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How To Change The Brake Fluid of The Car

car brake fluid

The brake fluid is one of the great unknowns for the vast majority of drivers. However, driving with this fluid in a poor state can cause failures in braking and compromise your safety behind the wheel.

In this article, we will teach you how to change brake fluid to the car from home and without having to go to the workshop. You will only need an assistant, some tools, a new brake fluid bottle and some time.

Why must the brake fluid be changed

The brake fluid ensures that the transmission from the brake pedal to the wheel cylinders is optimal. If this liquid does not do its function well and its temperature rises or falls too much, it can damage the brake. Therefore, it must be changed before the brake wear reaches that point.

Tools needed

  • Forklift: to lift the car and be able to disassemble the wheels.
  • Protective goggles: protection against brake fluid splash on eye.
  • Gloves: hand protection against brake fluid and other corrosive agents.
  • 2 syringes: one to extract the old liquid and another to introduce the new one.
  • Container for old liquid: to collect all the purged liquid.
  • Rubber hose: to bleed brake fluid.
  • Cross wrench: to disconnect the wheels
  • Wrench: to open the brake bleeder

In addition to the tools, you will need another person to help you perform the bleeding of the brake fluid.

How to change the brake fluid in 9 steps

  1. Park the car in a flat place and turn off the car

The change of liquid should be done with the car off and on a flat surface to avoid later problems with the liquid or difficulties when raising the car.

  1. Change the brake fluid

Open the hood and look for the brake fluid canister, which usually has a yellow symbol with the image representing the brakes. Once you have found it, take a syringe and extract all the old brake fluid. Then, take another syringe and immediately put the new liquid. Do it fast because if too much air enters the system the brakes will lose effectiveness.

  1. Remove the wheels in order

After changing the brake fluid, you have to purge the calipers of each wheel. However, you have to do it in this order:

  1. Right rear wheel.
  2. Left rear wheel.
  3. Right front wheel.
  4. Front left wheel.

If the car has the steering wheel to the right, the order would be the opposite in terms of directions. Always start with the wheel furthest from the steering wheel until you reach the one next to it.

To remove the wheels, raise the car with the jack and use the cross wrench to unscrew and loosen each wheel.

  1. Connect the brake cylinder with the container

Locate a plastic tube that comes out of the brake cylinder on the first wheel. Then, remove the protection and connect it with the rubber sleeve. The other end of the sleeve should be put in the container you have chosen to keep all the liquid purged.

  1. Ask your assistant to pump the brake

Stand next to the first wheel and ask the other person to start stepping on the brake several times without reaching the bottom.

  1. Open the bleeder and let out the brake fluid

When the other person has pumped the brake, use the wrench to open the cover. As soon as you do, your assistant should step on the brake gently until you reach the bottom. At the moment you get to the bottom, you should warn and then you will close the cover. Then, you must repeat this process two or three times to completely purge that wheel.

  1. Check the brake fluid level

After finishing the purge of the wheel, go to the bonnet and check the level of the brake fluid. In the newer cars, there are two brands with the words “maximum” and “low” and in the oldest ones, you will only have to pay attention to the fact that the liquid occupies around 2/3 of the capacity of the deposit. If the deposit is not in a level between the minimum and maximum, re-fill it with the syringe you used to introduce the new liquid.

  1. Remove the sleeve and place the wheel

After reviewing the brake liquid level, remove the sleeve, put the protection and screw the wheel again with the cross wrench.

  1. Repeat the process with the rest of the wheels

As soon as you finish with the first wheel you have to do steps 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 again with each of the wheels. Remember to do it in order and check the brake fluid level after each purge.

How much does the change cost?

The change of brake fluid is very cheap since the new fluid will cost between $5 to $15. Unless you have to buy any of the necessary tools, that requires more time and money.

How often to change the brake fluid?

In a normal condition, you should do it every 50,000 kilometers or every 2 years roughly.

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