What color is brake fluid?All That You Need to Know

What Color is brake fluid? It is a fascinating topic, and every vehicle user and driver should know the Color of brake fluid. If you are more concerned about your car’s safety, you should check the brake fluid level from time to time.

Shortage of brake fluid in the brake system could become dangerous! It’s so important to keep some Extra brake fluid as spare in your rear hood.

In this article, we will discuss the 3 most common types of brake fluid and their Color.

Stay tuned!

What color is brake fluid

What is The Actual Color of Brake Fluid?

When You Replace the Brake pads or Master Cylinder, you need to buy a bottle of brake oil. There are three types of brake fluids you can use, which include DOT 5, DOT 4, and DOT 3.

Most of the car users use DOT 4. The Color of this brake fluid is almost like clear mineral with little bit composition of yellow.

There is another color of brake fluid we have found in the market. DOT 3 brake fluids have a Sky blue or ocean blue. Over the last few years, we have seen green color DOT 3 brake fluid, and we are wondering about it. It was mainly used on American cars launched between the 1990s and 2000s.

The Color of DOT 5 type of brake fluid is also like fresh mineral with a little purple effect. This fluid is mainly silicone-based and does not observe moisture like DOT 3, or DOT 4 do.

Instead of DOT 3 or DOT 4, Can We Use DOT 5?

We always recommend following the guideline from the manufacturer. Try to use every item as per the recommendation of your car maker.

What color is brake fluid
DOT 3 Brake Fluid

DOT 3 is Standard, DOT 4 is heavy-duty, and DOT 5 is silicone-based brake fluid. The chemical properties and compressibility of silicone are slightly different. However, most of the users use DOT 4 type of brake fluid because it works well with the ABS system.

What color is brake fluid
DOT 4 Brake Fluid

However, the silicone-based DOT 5 brake fluid is quite expensive. It is almost like 5 to 6 times as much as DOT 4. This type of fluid is used in antique type vehicles which are being preserved for a long time. That is why this fluid is sometimes known as lifetime fluid.

It is crucial to note that it is highly prohibited to mix DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluids. It is also not much beneficial to use this fluid instead of DOT 4. You can, however, use it if you are having a total restoration of your vehicle and want to preserve it for a long time.

What color is brake fluid
DOT 5 Brake Fluid

DOT 5 brake fluid has several advantages. Because of the silicone, DOT 5 brake fluid does not observe moisture like DOT 3 or DOT 4. Some of its benefits are that it is non-toxic and chemically inert, have a high boiling point and high ability of compression. It will also not damage your paintings in cars or accessories.

When Do You Need To Replace Or Bleed The Brake Fluid?

If you do not do the brake fluid change for a long lime, 4 or 5 years, and its Color will change and slowly turn into the rusty dark. The brake fluid should be replaced when its Color become rusty-Dark and look like motor oil or black color.

Rusty or dark brake fluid can damage your brake master cylinder, wheel cylinder, and brake callipers. Rusty brake fluid will initially damage the rubber seal.

Check The Available Brake Fluid in the Markets By Clicking This Link

What Color is Brake Fluid

1.   What Color Is Brake Fluid When It Leaks?

Brake fluid is characterized by its Color since it does not resemble other fluids in the car. It is pale amber or clear, and it resembles vegetable oil. It is also lighter compared to other fluids.  Some of the things that would make brake fluid to leak are faulty ABS unit, master cylinder leaking, loose bleeder valves, worn-out brake pads, and problems in callipers.

2.   What Is Color Is Brake Fluid?

Brake fluid is clear with a little yellow tint. The brake fluid should remain the same color for as long as it is in the brake reservoir. All brake fluids are almost the same color. When the fluid begins to turn dark, it means that it has absorbed so much debris, and it should be changed.

3.   How Do You Check The Color Of Brake Fluid?

To check the color of your brake fluid, follow the following steps:

  1. Find the master cylinder reservoir. It is located next to the firewall in front of the engine compartment. You can use the car manual if you have problems in locating it.
  2. Check the level and the color of the brake fluid. Most of the new vehicles have translucent reservoirs with a clear “full-line” mark. If this is the type of car you are using, you do not have to remove the screw-off cap to check the Color. Older vehicle’s reservoirs are made of metal and a spring-loaded clamp on the top. Clean the exterior of the reservoir to prevent debris from entering the brake fluid. Pry the clamp on one side and list to inspect the Color.
  3. If the brake fluid is turning brown or black, then you are advised to remove and put another fresh one.
  4. Replace the top or cap of the reservoir. Do not leave the master cylinder open or uncovered since the brake fluid soaks up moisture preventing it from corroding and settling in hydraulic components.

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4.   How Do You Know If The Brake Fluid Is Leaking?

The best way to prevent brake fluid leakage is by doing monthly maintenance checks. However, a leak can occur in between the regular maintenance, and there are signs that will alert you that you need to inspect your brake system. If you see any of the following symptoms, then it could be a signal that your brake fluid is leaking:

  • Your brake or ABS warning light on the dashboard comes on
  • The brake pedal becomes spongy and feels soft
  • The brake pedal goes much further than normal or all the way to the floor
  • When you see brake fluid pouring by your wheels or underneath the engine

5.   Is Brake Fluid Black?

In a normal system, brake fluid is clear or light gold in color. When it turns brown or black, then it is bad brake fluid. You are advised to change your brake fluid regularly before it changes color to brown or black.

6.   Can I Change My Own Brake Fluid?

Yes, it is possible to change your own brake fluid if you have the right tools and you know the process. Before you start changing the brake fluid, ensure that you have a brake fluid test kit, a baster, and new brake fluid. Once you have the right tools, follow the procedure below:

  1. Use a baster to suck the dark brake fluid from the master cylinder and squirt it is a recycling container
  2. Use a lint-free cloth to wipe the reservoir. You can only do this if you can access the interior of the reservoir.
  3. Refill the reservoir with new brake fluid until it reaches the “Full” line mark and replaces the cap.
  4. Bleed the brakes until you get the brake fluid with golden like Color. As you bleed the brakes, the new brake fluid will push the old one out of the system.

Learn More: How to Bleed Brakes by Yourself

7.   Can You Just Add Brake Fluid To Your Car?

If the fluid level is low and the brake fluid in it is still clear, you can top it up from the cap or within half an inch. If the reservoir is empty, then you are supposed to bleed the brakes. Brake fluid replacement should be done as part of your routine service or after two years.

8.   Do You Put Brake Fluid In While The Car Is Running?

No, it is wrong to put brake fluid when the car is running. You are advised to make sure that the vehicle is packed on level ground and it has stayed for at least 15 minutes after driving. The longer you wait after driving, the better.

9.   Is A Brake Fluid Leak Dangerous?

The brakes of your vehicle depend on the brake fluid to transmit the force you apply on the brake pedal. When a brake fluid leak is left unchecked for a long time, it can lead to serious safety concerns. It can lead to the disintegration of the brake pad, which can cause an inability for the car to stop. Brake fluid leaks can lead to total brake failure.

Brake Fluid Types and a Simple way to change the fluid in your Master Cylinder


So these are basic 3 types of fluid DOT 3, DOT 4 and DOT 5. Their Color is yellow-orange, ocean blue or sky blue and violet respectively. I think you got your answer. You do not have to stumble anymore for what Color is brake fluid.

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