Brake fluid plays a vital role in your vehicle’s braking system, ensuring its effectiveness and overall safety. A low brake fluid level compromises the brakes’ functionality and poses a risk to you and other road users. Thus, it is crucial to promptly refill the brake fluid once you notice its level depleting, guaranteeing both your vehicle’s performance and safety on the road.
However, what should you do after adding brake fluid? Is it just a matter of topping up and forgetting about it? In this article, we’ll learn everything we need to do after adding brake fluid.
Check for Leaks
After adding brake fluid to your car, the initial step is to inspect the braking system for leaks, as low brake fluid levels may indicate a leak. Thoroughly checking for leaks before adding more brake fluid is crucial since a leak could result in decreased braking power and possible accidents.
To check for leaks, look around the master cylinder, brake lines, and brake calipers. Any wetness or spots could be a sign of a leak. Leaks can be caused by worn-out brake hoses, damaged brake lines, or a malfunctioning master cylinder.
If you find a leak, it is recommended to have a professional repair it and bleed the brakes if necessary. Ignoring a leak can lead to more significant problems in the future.
Bleeding the Brakes
Bleeding the brakes involves getting rid of air bubbles that might have entered the braking system. It is necessary if there is air in the system or if the reservoir was removed completely, and the brake pedal was pushed.
Air bubbles in the brake lines can cause the brake pedal to feel spongy or soft, reducing the vehicle’s stopping power. This condition can be dangerous, especially when in emergency situations.
Bleeding brakes requires two people and should be done by a professional to ensure the brakes are fully operational.
Here’s a brief overview of the steps involved in bleeding the brakes:
- Prepare the vehicle and tools: Park the car on a flat surface, engage the emergency brake, and put blocks behind the rear wheels. Raise the vehicle and remove the wheels. Locate the brake bleeder screws on the brake calipers or wheel cylinders and attach a clear plastic tube to them.
- Fill the master cylinder with brake fluid: To fill the master cylinder with brake fluid, it’s important to use the right type. Using the wrong kind can harm your brakes. Check your owner’s manual for the suggested brake fluid.
- Begin the bleeding process: Ask someone to sit in the driver’s seat and pump the brake pedal several times, then hold it down. While the pedal is down, loosen the bleeder screw until brake fluid starts to flow through the clear tube.
- Repeat the process: Repeat the process until no air bubbles are visible in the clear tube. Remember to watch the brake fluid level in the master cylinder and refill it as needed.
- Repeat for all four wheels: Repeat the process for all four wheels, starting from the farthest wheel from the master cylinder and moving closer.
It’s important to use the correct brake fluid and the proper tools when bleeding brakes. If you’re not sure regarding the procedure you should confide in a professional to ensure that your brakes are functioning properly.
Signs That Your Brakes Need Bleeding
Even if you haven’t recently added brake fluid or changed your brake components, you may still need to bleed your brakes. Here are some signs that indicate that the brakes need to be bled:
- The brake pedal feels spongy or soft
- The brake pedal goes to the floor when pressed
- The brakes don’t feel responsive
- There’s a decrease in braking power
If you notice any of these signs, take your car to a professional immediately. Bleeding the brakes can restore your vehicle’s stopping power and prevent accidents.
How do you know when brake fluid is full?
Knowing when the brake fluid is full is an essential part of adding brake fluid to your car. Most vehicles have a clear plastic reservoir that allows you to see the brake fluid level easily. The reservoir is normally located on the side of the driver in the compartment for engines over the master cylinder.
To check the brake fluid level, you first need to locate the reservoir.
Inspect the “max” and “min” indicators. Should the brake fluid be below the “min” mark, it is a sign to refill the brake fluid. When the fluid level resides between the “max” and “min” marks, it signifies an adequate amount, and no additional fluid is necessary.
Remember that overfilling the reservoir of brake fluid can be as dangerous as filling it too low. This condition can cause the fluid to foam, which can result in soft brakes and less stopping power (also read: How to Remove Excess Brake Fluid).
It is therefore essential to monitor the fluid level in the brake system often and replenish fluid only in the amount required to ensure the brake system functions properly.
To ensure that you and others are safe while driving It’s crucial to keep sufficient brake fluid within your vehicle. Once you’ve added the brake fluid it is crucial to look for leaks and then bleed the brakes to ensure they function properly.
Signs like a soft brake pedal or weaker brakes may mean your brakes need bleeding. Using the right brake fluid and tools is important when bleeding brakes, and if you’re not sure, it’s better to ask a professional.
Always monitor the fluid level in your brakes often, but don’t increase it excessively to avoid issues. If you follow these guidelines to ensure that your brakes function correctly and ensure your safety when driving.