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Low Brake Fluid Symptoms

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What are the signs of low brake fluid? Well, if the brake light indicator is flickering especially while you drive on a bumpy road then the brake fluid may be low.

Signs of Low Brake Fluid

The signs of low brake fluid are the yellow low brake fluid dashboard warning lights symbol with exclamation character inside a circle when the ignition key is turn on this low brake fluid light will be lit for a few seconds while the brake system conduct self-detection and then go off the self-detection is completed. If the warning light does not go off or appears while driving, it indicates that the braking system has a fault.

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In some cars, the trip computer will display the following message “Please add brake fluid/braking system fault” when the car has low brake fluid. If this dashboard warning light is lit while driving, you should not continue driving but instead, pull over to a safe place beside the road, also do not depress the brake pedal repeatedly while the low brake fluid light is “ON”. Open the hood and check the brake fluid reservoir if the level of fluid is normal. If the fluid is level is normal then there is a problem with the brake system.

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Sometimes while driving the car the brake light indicator starts to flicker especially on a bumpy road this indicates that there is a slightly low brake fluid level. The brake has a sensor located on the top of the reservoir, which informs the driver that the brake fluid level was already below the required level and must be refilled.

If the brake fluid is low the sensor will trigger the brake indicator light to turn on to warn the driver that the fluid is low. Since the car brake light indicator is flickering or flashing and won’t stay long especially when the car passes thru a bumpy road then this only means that the brake fluid is slightly low. The flashes of the indicator light happen because when the brake fluid slosh inside the reservoir the fluid will not be in contact with the sensor for a second, this triggers the brake indicator light to turn on.

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The low brake fluid light will also light when the handbrake is applied, the warning light goes off when the handbrake is released. If the warning light goes on and doesn’t go out when the handbrake is fully released, it indicates a fault in the braking system. Check the level of the brake fluid. If the warning light stays on, seek mechanic assistance before continuing to drive the car.

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Low Brake Fluid Symptoms
Your car is suffering from low brake fluid if the following scenario was observed:
1. When the low brake fluid light comes on and off. You will notice that the low brake fluid light goes on and off especially when driving on the bumpy road.
2. The brake pedal goes down further than the normal or low brake pedal.

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3. The car seems longer to stop when the brake is applied. After your foot press the brake pedal the car does not stop as it should be but instead, it takes the car to stop longer.

What to do?
To fix the low brake fluid warning light that is always on, the first thing to do is to check the level of brake fluid if the level is below minimum add enough amount of brake fluid into the reservoir, there is a line on the reservoir that will indicate the maximum brake fluid necessary when you add brake fluid the level of fluid must coincide with the reservoir line. Be careful not to spill the fluid on the car panel because it can cause damage to the car paint. Also never leave the reservoir open for long because the fluid will become contaminated due to moisture in the air, if this happens it can cause trouble on the car brake system and the problem of the car brake light that flashes will become worst like having a costly brake repair.

If the level of brake fluid is within the "MIN" and "MAX" levels, check the parking brake if it is engaging. Disengage the parking brake and check if the light turns Off. If the light is still lit, bring the car to a reputable car repair shop and ask the mechanic to check the brake system.

Do you need to change the brake fluid?
Regardless of the mileage, your car needs to change the brake fluid every 2 years or every 40,000KM, whichever is earlier. Also, check the level of brake fluid every week to prevent low brake fluid while driving.

How to Check and refill Brake Fluid
1. Clean the filler cap and the reservoir with a clean cloth. This will make the fluid level indicator on the reservoir visible and will prevent the dust to enter the fluid reservoir later when you remove the filler cap to refill the brake fluid.

2. Observe the level of brake fluid, there is a level indicator on the side of the reservoir that indicates “MIN” and “MAX”, the level of the brake fluid must be within the “MIN” and MAX” line. If the fluid is below “MIN” it means that there is low brake fluid and it is time to refill the reservoir.

3. To refill, unscrew the cap by turning slightly counter-clockwise then remove the cap. Remember to clean the cap before taking it off the reservoir.

4. Refill the reservoir with fluid up to the MAX mark shown on the side of the reservoir. Avoid spilling the fluid on the body of your car because it will damage the paint. If the fluid spill on the body of your car DO NOT wipe the spill immediately but instead pour water first on the portion where the fluid spill, then you can clean with a cloth.

Use new brake fluid in a sealed container only, fluid in an open container or drained from the system absorbs moisture in the air, and thus negatively impacts braking performance. Never mix up different specs of brake fluid.

The specs of the brake fluid are usually indicated on the filler cap. Use only what is indicated on the filler cap.

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What Causes Brake Light on Dash to Stay on
What causes brake light on dash to Stay on. Brake system fault, low brake fluid, slightly engaged parking brake, imbalance pressure on the brake. Read more: What Causes Brake Light on Dash to Stay on

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