checking brake fluid

How To Check Brake Fluid

Any time you take to the Walla Walla streets, you rely on your brakes to keep you safe. This is why it is critical to maintain your brakes and to ensure they aren’t worn down. One great way to gauge brake status is to check your brake fluid on a consistent basis. Learn how to check brake fluid with the service pros at Walla Walla Valley Honda so you can take on your Tri-Cities commute with confidence. 

What is the Purpose of Brake Fluid?

Before you learn how to check brake fluid, it is important to understand its purpose. Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid that aids in the movement of your brake pedal. It also acts as a lubricant for the braking system and prevents corrosion. In most Kennewick vehicles, brake fluid is glycol-ether based, but silicone-based (DOT-5) and mineral oil-based (LHM) fluids are available. You can consult your owner’s manual for specifics on which brake fluid your model uses. 

3 Tips to Check Brake Fluid

  1. Locate your vehicle’s brake fluid reservoir on the master cylinder near the engine block. Your owners’ manual can guide you to the precise location. 
  2. Located on the reservoir you will see “minimum” and “maximum” lines. Check the volume of the brake fluid against these lines. If the level is near or below the minimum, it is time for a fluid replacement. 
  3. Wondering what color is brake fluid? For the most part, it should be clear. If you notice a dark brown or black color similar to oil, you will need a brake fluid flush. 

What Color is Brake Fluid Normally? 

Now that you know how to check your brake fluid, you may be wondering, “What color is brake fluid?” Fresh brake fluid should be mostly clear with a slight yellow tint. This color will naturally change over time as you use your braking system. As mentioned above, a dark oil-like color signifies that your brake fluid has picked up dirt and debris. These contaminants can hinder performance if left untreated.

Brake Fluid Service Schedule

A good rule of thumb is to have your brake fluid checked with every oil change, or once a year at minimum. Brake fluid has a four to five-year lifespan, but this can vary greatly depending on the car, driving conditions, and driving habits. When you schedule service with us, our certified technicians will know exactly how to check and change your brake fluid.

Turn to Walla Walla Valley Honda for Automotive Care

We offer a wide range of service tips and tricks to help you take on car care in your College Place driveway. However, if you prefer to let the pros handle your maintenance, you can contact us to learn more about the services we provide. What’s more, you can save big with our ever-rotating service specials! Partner with the best team in town for your automotive maintenance.

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