Brake Fluid change & replacement made easy

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Number of Ratings

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Want to learn more about Brake Fluid changes?

Read our short guide with information on costs, symptoms and more.

What is brake fluid?

Brake fluid is a specifically created hydraulic fluid that is used to transfer the force created by pressing down onto the brake pedal into pushing the brake pads (or shoes) against the brake discs.

What does a brake fluid replacement involve?

  • Mechanic will inspect the brake system.
  • Mechanic will advise if other parts of the brake system need replacing too.
  • If necessary, the mechanic will replace the brake fluid and bleed the air from the system.
  • Mechanic will inspect the brake system and, if deemed safe, test drive the car.

Can you change brake fluid yourself?

Unless you are a qualified mechanic with the required skills, training and equipment to do the job, we strongly recommend a brake fluid change is only carried out by a professional mechanic. ClickMechanic can help get you a vetted and local mechanic to carry out the work. Just enter your postcode and your car's registration number at the top of this page and select the work needed to get an instant fixed price up front.

What are the symptoms of bad brake fluid?

  • If you suspect there is any issue with your brake fluid or are concerns about its age or condition, book an inspection with immediate effect.
  • Whilst there are little outward signs that there is an issue with your brake fluid, you may find that your brakes feel less responsive than they used to.

How long will a brake fluid change take?

A brake fluid change usually takes around 1.5 hours, but can take less or more time. Ultimately, the time that the job will take will depend on a number of factors, like your vehicle's make and model, year, as well as other factors. Select your car at the top of this page for information on job time and cost for your vehicle through ClickMechanic.

How often should you replace brake fluid?

Usually, brake fluid is only replaced at the time recommended by the manufacturer. However if there has been damage to the brake system and components such as a brake caliper needing replacement, then it's best to have the fluid replaced as well rather than just bleeding the air out the system.

If you overheat the brakes on a regular basis then the fluid will need changing more frequently in order for it to retain its efficiency.

What happens if you don't change the brake fluid?

Brake fluid is hygroscopic and will absorb moisture over time. The ingress of water reduced the fluid resistance to compression and this will make the brakes inefficient. You may notice a reduction in reaction and could even start to experience more brake fade as the water will reduce the boiling point of the fluid.

Therefore the fluid should be replaced every 5 years at least. Whilst you may not notice any reduction in braking ability, it will have been a very gradual decline and therefore not an immediate, noticeable drop off.

If you make heavy use of your brakes, from your driving style or towing a caravan for example, you may find that your brakes will loose their ability to slow the vehicle. This brake fade is due to the fluid’s boiling point being reached and that has a detrimental effect on its hydraulic properties. So, if you notice smoke coming out the wheels after heavy or prolonged braking it’s quite likely the fluid will have been boiled. Even though it will cool down, it will start to absorb more moisture and its efficiency will be reduced.

How can I extend the life of my brake fluid?

As with most parts of your car, the less pressure you put on any part of your car’s brakes, the longer the fluid remains effective. If you carry heavy loads frequently, or tow a caravan for example, your brake system will come under greater pressure than it would otherwise and as such the quality of the fluid may be reduced by the heat being generated. Therefore, removing unnecessary weight from the vehicle will not only improve your fuel consumption, it will also maintain the efficiency of your brake fluid.

Also consider your driving style. Anticipating the road conditions ahead, keeping your speed as constant as possible, and thereby avoiding sharp braking are all likely to lengthen the interval between brake fluid replacements.

Can you drive with bad brake fluid?

If you suspect there is any issue with your brake fluid or are concerns about its age or condition, book an inspection with a professional mechanic immediate effect. Driving with bad brake fluid can impair brake performance and safety, and can be lethal.

Is a brake fluid flush really necessary?

Changing the brake fluid on a regular basis is very important to maintain braking performance. The fluid should be replaced every 5 years at least (or as per the guidelines of your vehicle's manufacturer). Whilst you may not notice any reduction in braking ability, it will have been a very gradual decline and therefore not an immediate, noticeable drop off.

