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When something is as important as brake fluid, the more you know, the better. That’s why we’ve collected the answers to commonly asked questions on this topic and posted here for your convenience, and safety!
A: It’s a hydraulic fluid that transfers force from the brake pedal to the braking components for all four wheels of your car. The pressure is essential for slowing and stopping the vehicle when the brakes are applied. It also lubricates the moving parts of the braking system and absorbs any moisture that gets into the brake hydraulic system.
A: Brake fluid leaks are often caused by a worn seal in the master cylinder, caliper, or wheel cylinder. If you suspect your car is leaking brake fluid, call a tow truck to take your vehicle to a service provider for a brake fluid inspection. Brake fluid leaks can lead to total brake system failure.
A: Typically, water can enter through leaks in your rubber brake lines or worn seals in the master cylinder, calipers, or wheel cylinders.
A: Brake fluids are classified by the US Department of Transportation (DOT). There are two main types:
The main difference between these fluids are the additives that enhance their boiling point, corrosion/rust resistance, or general wear. Some additives act as neutralizers or pH balancers.
A: Follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation for the proper fluid type for your specific vehicle. You can find this information by checking the owner’s manual or by looking on the master cylinder reservoir cap. If you can’t locate the manufacturer’s recommendation, a Jiffy Lube® technician can access this information for you.
A: Brake fluid is typically clear or may be dyed to have a slight orange, blue or green tint. If the fluid appears dark or murky, you should probably have it checked by a professional.
A: If you’re a DIYer, here’s how to do it. But before we begin, please remember that brake fluid is toxic and should be handled with care.
You can also bring your car to Jiffy Lube®, where a trained technician will check the fluid as part of a brake fluid inspection. With more than 2,000 locations across the country, there is a service center near you.
A: Jiffy Lube® technicians are trained in maintaining your brake system.
A: Some manufacturers recommend that brake fluid be replaced every two years or 30,000 miles. Others recommend three years or 45,000 miles. And some manufacturers make no recommendations at all! If you can’t find the manufacturer recommendation for your specific vehicle, ask a trained Jiffy Lube® technician.
A: Six things to watch out for:
A: The relationship between the fluid, the hydraulic braking system, and vehicle motion is an example of Pascal’s law. This principle states that when a fluid experiences any type of pressure change in an enclosed space, the pressure is transmitted equally in all directions.
Let’s illustrate this by explaining how the system would work as a driver approaches a red light:
Now you know what’s up if your car is leaking brake fluid, but what if you spot a puddle of transmission fluid? Find out what to do here.
Please note: Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube® location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube® service center or visit jiffylube.com for specific services offered.