One overlooked part of the brake system is the brake fluid. Most people remember their brake pads, brake calipers, and brake rotors, but none of these components would have a part to play without the help of brake fluid. This solution creates the pressure needed to slow and stop your vehicle.
Hydraulic braking systems need brake fluid to power their brakes. When you apply pressure to the brake pedal, the fluid is pushed through the system. This fluid, also known as DOT fluid, is stored under the hood. One major weakness of brake fluid is that it can be corrupted by moisture in the air. This is why manufacturers often make the fluid reservoir clear to allow you to read its levels without opening the cap.
Signs That Indicate Low Brake Fluid
- Loose or spongy brake pedals - The feeling of your brake pedal can give you a ton of insight into the health of your braking system. It should never feel too firm or too soft. If the pedal feels too loose or easily gets pushed towards the ground, it means that your vehicle is low on brake fluid. You may experience a slower brake response as well. It is imperative that you bring your car to an auto repair shop for brake fluid service immediately.
- Brake Warning Light On - One of the most common ways to tell if you need brake fluid service is if your ABS or brake light illuminates on your dash. Low fluid levels can trigger this dashboard warning.
- Unusual Noises - If you are experiencing noisy braking, it could be more than just your brake pads. Poor lubrication can also cause your brakes to squeal.
- Clear and Fishy-Smelling Fluid - If you notice signs of a leak that has a very bad odor to it, it can be a sign of leaking brake fluid. It can leak anywhere within the brake system. You should have it checked out promptly.
If you suspect you need a brake fluid top-off or flush, please bring your vehicle to the certified technicians at The Car and Truck Guys! We will fix up your vehicle so that it can be safer than ever before.