Is it worth changing brake fluid?

Yes, changing the brake fluid periodically is very important to ensure you can continue braking effectively. Brake fluid is hygroscopic and will absorb moisture over time. The ingress of water reduced the fluid resistance to compression and this will make the brakes inefficient. You may notice a reduction in reaction and could even start to experience more brake fade as the water will reduce the boiling point of the fluid.

Changing brake fluid is a routine repair for all mechanics and can be done both kerbside as well as in the workshop, providing it is safe to do so.

Can you bleed car brakes by yourself?

As the brakes are of course a crucial safety feature of your car we recommend a brake bleed is only carried out by a professional mechanic. If you are not sure if your brakes have been bled properly or if you experience any untoward characteristics in your braking, book a diagnostic inspection immediately and do not drive the vehicle.

How long does it take to bleed brakes on a car?

On average it takes under 1 hour to bleed the brakes on a car. Ultimately, the time will depend on a number of factors like the vehicle make and model and type of braking system.

Can you mix old and new brake fluid?

No, you should not mix old and new brake fluid because it will not work as effectively and there is high risk of contamination. The old brake fluid will have lost some of its performance due to general degradation and debris entering the system. Adding new brake fluid will not be able to offset the bad quality of the old fluid and overall the fluid will be contaminated. A professional mechanic or garage will carry out a full fluid flush to clear the old fluid before replacing it with the new liquid.

What are signs of low brake fluid?

Some common signs of low brake fluid include:
* Brake warning light on the dashboard is illuminated
* Unresponsive brake pedal - or it takes longer to brake
* Noisy brakes or brake pads vibrating
* Discoloured brake fluid

Does brake fluid go bad?

Yes, brake fluid does go bad and should be replaced every at least every 5 years at least. If you notice your brakes feel “mushy,” this is usually an indicator that your brake fluid needs to be replaced.

What colour is brake fluid?

New or healthy brake fluid is typically light yellow or amber in colour. As the brake fluid ages, it becomes darker and eventually turns brownish when it has come to the end of its life.

Is dark coloured brake fluid gone bad?

Yes, if you notice the colour of brake fluid has turned brown or black then it is time to replace the brake fluid.

 Is synthetic brake fluid better?

Some experts believe that silicone-based (or widely called synthetic) brake fluid is better because it has a higher boiling point and is less likely to absorb moisture. Others believe that Glycol-based brake fluid gets the job done. It is important to remember that Glycol-based brake fluid is hygroscopic in nature (attracts water) and needs to be changed more often silicone-based brake fluid.

Most cars require DOT4 (Glycol-based) brake fluid but make sure to check the vehicle handbook for the recommended type of brake fluid, it's very important to use the recommended brake fluid for your vehicle.

 Can I flush my own brake fluid?

No, you cannot flush out the brake fluid yourself unless you have the required flushing equipment that professional mechanics utilise.

Is bad brake fluid an MOT failure?

Yes brake fluid contamination can result in an MOT failure ever since the new changes and checks were introduced in May 2018.

How much does a brake fluid change cost?

On average a brake fluid change costs around £95. Typical prices for can range anywhere from £80 to £120. Ultimately, cost depends on your location, car and what parts your car's manufacturer recommends using for the replacement. Find out what you could save by having your brake fluid changed by ClickMechanic by selecting your car at the top of this page!

Check out the ClickMechanic price for a brake fluid change, and find out what you would pay at a franchise dealer. We use industry standard data & millions of data points so you know what you should be paying. These estimates may include Brake fluid, Brake fluid, Brake fluid, Brake fluid reservoir and/or Brake hydraulic fluid. We have brake fluid change prices for 52 different manufacturers.

