6 signs that you need a brake fluid change

Author Name – Wendy Riach

    36 people

The braking system is arguably the most important safety feature on your vehicle. There are lots of components in your braking system and they need the help of brake fluid to operate correctly.

One of the biggest reasons for problems with brakes apart from wear and tear is low brake fluid and leaks.

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Here are six signs that your brake fluid needs topping up or changing:

Brake Pedal not responsive

If you are finding it harder to push down on your brake pedal, the brake pedal is soft or spongy or you need to pump the brake pedal to decrease your speed, this could indicate brake fluid is not being pushed through the system properly and is usually caused by low brake fluid or a leak, which could result in brake failure. Brake fluid leaks can usually be seen beneath your vehicle near the wheels and can either be brown or light yellow in colour. An unresponsive brake pedal or leak needs to be checked immediately.

Brake Pads Vibrating

Vibrating brakes can be a sign that your pads are very worn or your brake fluid is low. You would be advised to get brake pads checked as soon as possible.

Noisy Brakes

Low brake fluid can affect your brake pads or the way your vehicle’s calipers are performing. When you use the brake pedal a piston is pushed into the master cylinder, the cylinder is then filled with brake fluid and in turn, forces the brake fluid through to the brake calipers on each disc. The brake calipers generate pressure to help the brake pads clamp to the wheels, which reduces the speed of your vehicle until it completely stops. Without sufficient brake fluid, the braking system will fail. You would be advised to get noisy brakes checked as soon as possible.

ABS Warning Light

If you notice that the ABS warning light is being activated on your dashboard in normal driving conditions, this could be a sign your brake fluid is low and will need be checked immediately.

Related: Car Dashboard Warning Lights

Brake Fluid discolouration

Brake fluid sits inside a sealed system however moisture or debris can work its way into the braking system via braking components and hoses and can contaminate the brake fluid. The moisture or water can lower the brake fluid’s boiling point, which can affect the performance of the braking system. A discoloured or darker brake fluid can indicate that the brake fluid has been contaminated and will need to be changed. 

Vehicle pulling to the side, left or right

If your vehicle is pulling left or right when you are braking, this could be a sign of contamination in the brake fluid. This will need to be checked as soon as possible.

If you are worried about your vehicle’s braking performance, you have noisy or vibrating brakes, or suspect a leak, please get these checked by a professional as soon as possible. Book an appointment at your local National Tyres and Autocare branch

Related: Book a brake fluid change

Leaving suspected leaks and brake warning lights unchecked could lead to more serious problems.

Our Payment Assist plan can help spread the cost of the repair and replacement of brakes and discs, for more details please click on the related article below. 

Related: Spread the cost 

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