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Technician Training 101: How to Flush Brake Fluid

Drivers who care about their vehicles will make an appointment to have their brake fluid flushed. An often-overlooked maintenance step, flushing the brake fluid ensures that a vehicle can stop effectively and keep everyone inside it safe. For that reason, a brake fluid flush needs to be handled properly by an automotive technician.

Our automotive technology program teaches our students the basics of automotive repair and how to properly perform the tasks frequently encountered in their future careers. Read on to learn about one of the common procedures encountered by automotive technicians and one that we teach in our program.

Brake Fluid Flushing Preparation

When a driver brings their vehicle to a shop because their brakes aren’t working properly, a technician will pop the hood and locate the brake fluid reservoir. The first step of the process requires removing the old brake fluid and replacing it with new fluid. While there’s new fluid in the reservoir, the old fluid will still need to be removed from the brake valve.

To access the brake valve, a technician will remove all four wheels once the vehicle is jacked up. A technician will need to locate the brake valve, which will be further discussed and shown during the technician’s hands-on training during their education in an automotive technology program.

Flushing the Old Fluid

To properly flush the fluid, tubing will need to be connected to the brake valve, and the other end will need to be placed in a container where the fluid can be flushed. Before cracking open the valve, a second technician will pump the brakes a few times and then hold down the pedal.

Difference Between Old and New Brake Fluid 

When a technician cracks open the valve, the old brake fluid will run into the container. It will be easy to see that it’s old and ineffective due to the dark hue of the fluid. If the container fills up, a technician will tighten the brake valve, with pressure still on the pedal, get a new container, and repeat the process until clean fluid fills the container.

New brake fluid will have a slight yellow coloring to it. A technician will be able to evaluate that proper brake fluid is reaching the brakes when the flushing procedure yields clean, effective fluid.

Technicians will perform this process on all four brake areas before putting the wheels back on the vehicle. A road test should be done to ensure that the brakes are working effectively and the driver will be able to stop as intended.

Automotive technicians who understand the basics of maintenance procedures are more likely to establish a successful career. Demand for these technicians is based on the fact that their responsibilities improve the quality of vehicles and ensures safe driving on our roads. The procedures that they carry out directly impact our everyday lives.

To learn more about the various engaging job positions in the automotive world today, you can download our free eBook The Automotive Technology Career Guide.

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For program disclosure information, please go to www.autotraining.edu/consumer-information.

One thought on “Technician Training 101: How to Flush Brake Fluid

  1. Matt

    Isn’t removing air from the brake system most of the battle? Because it’s hygroscopic, brake fluid absorbs water (which is responsible for the dark color of old fluid) but water is still effectively incompressable. Air in the system on the other hand will cause a spongy brake pedal and reduced stopping power.

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