Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid, which transfers the pressure you apply on the pedal to the pads on each wheel. Since the fluid is sealed inside a tube, pressure is not lost at any point in the system. However, these fluid lines may get damaged or worn out, and the fluid may get contaminated. The fluid breaks down after using it for some time. Low or a poorly performing brake fluid may cause braking issues and accidents.
Here are signs of low brake fluid:
- The ABS light comes on: This is one of the most common indicators of something wrong with the brake fluid or any other braking system component. Older models may not have the ABS light. However, most new models have a warning light on the dashboard. You know something is amiss when you see it.
- Problems when pressing down on the brake pedal: Your brakes should respond to every level of pressure you apply. However, if you find that the brakes are not responding to the pedal, you could be low on brake fluid. You also feel that the pedal is softer when you press it down.
- Strange noise when pedaling: When the braking fluid is low, you may start to hear noises when you apply brakes. This is often caused by increased friction in the system. When you hear these sounds, you should have the braking system checked as soon as possible before additional damage occurs.
- Uneven brake pads: When the brake fluid gets low, the pedals cannot depress brake pads with the same amount of pressure. This causes uneven wear on the pads. In turn, you experience squeaking, squealing, and grinding when you apply the brakes. The vehicle may also rumble and vibrate when you use the brakes.
- A burning smell: A burning smell emanates from overheated brake fluid. When you notice it, pull aside and let the fluid cool down. Overheating is caused by low fluid, which cannot distribute the heat generated at the brake pads and may lead to brake failure.
If you notice any problems with brakes or any of the above signs, bring your vehicle to our auto repair shop for professional inspection and repair.