The brake fluid reservoir is usually located on the top of the engine in front of the steering column (on the engine side of the firewall). Many reservoirs have the fluid level indicator on the side. Check the fluid level. Read your owner’s manual to determine the proper fluid to add. Add fluid if needed. If level seems exceptionally low to you, you may have a brake issue occurring. We recommend you take the vehicle to a repair center for inspection.
**INSTALLATION OF THE WRONG FLUID COULD RESULT IN SEVERE DAMAGE TO THE BRAKING SYSTEM. SUCH AS, ALL OF THE RUBBER IN THE BRAKING SYSTEM SWELLING UP AND CAUSING THE BRAKES TO SUDDENLY LOCK UP IN MOTION***
When getting your brakes inspected at a repair center tell them to tell you how much material is left by 32nd not by percents. Pads and shoes are not standard, thus making it virtually impossible to know what percent they really are.
A pad that starts at 12/32 and is now 6/32 has “50” percent left, but what if that pad started at 14/32 (this pad only has 42 percent left), or if it starts at 10/32 (this pad has 60 percent left).
It is virtually impossible to know what the pads started at, so it is virtually impossible to know what the percent was / is.
When your pads are down between 2/32 and 3/32 you should replace them.
Brake shoes tend to start at 3/32.
Remember you have pads on the front and rear side of each rotor. A proper brake inspection will tell you the 32nd for all the pads.
BRAKE FLUID FLUSH:
We use FASCAR test strips to tell you the condition of you brake fluid. We will show you the test strip and the fascar scale to help you understand the test.
Contaminated / broken down fluid does not offer proper lubrication / cushioning for brake parts and may lead to early failure of braking components.
Can I use a Brake Strip to test my own brake fluid?
To be able to test your own brake fluid you must be able to find the master cylinder. In today's cars sometimes this is more difficult then you would think. The master cylinder cap should be identifies with the writing 'DOT 3 Brake fluid only' or DOT 4 Brake fluid only'. Contact your local Autozone store. You can also request a test from your local service facility. Remember this is new, so he may not be up-to-speed yet on this new technology.
What do I do if my shop tries to sell me a brake flush based on color, moisture or time/mileage?
Realize that most automotive service facilities are honest and trying to do the right thing for you and your vehicle. In most cases, unnecessary brake fluid replacement recommendations are based on color, time/mileage, moisture or boiling point and are not intentionally to deceive you. It is more likely they are not aware of the new MAP standard or FASCAR technology.**Testing for copper NOT water**
Color - If your shop recommends brake fluid replacement based on color, it is likely that he is just following 'tradition'. It has been determined by brake fluid manufacturers and experts that you cannot tell brake fluid condition by color. There is no science or standard to justify brake fluid replacement based on color or it 'looks dirty'. One common tactic is to show a sample of new fluid compared to a sample of your fluid. Again there is no basis or foundation that the 'color' means the fluid should be replaced. Please be patient, the shop is not likely trying to intentionally deceive you, and they may not be informed on this new technology. The only justifiable reason to suggest replacement based on color is if the standard brake fluid has been replaced with the wrong fluid and the fluid is red or purple in color.
Moisture - A recommendation based on moisture also falls into the same category as color. It has been a tradition. If the shop uses a boiling point tester and tells you that your brake fluid has a low boiling point, realize there is no standard for 'used' brake fluid boiling point.
Time/Mileage - If your vehicle has O.E. (BMW, Mercedes...) brake fluid recommended maintenance based on time/mileage, your technician is following the MAP guideline. Many shops still use Brake Strip because it will help clarify service within maintenance parameters.
I failed a Brake Strip test soon after I had my brake fluid replaced?
Occasionally we hear this statement, 'they told me something must be wrong with the strip because they just changed my brake fluid'. FASCAR Brake Strips never gives a false reading. It tests for copper so there is no way to 'fake' the test.
The answer is very simple. There is still copper in the brake fluid. The problem is the type of brake flush that was performed. If they use vacuum, gravity or pedal flushing, they probably won't be able to properly flush the contamination out of the brake system.
FLUID FLUSHES ARE DESIGNED FOR PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE PURPOSES. THEY ARE MOST EFFECTIVE WHEN PERFORMED ON A REGULAR BASIS. WHEN SERVICE IS PERFORMED ON A NEGLECTED SYSTEM IT MAY LEAD TO LEAKAGE OR OTHER PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS. THIS IS A RESULT OF DAMAGE THAT IS ALREADY THERE. IT BECOMES NOTABLE AFTER A FLUID FLUSH BECAUSE A FLUSH REMOVES THE “GOO” / SEALER FROM THE SYSTEM. IF YOU HAVE A HOLE IN YOU SYSTEM THAT IS SEALED WITH GOO IT WILL OPEN AND YOU WILL SEE A LEAK AND / OR HAVE PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS.
THIS IS THE FAULT OF NEGLECT; NOT THE FAULT OF THE CENTER FLUSHING YOUR SYSTEM.