Name ClickMechanic Click Mechanic average Franchise dealer estimate

Alfa Romeo

£59 £92 - £117 Get exact price

Audi

£60 £84 - £129 Get exact price

Austin

£48 £69 - £76 Get exact price

Bentley

£65 £125 - £125 Get exact price

BMW

£79 £119 - £160 Get exact price

Cadillac

£42 £65 - £65 Get exact price

Chevrolet

£54 £80 - £118 Get exact price

Chrysler

£42 £62 - £83 Get exact price

Citroen

£52 £75 - £119 Get exact price

Dacia

£67 £101 - £114 Get exact price

Daewoo

£83 £137 - £137 Get exact price

Daihatsu

£45 £78 - £110 Get exact price

Dodge

£41 £52 - £106 Get exact price

Fiat

£60 £92 - £130 Get exact price

Ford

£63 £98 - £128 Get exact price

Honda

£62 £99 - £131 Get exact price

Hyundai

£67 £100 - £139 Get exact price

Infiniti

£67 £106 - £109 Get exact price

Isuzu

£83 £102 - £126 Get exact price

Iveco

£49 £89 - £89 Get exact price

Jaguar

£53 £73 - £120 Get exact price

Jeep

£45 £65 - £109 Get exact price

Kia

£59 £85 - £135 Get exact price

Lancia

£55 £106 - £106 Get exact price

Land Rover

£50 £66 - £114 Get exact price

LDV

£53 £99 - £100 Get exact price

Lexus

£66 £94 - £128 Get exact price

Mazda

£61 £84 - £120 Get exact price

Mercedes-Benz

£65 £87 - £143 Get exact price

MG

£45 £66 - £108 Get exact price

MINI

£71 £113 - £132 Get exact price

Mitsubishi

£46 £57 - £100 Get exact price

Nissan

£60 £95 - £126 Get exact price

Perodua

£78 £175 - £175 Get exact price

Peugeot

£58 £87 - £120 Get exact price

Peugeot Talbot

£51 £95 - £106 Get exact price

Porsche

£68 £96 - £128 Get exact price

Proton

£37 £55 - £100 Get exact price

Renault

£59 £88 - £121 Get exact price

Rover

£61 £80 - £119 Get exact price

Saab

£38 £52 - £61 Get exact price

SEAT

£61 £90 - £128 Get exact price

Skoda

£58 £82 - £123 Get exact price

Smart

£83 £112 - £166 Get exact price

Ssangyong

£52 £88 - £99 Get exact price

Subaru

£47 £55 - £110 Get exact price

Suzuki

£63 £89 - £133 Get exact price

Toyota

£79 £126 - £154 Get exact price

Vauxhall

£54 £75 - £125 Get exact price

Volkswagen

£61 £94 - £126 Get exact price

Volvo

£59 £83 - £122 Get exact price

Yugo

£65 £101 - £104 Get exact price

Prices could not be created for 30 models. Show ∨

  • Microcar
  • Metrocab
  • Hummer
  • Reva
  • Asia
  • TVR
  • Ferrari
  • Morgan
  • Buick
  • Lamborghini
  • Pontiac
  • Carbodies
  • DS
  • Mitsubishi Fuso
  • Moskvich
  • Ford US
  • Aixam
  • Daimler
  • FSO
  • Maybach
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Santana
  • Tata
  • Great Wall
  • Piaggio
  • Aston Martin
  • Lada
  • Lotus
  • Maserati
  • London Taxi's International

Estimates on repair costs, such as the above results for a brake fluid change, are created by combining data from multiple third-party sources. The actual cost of using your local repair providers may be outside of the estimated range. We provide estimates on repair costs for information only and accept no liability for any inaccuracies or errors. If you think an estimate is incorrect, please contact us to let us know.

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Recent Brake Fluid change quotes

These recent quotes were taken from our quote engine which uses third-party industry standard data on repair times, along with a live parts retailer, and a regional labour rate to build an accurate free quote. We are constantly improving our quote engine, so please let us know if a price seems incorrect.

£76.36

Brake fluid change

Ford Transit Connect
Dudley
£80.56

Brake fluid change

Land Rover Freelander 2
Tamworth
£100.72

Brake fluid change

Volkswagen Golf
Grays
£60.71

Bleed Hydraulic brake system

Renault Megane
Swansea