under the bonnet brake fluid top up

How To Check The Condition Of Your Brakes

Here’s everything you need to know about the tell-tale signs of defective brakes and how to check the condition of them.

When was the last time you checked your brake fluid? If you can't remember, then it's probably time to do so. Brake fluid is an essential component of your car's braking system, and without it, your car won't be able to stop properly. We’re here walk you through how to check and top up your brake fluid to ensure your car remains safe to drive.


Step 1: Finding Your Brake Fluid Reservoir

The first step to checking your brake fluid is to locate the brake fluid reservoir. This can usually be found under the bonnet of your car and is typically located on the drivers side near the back of the engine compartment.

The reservoir is usually a small, transparent plastic container with a lid that indicates "brake fluid" on it.

Step 2: Checking the Level of Your Brake Fluid

Once you've located your brake fluid reservoir, it's time to check the level of your brake fluid. Be careful when removing the reservoir lid, as brake fluid is very corrosive and can damage your car's paintwork.

The fluid level should be between the maximum and minimum marks on the side of the reservoir, and if it's below the minimum line, then it's time to top it up.

brake and fluid card image

Step 3: Topping Up Your Brake Fluid

 If your brake fluid level is below the minimum line, then it's time to top it up. Before topping up, make sure you check the type of brake fluid that your car requires.

This information can be found in your car's owner's manual or on the lid of the reservoir itself. You should see either; DOT3, DOT4, or DOT5.

Once you've determined the correct type of brake fluid, you can add it to the reservoir to reach the maximum line. Be careful not to overfill the reservoir, as this can cause damage to your braking system.

Step 4: Checking Your Brake Fluid Quality

Brake fluid should be changed every two years, as it can become contaminated with moisture over time, reducing its effectiveness. If your brake fluid is discoloured, brownish or has a burnt smell, then it's time to change it.

It is also important to keep an eye on the levels of the brake fluid. If you find that the levels decrease shortly after topping up, it could indicate a leak. In these cases, it is advisable to schedule an appointment with us and we will be able to help identify and rectify the issue!

Step 5: Seeking Professional Assistance

If you're unsure how to check or top up your brake fluid, or if you suspect there's a problem with your brakes, seeking professional assistance is always the best option. Here at Swansway, we offer a brake fluid change service and you can book a service appointment online .

Need a brake fluid top up?

Book your vehicle in with our expert team