How to Change Your Brake Fluid
Has it been a while since you last changed your cars brake fluid? If so, you may want to give your car some attention on that. To help keep your car running smoothly, and out of the shop you will want to make sure you give your car the attention and maintenance it needs. Changing your cars brake fluid is a very important part in how your vehicle runs. Brake fluid over time can get dirty and start to thicken. Once it starts to reach that level it is long over due for a change. Not sure how to change your cars brake fluid? Check out the step by step instructions below to learn how you can change it yourself.
* Brake fluid based on your vehicle
* A brake bleeding kit (vacuum)
* Drip pan
* A clean rag
Not sure what kind of brake fluid you need? Check your owner's manual or ask a associate at an automotive store.
Step by step instructions for changing your vehicles brake fluid:
1. Make sure you are in an area with some room and that your vehicle is shut off.
2. Once you have a place to work you will want to pop your car's hood.
3. You will want to now locate your car's brake master cylinder. Not sure where this is? Look for something that is on the driver's side of the car, next to the engine. Think of where your pedal would be located.
4. Now that you've located your B.M.C. you will want to search for the cap. Loosen the cap to take it off and check out the fluids color. You never want to have a dark or thick color fluid. Instead, your fluid should look similar to a light, very pale brownish color.
5. If your fluid color is dark you will definitely want to consider changing your brake fluid.
6. Take out your vacuum pump and suction out all the old fluid out of the master cylinder.
7. Now put the canister on the pump, (this becomes the reservoir) and drain the master cylinder.
8. When you place the tube into the master cylinder to suck out the fluids, be sure to make sure the hose is all the way down to the bottom. If you don't place it in far enough you may not get all of the old oil.
9. Once your canister pump is all the way full, get your clean rag and put it around the tip of the hose to avoid having it leak over your vehicle.
10. Keep suctioning and emptying until all the fluid is out of the brake master cylinder.
11. Once all the fluid is out of the B.M.C. get a clean rag and wipe down the area. This will avoid having dust get in your fluid and any dirt that doesn't belong there.
12. Since all your fluid is out, you will want to get your new brake fluid and pour it to the line that says "full".
13. Once it is full, you will now need to take all the wheels off of your vehicle and get out the vacuum pump again.
14. By each tire there is a bleeder valve. Take off the cap and suction your vacuum pump to it.
15. Take a wrench and loosen the bleeder valve just a little bit
16. Now, pump your vacuum pump until all the old brake fluid comes out. (It may come out dirty at first and have a few bubbles.) Give it around 15-25 pumps.
17. Go back to your master cylinder up from and add some more of the new fluid to it. (It should be lower because you're draining it through the bleeder valves.
18. Repeat these steps for the other three tires.
19. Once you've finished the work up front and all four of your tires, you will now want to test your vehicle. You may notice that your pedal will go all the way down to the floor and the ABS light may come on. If this happens, try to pump your brake about 10-15 times and it will firm up. The ABS light will go off after you turn it off and back on again. If you notice that it doesn't turn off the first time try to unhook your battery so that the computer will reset.
A very important question that many people don't know the answer to, "How often should you change your vehicle's brake fluid?"
Answer: You should change your car's brake fluid every 2 years or every 24,000 miles, which ever one comes first.
Changing your car's brake fluid seems very intimidating at first but it is a very easy way to save money. By changing your own brake fluid you can avoid going to the automotive shops and learn to take good care of your vehicle. Follow these simple steps and you will be on your way to changing your car's brake fluid in no time.