If you are not sure about the process of refilling your car’s brake fluid, then don’t worry; it’s not rocket science. However, you do need to know how much brake fluid a car needs. The brake fluid of your car is very important to keep the braking system of the car in optimal condition. If the volume of fluid goes below the optimal level, the car’s braking system as well as your safety could be in jeopardy.
That is why it is essential to keep track of the brake fluid of your car and regularly change it, as recommended in the manufacturer’s instruction manual. In this article, you will see a breakdown of everything you need to learn regarding brake fluids.
Table of Contents
What is brake fluid?
Cars of the modern age are incorporated with a hydraulic braking system. The brake fluid is a chemical that plays a big part in this braking system. The job of the brake fluid is to intensify the pressure you put on the pedal of the brake pedal, which helps to apply the required force on the brake of the car to make it stop. To put it simply, only touching your brake pedal won’t make the car stop if it lacks brake liquid.
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Why brake fluid goes bad?
In nature, brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means moisture is absorbed by it from air. The brake liquid is kept in a restricted system but still, a tiny volume of moisture can find its way inside the structure and get mingled with the liquid.
This can grow the water content in the brake fluid over time. What’s worse, a pretty small volume of moisture can contaminate the fluid and lessens its effectiveness. Various issues could cause the contamination, including broken seals, holes in the rubber hoses, or if the cap of the brake fluid is not properly closed.
What are the symptoms of low brake fluid?
During the use of brakes, if the pedal feels soft and touches the ground with slight effort and little to no resistance, then this means your brakes are not properly working due to the lack of brake fluid.
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Brightened ABS light
When you see the warning ABS light on the dashboard of your car is on, this means there’s not much brake fluid left in your car. You need to have optimal brake fluid for ABS to function perfectly. So, if your car’s brake fluid decreases, you will notice the illuminating light of the check ABS.
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Puddle below the car
If you see any signs of a puddle of oily liquid under the car, this means your car might be leaking brake fluid. The rubber hoses, cylinders, or calipers could be enabling the leak. Do not take the leak of brake fluid lightly. Fix the leaking issue as soon as you can after you notice.
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How much brake fluid does a car need?
A car needs an optimal level of brake fluid, so fill your car with the optimal level of brake fluid when you are adding it. Most modern cars need about 32 ounces of brake fluid or one quart.
How to put in brake fluid
First step of adding the brake fluid is choosing the quality product. This is a vital step as you don’t want to fill your car with just any brake fluid. Find out what sort of brake fluid should you be using for your car by checking the owner’s manual. You can also ask a professional car mechanic for help.
While the regular DOT 4 or DOT 3 brake fluid is used in some cars, some use the DOT 5 brake fluid. Thus, you need to ensure you are filling your car with the right fluid.
Also, do not blend DOT 5 with DOT 4 or DOT 3. If you mix them, the brakes could be damaged by this.
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It’s time to put the fluid into the tank. On the side of the tank, there are markings, keep an eye on them. Once max and min line is reached by the fluid, make the fluid pouring slow. And when the fluid reaches under the max line, don’t pour any more fluid.
Get rid of any grime and dirt from the tank area by cleaning it. At last, tightly close the tank to prevent moisture as well as other contaminants from entering.
What is the cost of adding brake fluid?
The cost of adding brake fluid is between $5 – $30. And if you want an expert to help you with the job, then you will need to spend on labor cost of about $100 to $150. Nonetheless, your money can be saved by following the steps and performing the process yourself.
If you were wondering how much brake fluid does a car need, you must have found your answer now. Not only that, if you have read this article carefully, you should also be able to add brake fluid by yourself.
Originally from England, I’ve been repairing cars for over 16 years and am an automotive journalist. I’ve been working on cars for as long as I can remember, and it’s one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.
It is my intention to be your mechanic friend, that person who will assist you with any problem you may have with your vehicle and explain in detail how the problem can be fixed to you as soon as possible.
I produce and anchor a weekly auto news program. As well as providing insights into all things automotive, including expert analysis of the latest trends in the automotive industry, and ensuring you always know where to go for the latest automotive news, I also provide insight into all things automotive before the news breaks.
If I am not working, I am a riding motorcyclist and I do volunteer work with local charities whenever I have time. When I’m not riding my motorcycles or volunteering at local charities, you will find me at home in Portland, Oregon.