What color is brake fluid?


Brake fluid is an imperative part of an automobile’s transmission system. And if you think about it from the user’s perspective, having a functioning brake fluid is quite essential. A bad brake fluid can bring on even brake system failure in the worst-case scenario. 

Now, the question we are up to is, what color is brake fluid? Well, this question is important not only to learn the color of this important liquid. But also, the color of brake fluid indicates, how much usable it is at any given time. 

So, we’ve decided to come up with an entire post around this topic, and break things down into details. Let’s start- 

What Colour is Brake Fluid Actually?

A newly bought a bottle of brake fluid should look like almost clear water. So, we can say, it’s colorless at the first step when you buy it. But some of them might have a bit of yellow color into it. And a good fact about brake fluid is, you don’t need to change it anyway within 5 years of use. So you can say that brake fluid color is colorless or a bit yellowish. 

However, the brake fluid has it’s lifespan though. You need to change the brake fluid after about 5 years of use. While the brake fluid will run out of order, it will turn black. And that’s when you need to change the brake fluid with a new one anyway. 

So, let’s sum up the discussion. Brake fluid will be of these two colors- 

  • Colorless or Yellowish: When the brake fluid is newly bought and hasn’t been used yet. This means that the brake fluid is ready to work freshly and receive all the dirt and specks of dust from the braking system of the car. 
  • Dark or Black: When the brake fluid is used for a few years, and when it’s supposed to be replaced. This color happens because the brake fluid gets saturated by the dust and specks of dirt that are sourced from the braking system of the car. 

What to Do When the Brake Fluid Colour is Dark?

As you have just seen, brake fluid might turn into a dark color after a saturated use of it is done. So what do you do then? Continue with the old one anyway or go for a new replacement? 

Here is our answer- 

First of all, then the brake fluid is brown or dark, you need to flush it out to create space for the new one. The old one is, as we said, saturated with specks of dust, dirt, and debris from the braking system of the car. Even in the worst case, it might have some water containment in it. 

After you are done with putting off the old brake fluid, flush the place with a few splashes of water. Now, the car engine is ready to receive another shot of new, colorless braking fluid. 

Here are our recommended braking fluids to purchase- 

  1. MAG1 120 Premium DOT 3
  2. Castrol 12509-12PK DOT-4 Brake Fluid

Alternative Way of Identifying the Brake Fluid Colour

However, there is another way of identifying a bad or worn-out brake fluid without opening it. And that is by considering these two situations- 

  1. If you can drive normally and break normally in the middle of high driving speed, your brake fluid is still okay to operate. The color would be, yellowing or light brown in that case. 
  2. If you push the brake in the middle of high-speed driving and the break doesn’t work smoothly, that shows a brake fluid which is out of order. In that case, the brake fluid color would be dark brown or black. And needless to say that it’s imperative to change the brake fluid anyway. 

What Does A Dark Brake Fluid Cause?

A dark of deep brown brake fluid can cause severe problems to your car while driving. Although many of the drivers are running on the same brake fluid for 8 to 10 years, but that’s not something that we would recommend to do. 

So, what problems does a dead or black brake fluid brings on? Well, here are some of them- 

  1. It will cause to deteriorate the rubber seals in the master cylinder of the car engine. 
  2. It can also cause deterioration to the calipers as well. 
  3. In the worst possible scenario, bad brake fluid might cause a failure to the brake system of the car. 

What to Do To Keep Brake Fluid Okay?

Well, first of all, brake fluid is not a device or part that you can engineer it to make it work over again. What you need to do is, you have to identify as soon as the brake fluid gets to work weaker. 

Right after you have identified it, you need to open up the engine and replace the brake fluid anyway. Any other solution instead of that won’t enhance your vehicle’s performance. They might enhance the brake fluid’s lifespan only. 

Bottom Line

Alright, we’ve reached the dead-end of the article. So far, we have seen the three different colors of an automotive motor. And as you know by now, these colors are just not colors. They indicate the health and functionality of your brake system. 

Once you identify the color properly, it’s strictly advised to take care of it as per the situation’s demand. This will help you to avoid certain accidental and risky possibilities. 

Good luck! 

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