If wondering about the frequency of changing your Nissan’s brake fluid, you’re not alone. Although it might not be as prominent as oil changes or tire rotations, maintaining the brake fluid in your vehicle is a critical aspect of ensuring your car’s safety and performance.
In this article, the importance of brake fluid, when to change it, and performing essential maintenance tasks are discussed.
- Brake fluid is crucial for your car’s braking system, ensuring safety and performance.
- Over time, moisture absorption can reduce brake fluid efficiency and cause corrosion.
- Nissan recommends changing brake fluid every 20,000 miles or every two years.
- Signs of needed replacement include dark fluid, spongy brake pedal, and reduced performance.
- Changing brake fluid involves draining old fluid, refilling with fresh fluid, and bleeding the system.
- Consult a professional mechanic if unsure about the process or if issues arise.
- Dispose of old brake fluid responsibly at designated recycling centers.
- Regular maintenance helps prevent brake system issues and ensures a smooth driving experience.
Understanding Brake Fluid and Its Importance
Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid that helps transmit the force applied by the driver’s foot on the brake pedal to the brake calipers, which then clamp onto the brake discs to slow down or stop the vehicle.
This fluid is vital for proper braking system function and must be clean and at the correct level to be effective.
As time goes by, brake fluid can absorb moisture, which can lower its boiling point and cause a reduction in braking efficiency. Learn more about how brake fluid can go bad here.
It can be risky, especially in situations where you need to halt quickly. Furthermore, moisture in brake fluid may corrode and harm brake parts.
When to Change Brake Fluid in Your Nissan
Nissan recommends changing the brake fluid in most of its vehicles every 20,000 miles or every two years, whichever comes first.
Nonetheless, severe driving conditions like short trips, heavy traffic, or extreme temperatures may require more frequent brake fluid changes.
It’s also essential to check the brake fluid level and condition periodically, at least once every three months. If the fluid appears dark or contaminated, it’s time to change it.
Additionally, if experiencing signs of brake problems, such as a spongy brake pedal, reduced braking performance, or a dashboard warning light, have your brake system inspected and replace the brake fluid if necessary.
How to Change Brake Fluid in Your Nissan
Changing the brake fluid in your Nissan is a task that can be accomplished by a skilled DIYer or a professional mechanic. The process involves the following steps:
1. Locate the Brake Fluid Reservoir
Begin searching for the brake fluid reservoir within your Nissan’s engine bay. It’s usually a transparent plastic container with a black or yellow cap, marked with the words “brake fluid” or a symbol resembling a brake caliper.
2. Check the Fluid Level and Condition
Inspect the fluid level and its condition. The fluid should be clear or amber-colored and fill the reservoir up to the “MAX” line. If it’s low, top it off with the appropriate type of brake fluid specified in your owner’s manual (usually DOT 3 or DOT 4).
3. Prepare Your Workspace and Gather Tools
Before starting the brake fluid replacement process, ensure you have a clean workspace, gloves, safety goggles, a turkey baster or syringe, a wrench, a container for the old fluid, a bleeder bottle or hose, and new brake fluid.
4. Drain Old Brake Fluid
Using the turkey baster or syringe, remove as much old brake fluid as possible from the reservoir, being careful not to spill it on painted surfaces. Dispose of the old fluid responsibly.
5. Fill the Reservoir with Fresh Brake Fluid
Pour the new brake fluid into the reservoir until it reaches the “MAX” line. Be sure to use the correct type of brake fluid specified in your owner’s manual. Find out if you can mix different types of brake fluid here.
6. Bleed the Brake System
Starting with the wheel farthest from the master cylinder (usually the rear passenger-side wheel), attach the bleeder bottle or hose to the brake bleeder valve.
Loosen the valve with a wrench and have an assistant press the brake pedal to push the old fluid and any air bubbles out of the system.
As the fluid flows into the bleeder bottle, make sure to keep an eye on the reservoir and top it off with new brake fluid to prevent air from entering the system.
7. Close the Bleeder Valve and Move to the Next Wheel.
Once the fluid coming out of the bleeder valve is clean and free of air bubbles, close the valve and move on to the next wheel.
Repeat this process for all four wheels, following the recommended bleeding sequence in your Nissan’s owner’s manual. This typically involves moving from the wheel farthest from the master cylinder to the one closest to it.
8. Test the Braking System
After you’ve bled all the wheels, top off the brake fluid reservoir once more and ensure the brake pedal feels firm when pressed. Start the engine and test the brakes in a safe area, ensuring proper functionality and checking for leaks.
9. Dispose of Old Brake Fluid Responsibly
Collect the old brake fluid in a sealed container and dispose of it at a local recycling center or automotive parts store that accepts used fluids. Do not pour it down the drain or throw it away in regular trash, as it’s hazardous to the environment.
Nissan Brake Fluid Change Cost
As a Nissan vehicle owner, you might be curious about the expenses involved in changing your car’s brake fluid.
Typically, the cost of a brake fluid change for a Nissan vehicle falls between $90 and $200. This range depends on several factors, including the model, the service center’s location, and your choice between a dealership or an independent mechanic.
For those with a sense of adventure and some mechanical know-how, tackling this task yourself could save you money. However, remember that this procedure demands accuracy and attention to detail, so if you’re not entirely confident in your skills, let professionals handle it.
To help you make an informed decision, here’s a quick comparison between dealership service and an independent mechanic:
|Dealership||– Nissan-trained technicians||– Generally more expensive|
|– Genuine Nissan parts||– Limited to Nissan vehicles|
|– Warranty coverage|
|Independent||– Typically lower cost||– May not have specialized Nissan expertise|
|Mechanic||– Personalized service||– Quality of parts may vary|
|– May work on a variety of makes and models|
In the end, the decision is yours to make, but always prioritize safety and quality when it comes to maintaining your vehicle.
In Summary: Don’t Neglect Your Brake Fluid Maintenance
Maintaining your Nissan’s brake fluid is crucial to ensuring your vehicle’s safety and performance.
By following the recommended maintenance schedule and performing regular checks, you can help prevent potential brake system issues and enjoy a smooth, worry-free driving experience.
Remember, if unsure about changing brake fluid or encountering issues, consulting a professional mechanic is advised.
They can inspect the brake system, replace fluid if needed, and ensure everything works correctly for road safety.
Also read: How often to change brake fluid in Honda