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quickie about brake fluid

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Snowman, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. Hi guys, I just bought a 2006 ninja ZX-6R, and I noticed that the brake fluid reservoir looks empty...

    The bike is new to me so I dunno if its normal, the neutral light makes the reservoir glow and I cant see a line of (its purple-ish isnt it?) brake fluid at all

    Just dont want to crack it open and find that it was fine.

    oh and the bike was serviced about 3000ks ago, shouldnt it have been replaced then?
  2. Brake fluid (dot4) in my bike and van is almost clear and its tricky to see the level. If you're not sure, why not crack it open?
  3. Just crack it open, no harm done. I always do a complete fluid change whenever I replace the pads. I buy a new bottle each time as you shouldn't use fluid that has been open. One bottle is sufficient to replace both front and back lines.
  4. ok, ill have a look in the morning. I did open it up because I heard your not supposed to coz it lets air in or something... but its ok to open the top of the reservior?

    the brakes seem to work spectacularly compared to my old ZZR :D
  5. You are not supposed to expose brake fluid to air because it absorbs moisture from air. This can lower the boiling point of the fluid and if you do repeated hard braking could lead to the fluid boiling and creating bubbles in the lines, giving reduced braking at best and no brakes at all at worst.

    Hence the recommendation above to never use an old opened container of brake fluid as it's likely to be contaminated. Also why you need to change fluid from time to time (the recommend interval varies but will probably be every year).

    If you didn't buy the bike new, I'd change fluid to be sure.

    However just opening the top and looking in won't hurt. The fluid won't be exposed to air long enough. You probably can't see a line because the level is above the line.

    Finally if you do change fluid make sure you use the recommended grade and don't assume a higher grade is better. They are NOT always interchangeable. My bike uses Dot 4 and Dot 5 will eat my brake lines.