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1501 Alpharetta Highway, Alpharetta, GA, 30009

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Dealership Info

Phone Numbers:Sales Hours:
  • Mon - Fri9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
  • Sat9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sun12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    (Open the Last Sunday of the Month Only)
Service Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:30 AM - 6:30 PM
  • Sat8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Parts Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:30 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • SunClosed

How to Check Brake Fluid

Brake fluid check


Not every driver knows what color brake fluid is, let alone how to change brake fluid. But brake fluid is one of the most important components of your braking system. Not only does it help your brakes function properly, but it also prevents wear and tear to keep your car running smoothly mile after mile. Find out how to check brake fluid and determine how much brake fluid you need with help from our team.

What is Brake Fluid?

Brake fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid that helps the brakes engage when you press down on the pedal. This fluid also provides lubrication within the entire braking system and prevents corrosion, which keeps your system in great shape. Brake fluids can come in a variety of formulas, most commonly glycol-ether based. However, there are also silicone-based (DOT-5) and mineral oil-based (LHM) fluids available for some vehicles. Find out what your car needs by checking your owner’s manual or ask our service center for advice.

What is BMW Brake Fluid?

Different vehicles have different brake fluid requirements, and the BMW brand generally uses Normal or Low Viscosity formulations in DOT4, DOT5, or DOT5.1.

What is a DOT rating? This refers to the fluid’s boiling temperatures. The higher the boiling temperature, the higher the DOT ratings. This can also correlate with different formulations, as DOT5 is usually silicone-based and DOT5.1 is glycol-based fluid. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your BMW brake fluid:

  • Low Viscosity fluid is the most common option for non-track BMW vehicles with Dynamic Stability Control around Johns Creek.
  • BMW vehicles used for track and cars without DSC need a thicker fluid, so Normal Viscosity fluid is the best option.
  • Glycol-based fluids like DOT3, DOT4, DOT5.1 should be changed every 1–2 years under non-racing conditions.
  • BMW brake fluid should be changed much more frequently for racing conditions.

3 Steps to Check Brake Fluid

  1. Locate your vehicle’s brake fluid reservoir. It should be near the master cylinder under the hood, but your owner’s manual will give you the precise location.
  2. Check the brake fluid against the “minimum” and “maximum” lines on the outside of the reservoir. If your brake fluid appears low, schedule a brake fluid replacement or brake service. Not sure of how much brake fluid you need? We can help with that too.
  3. Examine color of the brake fluid. If it’s dark brown or black and resembles oil, you’ll need to schedule a brake fluid flush.

Why Does Brake Fluid Need to Be Changed?

  • Brake fluid brings in moisture, which can cause corrosion over time.
  • Brake fluid becomes contaminated with small particles as you navigate Marietta, which can harm your brake system.
  • ABS and traction control generate heat, which can also cause wear and tear to your braking system.
  • Checking your brakes regularly can help you identify any small problems before they become major hazards on the road.

What Color is Brake Fluid?

When brand new, your brake fluid will be clear with a slight tint of yellow. Over time, your brake fluid picks up dirt and debris that changes it to a darker shade. When neglected, your brake fluid will become dark and oil-like, which compromises your performance.

Brake Fluid Service Intervals

Check your brake fluid with every oil change, or at least once every year. With good maintenance, your brake fluid will last between four and five years on the Milton roads. But, this depends on your car, driving habits, and driving conditions. Visit our OEM-certified service center, and our certified technicians will give you personalized recommendations to get the best results on the road.

How Much Brake Fluid Do I Need?

Your owner’s manual will tell you how much brake fluid you need, but generally speaking, most cars use between 0.5 and 1 liters of BMW brake fluid. And while you can top off your brake fluid if it’s in good condition, you should plan a fluid flush if your oil is darkened. Adding new oil to your old worn oil can cause issues.

Schedule Your Service with United BMW

Now you know how to check brake fluid like a pro, so is it time for your next service? Contact us with any questions about BMW brake fluid, BMW brake service, and other services, or schedule your appointment with us in Alpharetta today.

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