30 October, 2019

Do you know how to check your brake fluid?

Here at CompareNewTyres.com our mission is to make owning a vehicle as easy and inexpensive as possible.

We've created a really short video to show you how to check your brake fluid level. Here's our video.

Checking the level of your brake fluid is incredibly simple and takes just a few seconds.

1. Locate your brake fluid reservoir
Your brake fluid reservoir / bottle will be located in the engine bay, underneath the bonnet. More modern vehicles have a colour coded system and the lid of the reservoir may be yellow or black in colour. To confirm the fluid you are checking is brake fluid, look for the markings 'DOT 3' or 'DOT 4' or the obvious 'BRAKE FLUID'.

2. Look at the side of the bottle
Once you have located the fluid reservoir, look on the side of the reservoir. Here you will see a marking moulded in to the plastic, indicating 'MIN' and 'MAX' both of which have a corresponding line close to them.

3. Check the fluid level
The reservoir is made of a see through plastic, so as you look at the reservoir from the side, you should be able to see a fluid level. To make it easier to see, you might want to shine a light at the reservoir bottle from the opposite side you're checking. Your fluid level should be between minimum and maximum.

What if my fluid is below the minimum level?
If your brake fluid is below the minimum level, it would be worth taking your car to a mechanic to have your brakes checked. The braking system fitted to cars is a sealed system and this simply means that the fluid is there simply to allow you to engage the brakes. Your vehicle doesn't burn or consume brake fluid. Therefore when your brake fluid is below the minimum level, it suggests that either your brakes are in need of some attention and may well need replacing, or you have a leak in your braking system, neither of which is advantageous.

What if my fluid is above the maximum level?
Ideally you shouldn't have fluid above the maximum level. The best way to remove excess fluid is to take a small syringe and syphon some of the fluid out until the fluid level is around the maximum.

Should I ever top up my brake fluid?
As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn't ever need to top up your brake fluid. As I mentioned earlier, your car doesn't consume brake fluid, it merely uses it to help you apply the brakes when you're driving. If you find yourself having to top up your brake fluid, it suggests your brakes may need some attention. A number of garages offer free brake checks so it would be worth taking garages up on this offer just for your own peace of mind.