Maintaining a car's braking system is essential for safe and efficient driving in Australia. However, one aspect that is often overlooked is the importance of good-quality brake fluid. 

Brake fluid plays a crucial role in safely bringing your vehicle to a stop by transmitting the pressure applied to the brake pedal into the actual function of slowing down your car. 

Therefore, ensuring that your brake fluid remains in optimal condition becomes important. In this post, we will dive into the depths of brake fluid and uncover why brake fluid change is essential in automobiles. 

What is Brake Fluid?  

Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid in your car's braking system that converts the force you put to the brake pedal into pressure, which triggers the brake pads or shoes and stops the vehicle. 

It's intended to maintain a constant thickness throughout temperatures, ensuring that the brakes perform well in all situations. It is chemically stable, corrosion resistant, and works with brake system components. 

How Does Brake Fluid Work?  

When pressure is applied to the brakes, a vacuum booster directly beneath the pad increases the force. This boost triggers the master cylinder, which pushes braking fluid through the lines. The harder the brakes are applied, the more pressured the fluid becomes, increasing the stopping power.  

Brake fluid travels through the lines until it reaches each wheel's caliper or cylinder. The pressurized fluid then causes a pair of pistons to push the brake pads against the rotating rotor. 

Because the braking fluid is incompressible, it may function as a solid force under pressure while being a liquid. When the brake pads rub on the rotor, the car slows down and finally stops due to friction. 

What are the Signs of Low Brake Fluid?  

Detecting low brake fluid levels is essential for maintaining a vehicle's braking system. 

Here are five signs that indicate low brake fluid: 

  1. Warning Light  

The brake warning light on the dashboard will illuminate when there's a potential issue with the brake system, including low brake fluid levels. 

If this light appears while driving or remains lit even after starting the vehicle, it could signal low brake fluid. 

  1. Soft Brake Pedal 

Low brake fluid levels can lead to a soft brake pedal feel. If you notice that the brake pedal feels unusually soft, goes further down than usual, or requires more effort to engage, it might indicate insufficient brake fluid. 

  1. Leakage of Fluid  

Check around the wheels and under the car for any signs of fluid leaks, especially near the wheels or under the brake master cylinder. Brake fluid is usually clear or slightly yellowish and has an oily consistency.   

  1. Braking Performance  

Low brake fluid levels can affect the overall performance of the braking system. 

If you experience reduced braking power, longer stopping distances, or a delayed response when pressing the brake pedal, it could be due to insufficient brake fluid. 

  1. Unusual Noises  

A low brake fluid level might cause unusual noises or sensations when braking. 

Squealing, grinding, or vibrating sensations while applying the brakes could indicate various issues, including low brake fluid levels affecting brake components' proper functioning. 

How Often Should You Replace the Brake Fluid?  

It is recommended to change brake fluids as per the owner's manual or the advice of a certified technician, usually every 30,000 miles or every 2 years. 

Although the brake system is closed, brake fluid has a hygroscopic nature that makes it prone to absorbing moisture from the air. Even if the system is sealed perfectly, water can still mix with the brake fluid through microscopic holes in the rubber hoses or an imperfect seal.  

Moreover, leaving the brake fluid cap open for an extended period can also increase the water content inside the brake fluid, decreasing its boiling point and causing the brakes to lose effectiveness.  

Additionally, water contamination can cause metal parts to corrode. In addition to this, corrosion may also occur in the brake lines, which is why the brake fluid needs to be changed.  

Brake fluid contains corrosion inhibitors and antioxidants that help keep the brake system running smoothly. However, these inhibitors can break down over time, leading to metal corrosion and a buildup of contaminants that can affect the brake fluid flow. 


Brake fluid plays a vital role in maintaining a vehicle's braking system's safety and functionality. Understanding its significance and ensuring regular maintenance can significantly contribute to safer driving experiences. 

If you're looking for brake repairs at Sunshine Coast, we at Suncoast Car Care offer mobile auto technicians who will come to your home or office for brakes, oil changes, maintenance, and more. 

This way, you can have the most convenient repair service while saving time and money. Contact us today to learn more about our service options.