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Maintenance - Brake Fluids

Left - Discovery , Right - Defender.

Brake fluid or brake oil as it's often called is not an oil. Using oil in this circuit will damage the components. Brake fluid is an hygroscopic mineral fluid that is harmfull for the skin and dangerous for the eyes. If you get it on the skin immediately wash it off with plenty of water. Then put some vaseline or hand creme on that place- the fluid soaks water out of the skin and makes it brittle. If you get it in the eyes immediately rinse with plenty of water for at least 10 minutes and then consult an doctor. Eye damage can occur even days after contact.

To check and to fill up: Rinse the reservoir (picture above) with window cleaner and wipe it clean. You see 2 markings on the plastic. One is the upper, the other the lower mark. It is normal for the level to drop when the brake pads wear. But it may never fall below the lower marking.

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If you need to top it up you should stuff plenty of paper towels or rags around and under the reservoir. You should use fluid from a sealed (new) container as this fluid attracts water over time and then looses most of it's properties. If you don't work often with those fluids buy only the smallest containers you can get.

Don't mix synthetic brake oils (DOT4 and 5) with mineral brake oils (DOT 2 and 3.x)