’s a hydraulic fluid that helps with the movement of the brake pedal. The brake fluid also lubricates your braking system to keep it from corroding. In most vehicles, the brake fluid is glycol-ether based, as well as silicone-based (DOT-5) and mineral oil-based (LHM) fluids. Feel free to refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual to learn which type your car uses.

3 Steps to Check Brake Fluid

  1. Pop open the hood and find the brake fluid reservoir on the master cylinder. Refer to your owner’s manual to find the exact location.
  2. You should see “minimum” and “maximum” lines on the outside of your reservoir. Check the brake fluid against these lines. If it’s closer to the minimum line, a brake fluid replacement or brake service is needed.
  3. Take a look at the color of the brake fluid. If it’s dark brown or black and looks more like oil, a brake fluid flush is needed.

Why Does Brake Fluid Need to Be Changed?

There are several reasons why the brake fluid needs to get changed:

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

It’s recommended to regularly check your brake fluid to avoid any scenarios where your brakes fail to stop completely. 

What Color is Brake Fluid Normally? 

If the brake fluid is new, it should be just about clear with a yellowish tint to it. This does change as you’re using your braking system. Dark oil-like brake fluid has picked up debris and dirt over time, which affects your brake’s performance over time.

Brake Fluid Service Intervals

The brake fluid should get checked during every oil change or at least once a year. The brake fluid can typically last about four to five years, but it varies depending on the vehicle you’re driving, your driving habits, and driving conditions. Bring your vehicle to our Mercedes-Benz service center near Shelbyville to have our factory-trained and certified technicians check the brake fluid. 

Get Additional Service Tips at Mercedes-Benz of Louisville!

Our service team knows your vehicle inside and out, and we’re standing by to help with all of your servicing needs. Schedule your service appointment right at home, or give us a call if you have any questions about checking the brake fluid or how many miles do brakes last. We also offer service specials to use on your next visit.

Mercedes-Benz of Louisville 38.2511684, -85.6415362.