How Often Should I Change My Brake Fluid? A Guide For The Rest Of Us

Do you know you need to change your brake fluid? Many people are unaware that their brake systems even contain fluid. Just like replacing pads and rotors, changing your brake fluid is a key part of your vehicle’s maintenance. 

What Is Brake Fluid?

Most modern vehicles come equipped with hydraulic brakes. Brake fluid is an integral component of the hydraulic braking system. It drives caliper pistons which drive brake pads. This creates the necessary friction against the brake rotors to stop the vehicle at the push of the pedal. Learn more about brake fluid here

How To Check Your Brake Fluid

  1. Locate brake master cylinder reservoir. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual if you’re having trouble locating it.
  2. Look for a translucent reservoir with a clearly marked “full” line. If your vehicle has this style reservoir, you can check the fluid level without removing the screw-off cap.
  3. If the color of your brake fluid is darker than pale yellow, it’s time to change it. 

How Often Should You Change Brake Fluid?

The answer to this varies depending on your car. For most vehicles, it’s recommended to change your brake fluid between 2 years/20,000 miles and 5 years/50,0000 miles. Some manufacturers recommend mileage-based intervals such as every 45,000 miles and some recommend a time-based interval such as every 3 years regardless of mileage. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual to see the manufacturer’s recommended intervals for information specific to your vehicle. 

Is Changing Your Brake Fluid Necessary?

Changing your brake fluid is necessary for your vehicle’s safety. As your brake fluid ages, it gets contaminated with small particles. As that happens, the boiling point lowers, which means the brakes will fade sooner. This translates to increased pedal effort and stopping distance. 

Brake Fluid Disposal

Image Credit: CambridgeMA

Changing your brake fluid isn’t the most difficult job. However, unless you can easily dispose of toxic waste, this is a job that’s best suited for a shop. Brake fluid is a toxic and corrosive liquid that needs to be properly disposed of. Your local mechanic is the best place to go to get your brake fluid changed. 

In Conclusion

Brake fluid is an essential component of your vehicle’s hydraulic braking system. It is imperative that you stay on top of your car’s maintenance and replace your brake fluid at the recommended regular intervals. When it’s time to replace your brake fluid, Buy Brakes has you covered