Fit Suspension & Brake Modifications Threads discussing suspension and brake related modifications for the Honda Fit

Low brake fluid level.

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Old 02-21-2013, 04:45 AM
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Low brake fluid level.

I'm worried about how low my brake fluid level is. I've changed my pads & rotors up front but didn't change my rear drums. I haven't seen any leaks so far. So I was wondering if me not changing my rear drums is causing my fluid level to be low. Also could it be that I need to bleed them? My brake pedal seems soft, I have to push it really down to get the car to stop, more than usual. Idk what's the cause, I'm new to brakes. Help me out please. I don't know if I should just buy new shoes and spring retainers or just bleed my brakes and put new fluid in or both? Idk what y'all opinions are?
 
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:30 AM
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Unlike discs drum brakes don't "use" fluid as they wear. Not relining the rear brakes won't cause low fluid. Try refilling and bleeding.
 
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by spreadhead View Post
Unlike discs drum brakes don't "use" fluid as they wear. Not relining the rear brakes won't cause low fluid. Try refilling and bleeding.
I have never heard of that. As far as I know the only way you would ever be low on brake fluid is if there was a leak. Just changing pads and rotors should not at all effect the brake fluid
 
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by MNfit View Post
I have never heard of that. As far as I know the only way you would ever be low on brake fluid is if there was a leak. Just changing pads and rotors should not at all effect the brake fluid
The brake fluid level in the reservoir will go down some as the pads get thinner, since the slave cylinders are more fully extended and there's more fluid in them. Depending upon the vehicle, it can range anywhere from a negligible amount to a noticeable difference (though typically not enough to drop the fluid level from the "full" mark to the "add fluid now or else" mark).

To the OP: You should not have a soft pedal feel after changing the pads, at least once the pads have become seated a bit. Bleeding the system would be a very good idea and probably will solve your brake feel problem. After bleeding, put enough brake fluid in the reservoir to get it full. If you have a leak, it will become pretty obvious that the fluid level is dropping pretty soon.

Rear drum brake shoes last a loooong time, and are rather a pain to change. Don't bother mucking with them just for the fun of it.
 
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DrewE View Post
The brake fluid level in the reservoir will go down some as the pads get thinner, since the slave cylinders are more fully extended and there's more fluid in them.
Yes. But when you put new pads on it would push the fluid back to the original level. Your not losing any fluid. It's just that there is more in the lines. If he a taupe is losing fluid then he has a leak and that's not good
 
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:55 PM
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How low is your fluid? If it's between the full and add mark that's normal as the pads wear down more fluid is needed to take up that extra space. Changing the front pads should have raised the level a little bit.

I would do a thorough check for leaks or have a mechanic do a thorough check for leaks if you're not up to it. A leak could cause a low pedal like that and get air in the lines as well. Bleeding the brakes might be a good idea but if there is a leak it's pretty much a waste of time. Check for leaks first and then once you've verified everything is tight give bleeding a shot.

Brake fluid does not "disappear" and you should never have to add fluid. Low fluid says there is either a leak or your pads are low.
 
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:50 PM
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Thanks everyone for the advice! So I just checked my brake fluid as I got home from dropping my gf to work & it's about half an inch or so from the max line. I guess that's a normal sign since I changed my rotors & pads about 4k miles ago. But I'm still confused about the pedal being soft.
 
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:44 PM
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What kind of pads/rotors did you replace them with? Different brands will have different pedal feels too just because of the different friction properties. Like one brand's might have an abrupt initial bite while another brand has a much more gradual bite (so you have to press the pedal farther).
 
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by doctordoom View Post
What kind of pads/rotors did you replace them with? Different brands will have different pedal feels too just because of the different friction properties. Like one brand's might have an abrupt initial bite while another brand has a much more gradual bite (so you have to press the pedal farther).
That could probably be the a answer then! I replace them w/ EBC green stuff pads & EBC ultimax rotors. Should I upgrade to better pads?
 
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:55 AM
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It really depends on your personal preference.

If I were you though, I'd still check for leaks and bleed the brakes first. It's impossible for us to know how soft your pedal is, or how far you're depressing it. If that doesn't firm up the pedal feel, then you can consider changing pads/rotors.
 

Last edited by doctordoom; 02-22-2013 at 12:57 AM.
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