If your car, SUV, or truck has a hydraulic braking system, then the safety of your vehicle is highly dependent on brake fluid. Without the pressure provided by the brake fluid, the brake pads, calipers, and brake pedals would not be able to work together to slow down your vehicle.
Low brake fluid is a major safety concern and can even mean there is a leak or moisture build-up in the system. Unlike motor oil or transmission fluid, brake fluid is not consumed. Typically, you can detect low brake fluid by looking at it under the hood. Brake fluid is a clear, yellow color and sealed in a transparent reservoir. However, you may be able to tell if your car is running low on brake fluid with the following signs:
Brake or ABS Light Illuminated
Most vehicles nowadays are high-tech enough and have brake sensors that relay information to the onboard computer. Hence, the brake light may turn on when it detects low levels of brake fluid.
Soft Brake Pedals
You can tell if there is an issue with your brake fluid when your brake pedal starts to feel unusual. If the brake pedal feels overly soft or spongy, you should check your brake fluid.
Oftentimes, squealing brakes are an indication that it is time to replace your brake pads. However, if you’ve recently serviced your brakes, then the problem could be elsewhere. When there isn't enough brake fluid circulated through the system, your brake pads can’t properly clamp against the rotor whenever you brake. Therefore, it can cause them to squeal.
Difficulty Stopping Car
If you have noticed that your brakes are not as responsive as they used to be, it is best to bring your car to the brake experts at Yates Automotive for a thorough brake inspection. Low brake fluid can be the culprit behind why your car isn’t able to slow down as well as it used to.
Regular inspections and proper car care can help you and many other drivers avoid braking problems in the future. Over time, it is necessary to top off and replace your brake fluid for a clean and effective brake system. If you suspect that your vehicle is low on brake fluid, we welcome you to call or visit Yates Automotive in Alexandria, VA, today!