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How To: Changing Brake Fluid at Home

Brake fluid plays an essential role in your car's braking system. Over time, it can accumulate moisture, leading to decreased performance and potential damage to brake components. Regularly changing your brake fluid ensures optimal stopping power and can save you money in the long run. If you're feeling hands-on, here's a step-by-step guide to changing your brake fluid at home. Remember, with the right tools and quality products from Miller Parts and Paint, you're well-equipped for this task.
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Safety First:

Before you start, ensure you have the right tools and brake fluid suitable for your vehicle. Always refer to your car’s owner’s manual for the recommended type.

Tools & Materials:

  • Brake fluid (Check your vehicle’s specifications)
  • A jack and jack stands
  • A brake bleeder wrench
  • A clear tube and a catch container
  • A turkey baster or syringe
  • Rags and gloves
  • Eye protection

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Prepare Your Vehicle:
    • Park your car on a level surface.
    • Ensure the engine is off and the car is in gear or “park.”
    • Use the jack to elevate the car and secure it with jack stands.
  2. Check the Current Brake Fluid:
    • Open the car’s hood and locate the brake fluid reservoir, typically on the driver’s side near the firewall.
    • Examine the current brake fluid. If it’s brown or murky, it’s time for a change.
  3. Remove the Old Brake Fluid:
    • Wear gloves and eye protection.
    • Using a turkey baster or syringe, carefully remove as much old brake fluid as you can from the reservoir.
    • Refill the reservoir with the new brake fluid, but ensure not to overfill.
  4. Bleeding the Brakes:
    • Start with the wheel farthest from the driver, usually the rear passenger side.
    • Locate the bleeder screw behind each brake, and attach the brake bleeder wrench.
    • Attach one end of the clear tube to the bleeder screw and put the other end into a catch container.
    • Ask an assistant to depress the brake pedal slowly and hold.
    • Open the bleeder screw slightly. Old fluid and air will escape into the catch container.
    • Tighten the screw before your assistant releases the brake pedal.
    • Repeat this process until you see fresh brake fluid and no bubbles. Remember to regularly check and top off the reservoir to prevent air from entering the brake lines.
    • Continue this bleeding process for each wheel.
  5. Finalize the Process:
    • Once all wheels have been bled, ensure the brake fluid reservoir is filled to the correct level.
    • Replace the cap securely.
    • Carefully lower the vehicle from the jack stands.
  6. Test the Brakes:
    • Before driving, press the brake pedal a few times. It should feel firm. If it feels spongy or goes to the floor, air might still be in the system, and you’ll need to repeat the bleeding process.
    • Take your car for a short drive, testing the brakes in a safe area to ensure everything is working correctly.


Never dispose of brake fluid down drains, in trash bins, or on the ground. It’s hazardous to the environment. Collect the old brake fluid in a sealed container and take it to a local hazardous waste facility or auto parts store that offers disposal services.

In Conclusion:

Changing brake fluid at home is a cost-effective way to maintain your car’s braking efficiency. With patience and the right tools, it’s a straightforward process. Regular maintenance ensures your safety on the road and extends the lifespan of your vehicle components. Miller Parts & Paint offers quality products and expert advice for all your DIY auto projects. Always prioritize safety, and consult with professionals when in doubt. Happy DIY-ing!

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