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Checking Brake fluid level??

Discussion in 'Ibiza Mk5' started by Fortis, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Fortis

    Fortis New Member

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    Hello had MOT done and was recommended to top the brake fluid up. I know just to get dot 4 a 0.25 tub to top up.

    Iv just been outside the check my level and I cant make out where the brake fluid level sits. Where the brake fluid is contained its a dark grey container and seems too dark to see where the line sits to see how much I need to add. I have unscrewed the lid of the fluid and there is deffo fluid in there because I can rock the container a little and see it move but cant work where it sits.

    I was half tempted to stick a bit of car in to mark out the level but theres like a yellow sort of netting in the slot where I would top up so I cant poke anything in there either.

    Any other way to see where my brake fluid level sits? I am driving and 1.2 fr tsi 2012 if this helps
     
  2. Legojon

    Legojon Will work for TTE420
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    I have the same troubles. I usually shine my LED torch in there to make it easier to see.
     
  3. Fortis

    Fortis New Member

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    ahh you shine the torch down the neck of the container and look from the outside of it which should make a reflection of where the fluid sits?
     
  4. Legojon

    Legojon Will work for TTE420
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    Yeah, take the top off and shove the torch in the bottle, then look from the outside. I don't know why they didn't just make it transparent. Oh and try not to dip the torch in the brake fluid :D
     
  5. Fortis

    Fortis New Member

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    when I checked earlier I had like a yellow netting in the neck I think to step bits falling in can this be taken out?
     
  6. RUM4MO

    RUM4MO Senior Member

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    No, you probably will not be able to take the mesh strainer/sieve out.

    It certainly is not easy, the level should be above the level of the mesh strainer/sieve, maybe 5mm above the mesh strainer/sieve ia good enough.

    I've found that if I shine a very powerful LED light against the side of the reservoir I eventually convince myself that I can see the level.
     
  7. Crossthreaded

    Crossthreaded Senior Member

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    Yup, it's hard to see isn't it? Mine is a 2016 ST and I have a bright cree led inspection light which I find I can get quite far back on the outside of the reservoir so that the light then shines forward (kind of) through the plastic of the reservoir and I can see the level. I have always tried to avoid removing reservoir caps unless actually adding fluid as I think that anything which restricts access to the outside air will probably reduce the uptake of moisture from the air by the fluid? I don't get too obsessed with trying to always have the fluid level at "max" because as the pads/linings wear the fluid level will naturally drop to compensate. I'm quite happy as long as the fluid level is not "nudging" the "min" mark. One of the big advantages of many alloy wheels is that you can see the brake pads through the spokes. So if a quick glance at your pads shows them to be, say, half worn, then you might expect to see the fluid level a few mils down in the reservoir. I should also say though that I check under bonnet levels, including brake fluid at least every month and more often weekly. As a result I get a "feel" for what my levels are doing. If I notice a sudden drop in coolant or brake fluid I know this is not normal and I've got a problem. Looking to see if the reservoir is overly full is always a good idea before servicing brakes as you might cause it to overflow by pushing back on the pads during the brake service (and you don't want that because brake fluid - as many here will know - is an excellent paint stripper!)

    The cree light has also proved very useful checking the radiator header tank on our Panda which "hides" down the side of the radiator and is not easy to check by daylight alone. A quick flash with the cree and all is revealed.
     
  8. Fortis

    Fortis New Member

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    tried my torch on my phone buts theres no room to get beind and cant take the yellow mesh out to fit anything inside to get a reflection of the light.

    I check again and noticed the fluid is just above the mesh part but unsure what level that equals to.

    cheers
     
  9. Rooster

    Rooster Full Member

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    I see too many cars with the brake fluid level well above the "max" marking, with some dripping from the cap when the engine compartment is hot, the min and max marks are there for a reason!
     
  10. Crossthreaded

    Crossthreaded Senior Member

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    Sounds like you make your living working on cars Rooster? - Me too. - Well I used to. I had a complete career change when I reached 50, going off to do something different but I've never stopped working on family cars (6 in the family fleet at present). An overfull reservoir is very annoying and can be really quite messy so I completely agree on this. Also, if you find, perhaps at a service, that pads are needed on only one axle (ie front or rear) If the reservoir has not been topped up there is a good chance you'll be able to retract the pistons without the reservoir overflowing (requiring fluid to be removed) which makes the job much easier.

    On a related theme - When I first started in the trade sealed cooling systems were unknown and even expansion tanks were rare. Typically the radiator would have a pressure cap but the overflow was a pipe dangling down under the car. If the rad was filled to the very top the first time the engine got up to full temperature the excess coolant would be expelled through the overflow pipe onto the road. Then when the engine cooled down and the coolant contracted, if you removed the rad cap it looked as if the radiator was needing a top up of coolant. When I first started dating the girl who I would later marry, Her father would let us borrow his Wolseley for a Saturday night out and he would often say "keep an eye on the water temperature son, I think she's got a leak somewhere". It took me months to work up the courage to tell him to stop overfilling the radiator and also to warn him that, as he was topping it up every Saturday (many people back then really prized their cars and would wash them and check them over every weekend) he had probably diluted the antifreeze concentration to such an extent that it would be next to useless in a cold snap!
     
  11. Bedlam

    Bedlam Full Member

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    Did he never have any real idea of what was going on in the back seat of his Wolesey on a Saturday night........:blink::blink::blink:
     
  12. Crossthreaded

    Crossthreaded Senior Member

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    Hmmmm? Really not sure. Nothing was ever said though. It was a very comfortable back seat and, being the Wolseley version, full leather trim too! Certainly much nicer than my 1275 Cooper S - and not such fun to drive? On reflection though I don't think my mind was focussed so much on the driving!
     
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