How to Check Brake Fluid

Mechanic checking brake fluid

Without brakes working properly on your vehicle, they could cause damage and injuries to you, your family, and other people. Brakes allow your vehicle to stop properly and in time. When your brakes are in less-than-ideal condition, they can become problematic at best. Along with regular brake checks, learning how to check brake fluid in your car is a great way to maintain your vehicle’s braking system.



But if you’re not sure what color is brake fluid or you need help checking brake fluid correctly, the service team at Major World Chevrolet is here to help! We’ll tell you everything you need to know about brake fluid, what it does, how to check brake fluid properly, and know when to bring your vehicle into our service department.

What Is Brake Fluid?

Your car’s brakes rely on hydraulics, which means it requires fluid to move the parts properly. When you hit the brake pedal on East Hills roads, pressurized brake fluid moves through brake lines to bring your car to a stop. The pressurized fluid goes through various pistons and cylinders to increase or decrease pressure. The pressure then clamps down on brake calipers that scrape against the disc brakes, which slows down the wheels.

Brake fluid also lubricates your braking system and prevents corrosion. Look for common formulas, like glycol-ether-based, silicone-based (DOT-5), and mineral oil-based (LHM) brake fluids. Which brake fluid works for your vehicle? Check your owner’s manual for specific recommendations.

Why Must Technicians Periodically Change Brake Fluid?

Like most automotive fluids (think motor oil and transmission fluid), changing brake fluid regularly puts your vehicle in top shape for Bayside roads. Checking brake fluid helps prevent issues before they become worse problems.

Why is checking brake fluid so important?

  • Brake fluid attracts moisture over time, which can corrode your braking system.
  • Brake fluid becomes contaminated with small particles with age, and those particles can damage your brakes.
  • Systems like ABS and traction control generate heat, which can cause your brake fluid to break down more quickly.

How to Check Brake Fluid Properly

  1. Find your car’s brake fluid reservoir. It will be located on the master cylinder under the hood. If you can’t find it, check your owner’s manual for a diagram. Or call our service department at 347-466-9380, and we’ll help you! Checking brake fluid is relatively easy.
  2. Look for the “minimum” and “maximum” lines on the master cylinder’s reservoir. Check the brake fluid against these measurement lines. If your brake fluid is between the lines, you’re good to go. If it’s close or under the minimum line, add more brake fluid.
  3. Examine the color of the brake fluid. If you notice that it looks more like thickened oil with a dark brown or black color, you’ll need to schedule a brake fluid flush ASAP. This dark color is why checking brake fluid periodically is a good idea.

What Color Is Brake Fluid Normally?

You know that dark brown or black brake fluid is not ideal. What color is brake fluid normally? New brake fluid should be almost clear with a faint yellow tint. It becomes darker over time as it picks up debris and contaminants. That’s why a darker color can indicate a need for a fluid flush and change. Checking brake fluid regularly makes this problem easy to detect, which is why you need to know how to check brake fluid. It helps you spot any changes before they become major issues.

Brake Fluid Service Intervals

Our service team recommends checking brake fluid with every oil change, or at least once a year (whichever comes first). On average, brake fluid can last four to five years before changing brake fluid. However, the interval between changes depends on several things, like your driving habits, your vehicle, driving conditions, age of your brakes, how fast you decelerate, and numerous other factors. Our technicians can help you determine exactly when to replace your brake fluid during a routine maintenance visit.

Schedule Your Next Service with Major World Chevrolet

Need to bring your vehicle in for a brake check? Contact us or call 347-466-9380 with any questions about brake maintenance, checking brake fluid, or any concerns about your brake system. We’re happy to help with any questions or concerns you have about car maintenance in Forest Hills. For convenience, schedule your next service appointment through our secure online system. We look forward to hearing from you!


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