Brake Fluid Replacement

Brake Fluid Inspection

Check the fluid level in the brake fluid reservoir. The level should be between the MAX (upper) and MIN (lower) lines.

When checking the fluid level, also check the extent to which the fluid is contaminated. Brake fluid is colorless when new but gradually turns brown during use. Severely contaminated fluid must be replaced.

NOTE:
Do not open the reservoir only to check the fluid level.

An excessively low fluid level can be caused by worn brake pads and/or leaking brake lines. If the fluid level is extremely low, therefore, inspect these areas in accordance with the shop manual.

Brake Fluid Bleeding and Replacement

CAUTION:

  1. Never start the engine during the bleeding and replacement operations.
  2. The brake system must be checked for correct operation after bleeding or replacement of the fluid.

Operation procedures of Bleeding the brake line and replacement of brake fluid are almost the same. For the details of bleeding procedure, refer to “Bleeding” in the shop manual.

  • If you are just to bleed the system, do as described in the shop manual.
  • If you are to replace the brake fluid:
  1. Remove the old fluid in the reservoir using a syringe and fill with fresh fluid.
  2. Perform the bleed operation for each brake line until “old fluid is forced out and clear, fresh fluid starts to emerge from the bleed screw.

For the bleeding sequence, it should start from the caliper or wheel cylinder farthest from the master cylinder and then to the other end of that brake line as a general rule for a conventional brake system. However, ABS and some conventional system have different sequences. Be sure to check the relevant shop manual.

CAUTION:

  • Frequently observe the brake fluid level in the reservoir, and do not allow the reservoir to become empty. If the reservoir became empty, air would be sucked into the circuit via the reservoir, rendering the bleeding operation useless.
  • Never release the depressed brake pedal while any bleed screw is loosened. If the pedal was released, the bubbles just expelled would be sucked into the line.
  • When bleeding is complete, make sure the bleed screws are tightened to the specified torque and be sure to fit the bleed screw caps. Also, check that the fluid level in the reservoir is at the MAX line.
  • Finally, drive the vehicle in a safe place and check that the brakes operate properly.

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