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Old 19-11-2007   #1
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Brake/Clutch Fluid

Hi guys,

You'll probably all think this is a stupid question, but bare with me. I've just checked my brake/clutch fluid level and it has really gone down over the last few months and is only just above minimum level.

Is it as simple to top up the brake/clutch fluid as it is for the coolant (ie just unscrew the lid and pour it in?). I know, I know it's a stupid question but I just want to check first...

I have a 2001 Y Reg Punto 1.2 16v ELX

Also, as I don't have a handbook, does anyone know what brand/type of brake/clutch fluid to use and where I can buy it?

Thanks,

Marina Vitromanovic
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Old 19-11-2007   #2
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Re: Brake/Clutch Fluid

as long as you are confident it has stayed above min, the its a simple case of topping up to just below max. ---having said that you may want to get someone to check the back of all four wheels for sign of leakage last thing you want to be doing is driving with dodgy brakes , of course this also feeds the clutch master cylinder so if your not certain have someone check that as well
any good motor factor will put you right as far as type of fluid
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Last edited by jaybee; 19-11-2007 at 13:17. Reason: adding text
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Old 19-11-2007   #3
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Re: Brake/Clutch Fluid

according to my manual you should ask for SAE J1703F or DOT4, hope thats of some use
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Old 20-11-2007   #4
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Re: Brake/Clutch Fluid

Thanks - couldn't find any DOT4 in the shops yesterday. They all sell coolant and engine oil but hardly any seem to sell brake/clutch fluid.

Anyway, I've booked the car into the garage to get checked out next week. For the 3 years that I've had the car the brake/clutch fluid level has always been at max. The fact that it's now only just above min means something's going on that I need to get sorted.

I know that my front brake pads/discs need replaced - could the fact that they are getting very worn be the cause of the fluid level going down so much?

Thanks,

Marina Vitromanovic
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Old 20-11-2007   #5
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Re: Brake/Clutch Fluid

wouldnt think so ,,but I,m sure your doing right thing in getting it checked out
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Old 20-11-2007   #6
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Re: Brake/Clutch Fluid

You should completely change the brake/clutch oil on every 2 years, not only topping it up
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Old 21-11-2007   #7
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Re: Brake/Clutch Fluid

from full brake pads to no brake pads equals max to min mark exactly believe it or not this may just be a simple wear on the pads and disks
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Old 21-11-2007   #8
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Re: Brake/Clutch Fluid

New pads are about 1cm thick.. old pads can be down to zero.

The brake system always keeps the pads the same distance from the discs, so as the pads wear down, that lost pad thickness is taken up by the caliper piston moving outwards -pushing the back plate of the pad closer and closer to the disc.

When that happens, back at the master cylinder the fluid level drops (the fluid is filling the extra space inside the caliper, as the piston has moved out.

When you fit new pads, the piston will be pushed back, as the new pads are much thicker. So, the fluid level will magically go back to where it was before.

But you should change the fluid every 2 years (or even every year).... so after they fit new pads, make them bleed the whole brake system and the clutch too (it uses the same old fluid).

Incidentally, clutch wear will also affect the fluid level in the same way.


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Old 21-11-2007   #9
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Re: Brake/Clutch Fluid

Thanks for the explanation - even I understood that. The clutch is new and was only fitted in April, so I'm 95% certain it's the brake pads/discs that need replaced as they've never been changed on this car (which is 6.5 years old). The braking isn't quite as sharp as it used to be. If its not that then it must be a leak.

Roll on Monday when the car goes into the garage. The one disadvantage of having a reliable garage to go it is that it's so popular you have to wait a week to get seen

Marina Vitromanovic
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Old 21-11-2007   #10
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Re: Brake/Clutch Fluid

Yes.. most likely the brakes.

Soggy pedal may be due to air in the system. Brake fluid is hygroscopic - it absorbs water.. even though it's in a theoretically "sealed" system.

When you brake it all gets hot down by the calipers and any water in there boils (at 100C .. brake fluid itself is good past 250C) and that causes little bubbles of vapour to form (like in a glass of Coke)

Brake fluid doesn't absorb vapour, so the bubbles just sit there.. When you brake, it can compress instead of pushing the brakes on, so the pedal feels spongey. A bleed of the system will get the bubbles out.. new fluid will make sure they don't come back for a while.

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Old 17-01-2009   #11
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Re: Brake/Clutch Fluid

Thank God i found this thread. I have a Punto ELX (X) 2000.

I believe I have a hydrolyic clutch, BUT I dont know where to top up the fluid.

My revs are constanty at 1000 rmp and it takes quite a long time to gain speed. I have been told to top up the fluid, but I DONT KNW WHERE TO TOP IT UP.

Would someone please tell me where it is, thanks,
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Old 17-01-2009   #12
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Re: Brake/Clutch Fluid

Quote Quote:
My revs are constanty at 1000 rmp and it takes quite a long time to gain speed. I have been told to top up the fluid, but I DONT KNW WHERE TO TOP IT UP.
Topping up the fluid wont help in this situation, If the level is low top it up, if not and there are no leaks the fluid isnt the problem.

The fluid resoviour is located at the top left edge at the top of the engine bay, White coloured bottle
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