Brake fluid is one of your car’s braking system’s most crucial components. This part of the braking system shouldn’t be disregarded because it allows force to be applied to the brakes when you depress the brake pedal, enabling your car to slow down and stop. Furthermore, brake fluids protect against corrosion, withstand high brake temperatures, and resist moisture that can result in vapor lock brake failure. Nevertheless, brake fluid should be changed every two years.
Thus, in this article, I’ll be discussing how to change brake fluid in 8 simple steps.
Ok, let’s get to it.
How to change brake fluid
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to change brake fluid:
Gather necessary tools and materials:
You will need a brake fluid bleeder tool, fresh brake fluid, and a catch container for the old fluid in order to change the brake fluid. You’ll also need rags or paper towels for cleaning.
Locate the brake fluid reservoir:
This is typically located close to the brake master cylinder and is commonly marked with a “brake fluid” label. However, before continuing, make sure that your vehicle is parked on level ground and that the engine is not running.
Drain the old brake fluid:
Remove the cap from the brake fluid reservoir and use the brake fluid bleeder tool to bleed the brake system by opening the bleeder valves found on each brake caliper or wheel cylinder. This will drain the old brake fluid. Then collect the old brake fluid in the catch container.
Bleed brake fluid
To finish changing the brake fluid, go to each caliper/wheel cylinder separately and open the bleed nipple to drain off the rest of the old fluid and any air bubbles before the new fluid flows through.
Change the brake fluid:
After draining all of the old brake fluid, clean the reservoir with a rag or paper towel, then fill it with fresh brake fluid. Use only the type of brake fluid that is recommended in the owner’s manual of your vehicle.
Keep an attentive monitor on the master cylinder’s brake fluid level and top it off as necessary.
Repeat the procedure
Bleed each caliper/wheel cylinder individually until you are done with them all.
Test the brakes:
It’s crucial to test the brakes after changing the brake fluid to make sure they are functioning properly. When testing the brakes, drive the car and make sure they are responsive and not spongy. Your brake fluid change is complete if everything seems normal.
Watch the video below to learn how to change brake fluid:
What are the signs of a brake fluid change or flush?
Here are the most common signs and symptoms that you’re due for a brake fluid change:
ABS dashboard light
You may have a problem with your anti-lock braking system if the ABS dashboard light is on. In order to prevent skids and maintain traction, this system prevents your wheels from locking up during braking. The ABS system is automatically engaged when the brake fluid level drops to help maintain your car’s ability to stop safely.
Ineffective Braking Performance
To keep you safe in an emergency, your brakes ought to be quick and responsive. Your brakes need to be serviced if you have any delays or problems slowing down or stopping your car.
These problems can indicate that you need to flush your brake fluid. Warped rotors, worn brake pads, or a problem with another brake system component are some additional potential culprits.
Another potential cause of ineffective braking is an underlying issue, such as deteriorated tire tread or worn shocks or struts. A professional can examine your braking system and inform you of the necessary repairs to improve brake performance.
A Spongy or Soft Brake Pedal
Does the brake pedal seem spongy, soft, or even bouncy when you depress it? Do you have to stop and slow down your vehicle by pressing the brake pedal all the way to the floor? You need to change your brake fluid if this is the case.
Air will enter the gaps in your brake line when the brake fluid level drops, resulting in soft brakes. It can be unnerving and dangerous to drive with spongy brake pedals, especially if you don’t have them fixed right away.
Unusual noises or smells when braking
If you hear odd noises as you brake, there may not be enough brake fluid in the system, or there may be some other issue. Common noises include grinding or scraping sounds.
If you smell burning odors after hard braking, your brake fluid may have burned out. In this situation, you should stop your car in a secure area and give it some time to cool down.
To get advice and arrange a service visit, you should also call a nearby mechanic. More serious problems, such as brake failure, could result from driving with burned brake fluid.
How often should you change your brake fluid?
Brake fluid should be changed every 2-3 years or every 25,000–40,000 miles. This is due to the fact that brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it gradually collects moisture from the air. This could result in brake system corrosion and a drop in the boiling point of the fluid, which would make the brakes less effective.
Likewise, if you notice a change in the color of the brake fluid, like it becoming darker, it’s a good sign that it’s time to replace it. The manufacturer’s recommended interval to change brake fluid can be seen in the owner’s manual of your car. Additionally, it’s a good idea to include brake fluid changes as part of your routine maintenance.
Is it safe to drive a car with low or contaminated brake fluid?
Driving a car with low or tainted brake fluid is risky. Low brake fluid levels can lead to brake system malfunctions, which will result in poor braking power and longer stopping distances. The brake system’s components may corrode as a result of contaminated brake fluid, which could result in brake failure. Driving a car with low or contaminated brake fluid has the potential to cause collisions, injuries, or even deaths. To ensure your vehicle’s safety and effective operation, it’s critical to frequently inspect and repair the brake system.
What does a brake fluid change cost?
Generally speaking, the price can range anywhere between $50 and $150, but it can also be higher or lower depending on the factors affecting it. The make and model of the vehicle, the type of brake fluid needed, and the location where the service is being performed can all affect the cost of changing the brake fluid. For a more precise estimate, it is recommended to speak with a certified mechanic or dealership.
Read more: Brake pad and rotor replacement cost
How long does it take to change brake fluid?
The vehicle and the person performing the task will affect the time it takes to change brake fluid. The brake fluid change may take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, on average. This entails bleeding the brakes to make sure that all of the old fluid has been drained and that the new fluid is being properly circulated through the system.
Read more: Cheapest places to get brakes done
- In conclusion, replacing brake fluid is an essential maintenance task that improves braking effectiveness and safety. The old fluid must be drained, fresh brake fluid must be added, and the brake lines must be bled to remove air bubbles. Maintaining the integrity of your braking system, preventing brake fade, and ensuring dependable stopping power all benefit from routine brake fluid changes.
- To ensure the efficiency of your brakes and, ultimately, your safety on the road, it is crucial to adhere to manufacturer instructions, use the proper type of brake fluid, and exercise caution while doing the procedure. To ensure a proper brake fluid change, it’s advised to obtain professional assistance if you’re not confident performing the task yourself.
That is all for this article, where I discussed how to change brake fluid in a few steps. I hope it was helpful, if so, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading, see you around!