Mechanic Checking Brake Fluid

How To Check Brake Fluid

There’s a lot you can do at home to keep your car running smoothly between regular visits to your Los Angeles-area service center. Along with checking your oil, checking your brake fluid should be on your DIY auto maintenance checklist. So what color is brake fluid when it’s fresh, and what does brake fluid look like when it needs to be changed out? Find out what you need to know in the guide below from Rusnak/Pasadena Jaguar.



What Is Brake Fluid Used For?

What does brake fluid look like normally, and how does it function in your vehicle’s brake system? Brake fluid is a clear, yellow-tinted hydraulic fluid that lubricates your brake pedal and braking system. The benefits of that lubrication are twofold: your brake pedal works more smoothly, and corrosion can’t build up in the system.

As you might expect, low brake fluid can cause myriad problems for your car’s brake system, and even reduce the lifespan of your brakes. Regularly checking your brake fluid will ensure that you catch brake fluid leaks early.

What Color is Brake Fluid?

As you learned above, fresh brake fluid is clear with a slight yellowish tint. But what does brake fluid look like when it’s due for a change? Over time, brake fluid gathers dirt and debris, causing a gray and gritty appearance.

You should aim to change your brake fluid every 24 to 36 months regardless of its color. Brake fluid doesn’t just accumulate debris over time: it’s also a hygroscopic substance, meaning it readily attracts moisture from the surrounding atmosphere.

What color is brake fluid when it has absorbed moisture? Moisture won’t affect the color of brake fluid, so it’s important to keep track of your last brake fluid change. Extra moisture reduces the boiling point of the brake fluid, which in turn generates a lot of extra heat in your brake system. That can have serious effects like decreased brake efficacy, corrosion of the wheel cylinders or brake calipers, and brake fluid reservoir leaks.

Schedule Professional Jaguar Brake Service in Pasadena

At Rusnak/Pasadena Jaguar, our certified Jaguar technicians use only genuine OEM Jaguar parts. Contact us for more expert DIY car care tips, to learn about our Jaguar brake center, about Jaguar transmission service, and explore our rotating selection of parts and service specials for drivers in Glendale and Burbank.

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