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Summary
  • The master brake fluid reservoir is usually near the firewall at the back of the engine compartment.
  • Brake fluid transmits force from the brake master cylinder to the brake calipers or brake shoes. It also protects the metal parts of the system.
  • As much as possible, avoid opening the master brake fluid reservoir cap because the fluid can absorb the moisture in the air.

Q: Where Is the Brake Fluid Typically Located?

A: Brake fluid does two things for your vehicle. First, it transmits force from the brake master cylinder to the brake calipers or brake shoes. Second, it protects the metal parts of the brake system. While brake fluid can be found throughout your brake system, you can check brake fluid levels in the master brake fluid reservoir.

The master brake fluid reservoir is usually found mounted on or near the firewall at the back of the engine compartment. If you can’t find it there, consult your vehicle’s manual.

image of a ford explorer brake fluid reservoir
Brake fluid reservoir on a Ford Explorer | Image Source: Richard McCuistian

The location of the brake fluid reservoir will of course depend on the make and model of your vehicle. However, some areas are more common than others.

For instance, the brake fluid reservoir in 2000-2004 Ford Focus vehicles is a white container on the right side of the engine bay close to the windshield.

Meanwhile, in 1998-2002 Honda Accords, you’ll find the brake fluid reservoir in the same spot, but it sits a little lower in the engine bay.

Tips on How to Access the Brake Fluid

Try not to open the master brake fluid reservoir cap if you can help it. Brake fluid can easily absorb the moisture in the air, which can impact its effectiveness. Most reservoirs will be semi-translucent, which allows you to check on the fluid’s color and its level without opening the cap.

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Technical Reviewer at CarParts.com

Richard McCuistian has worked for nearly 50 years in the automotive field as a professional technician, an instructor, and a freelance automotive writer for Motor Age, ACtion magazine, Power Stroke Registry, and others. Richard is ASE certified for more than 30 years in 10 categories, including L1 Advanced Engine Performance and Light Vehicle Diesel.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

File Under : Braking System , DIY
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