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How To Fill Your Car's Brake Fluid

How To Fill Your Car's Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is used in hydraulic brake systems to help apply immediate force to the brakes when you step on the pedal. It's essential for your road safety to use the correct type of brake fluid and keep it at the recommended level at all times. So fill your car's brake fluid with VideoJug's advice.

Step 1: You will need

  • 1 clean cloth
  • 1 funnel
  • 1 container of brake fluid to fill up when necessary

Step 2: Secure the vehicle

Park the car on level ground ...
and shift automatic gear sticks into the parking position. Shift manual transmission cars into first gear;
and put on the handbrake.

Always immobilize your vehicle for your personal security.

Step 3: Open the bonnet

Release the bonnet with the lever inside the car.
Move the bonnet catch under the hood for final release.
Now, lift the bonnet and secure it with the prop rod.

Step 4: Find the brake fluid reservoir

Look for a small, semi-transparent reservoir on the driver's side. It's attached to the brake master cylinder which is a small, metal block found toward the back of the engine.
Find the plastic or rubber lid on top and look for printed instructions.

Step 5: Clean reservoir lid

Dirt can contaminate the fluid and cause a brake malfunction.

Use the rag to clean any dirt on the reservoir before opening it.

Clean the lid and if necessary, make instructions legible.

Step 6: Work out the brake fluid grade

Read the instructions printed on the cap, to work out what DOT grade you should be using. The instructions may also tell you to use fluid from a sealed container only.

Use brake fluid with the correct DOT grade, as indicated by the manufacturer.

Do not mix different grades unless it says you can.
Do not mix DOT 3 or DOT 4 with DOT 5, as this will cause brake failure.

Check your manual if there is no information on the lid.

Don't carry on if you can't work out the brake fluid grade.

Step 7: Check the fluid level

Most newer car models are equipped with transparent reservoirs.
Check the fluid level through the clear plastic.

Find the minimum/maximum level marks on the reservoir.
Always keep the level between the maximum and minimum fill marks

It's normal for the fluid level to gradually lower as the brake pads wear off.
If your brake master cylinder is empty do not carry on.
The same goes for your brake pedal - if it goes all the way to the floor, don't finish the job. The brake system may have a leak or it may need venting and a complete fluid change.
It's also important to remember your brake pads need replacing regularly as recommended by the manufacturer. Speak to a qualified service technician, if necessary.

Step 8: Open the reservoir

Do not expose the open reservoir to air longer than necessary. The brake fluid attracts water out of the atmosphere into the brake system. This can lower the fluid's boiling point and can dangerously result in brake malfunction. Brake fluid should be completely
changed periodically to avoid this.

Take off the lid and do not interrupt the following steps.
Keep the reservoir open only for as long as it takes to fill it up. Place the lid on a clean part nearby.

Step 9: Adjust the brake fluid level

Insert a funnel to avoid spillage,....

Brake fluid is highly toxic. Avoid direct contact with your body and consult a doctor if you accidently ingest it.

Add brake fluid carefully as necessary.

Fill both halves in double reservoirs .

Make sure not to go over the maximum fill line.

Step 10: Close the reservoir

Remove the funnel carefully to avoid any spills.
Have a cloth ready to wipe up spilled fluid. Protect the environment and avoid dropping fluid on the ground. Spills on the bodywork have to be washed off with water.
Put the lid back on immediately after. Wipe up any remaining fluid. Get rid of empty containers carefully.

Wash your hands