Can you add brake fluid without bleeding?

Have you ever worked up in one morning and realized a brownish or light yellow spot near the wheels of your car? This can be a clear indication that your brake fluid is leaking from the car’s brake system. You can confirm whether it is brake fluid by touching the fluid spot on the ground and if it leaves residues slippery like on your fingers, that is it.

Your car’s brake system is featured to operate on a closed system basis and includes a reservoir, brake fluid, links, pistons, various cylinders, brake lines, various switches, and brake pedals. If one of these components fails or gets damaged, the result is that brake fluid starts leaking.

There are several causes of brake system failure, including worn-out brake fluid, which damages the brake pads. Worn-out brake fluid doesn’t depress the brake pads, and therefore, the brake system efficiency is lost; you may start hearing a noise like squealing, squeaking, or grinding while using the brakes.

All this results in most when there is uneven wear of the brake pads.

However, if you want to care about your car’s brake system, you need to replace the worn-out brake fluid. In most cases, you can add brake fluid by bleeding the system.

Bleeding in brake fluid is where you ride the trapped air and expel old fluid from the brake system. But can you add brake fluid without bleeding? The answer to this question is yes, you can add brake fluid without bleeding.

Bleeding in the brake system is not compulsory in the process of adding brake fluid to your car. Bleeding is only applicable or necessary once you push the brake pedal or drain the reservoir completely. In other words, you only use bleeding if there is leakage that has caused air bubbles into the brake fluid pipes or lines.

How to add brake fluid

Brake fluid is necessary for any car as it keeps the brakes working. You should regularly check your car’s brake fluid condition and fill it if it is discolored or low. A well-functioning brake system is vital for a car’s general health and safety.

While replacing worn-out brake parts is crucial, there are some parts that people tend to overlook while inspecting. Brake fluid is one of the major components that should be inspected as it plays a vital role in keeping the brakes functional. In case your fluid is low or disclosed, here is how to add it. 

1. Park your car in a leveled place

Ensure that you position your car on a level surface and it is stationary. This is to ensure you get correct brake fluid readings, as having the vehicle at a steep pitch will lead to incorrect reading of brake fluid. 

2. Depress the brake lever twenty to thirty times

If your vehicle has anti-lock brakes, press them about twenty to thirty times. However, if it does not have, be free to skip the step. 

3. Find where the brake fluid tank is located.

The brake fluid tank is located under the hood on the car’s driver’s side against the back engine compartment. However, some have the brake fluid tank located under a plastic entrance panel. 

the location of the brake fluid tank in a car

4. Assess the level of the brake fluid

Check to see the level of your car’s brake fluid. Most modern cars have a transparent plastic tank with maximum and minimum marks on them for easy examination. 

5. Exam the fluid’s color

Brake fluids often become contaminated with everyday use. For example, a clean brake fluid takes a light golden yellow color, but it changes to dark amber when it is contaminated. It is contaminated, contact a professional, but if clean, proceed to the next step. 

6. Open the cap and open the fluid tank.

If you find the fluid below the minimum mark, or you cannot see its level with the old one, open it. 

7. Clean the reservoir

Take a clean cloth and clean all grease and dirt from the top of the reservoir and cap. 

8. Remove the lid

Now remove the lid by unscrewing it, releasing the metal spring clip, or pulling it straight. 

9. Add brake fluid to the tank.

Slowly add the fluid to the reservoir until it reaches the maximum level. Ensure you don’t fill beyond the mark.

10. Return the cap to the reservoir

Now you are done, simply reinstall the fluid tank cap the way you removed it. 


Caring about your car’s health is always the bright idea to make your car operate efficiently, avoid accidents, and have a long lifespan. You can achieve this by paying attention to the check-up schedule and repairing the most damaged parts, including the brake system. Brake parts like brake pads can fail due to worn-out brake fluid, failing the whole system. Therefore, replace or add brake fluids, and it is not mandatory to use bleeding.

Recommended products

Capri Tools CP21029 Vacuum Brake Bleeder
1,519 Reviews
Capri Tools CP21029 Vacuum Brake Bleeder
  • Designed to drain most standard and ABS brake systems
  • Bleeds and flushes hydraulic brakes and clutches with vacuum
  • Features integrated silencer for quieter work
Mityvac MV8000 Professional Single Person Manual Brake and Clutch Bleeding Tune-up Kit
2,541 Reviews
Mityvac MV8000 Professional Single Person Manual Brake and Clutch Bleeding Tune-up Kit
  • The MV8000 kit includes: Selectline hand-vacuum pump (Model MV8010); 4.5 oz. fluid reservoir and lids; (7) tapered adapters; (2) tapered manifold plugs; (3) bleed screw adapters; (4) connection tubes (24", 1-1/2", 3", 3-5/8") and cupped and tube adapters.
  • Performs one-person engine performance diagnostics, vacuum brake and clutch bleeding, fluid transfer, evacuation, sampling, windshield repair, turbocharger testing and diesel fuel priming.
  • Convenient one-finger vacuum release.
Phoenix Systems (2104-B) V-5 Reverse Brake Bleeder, Light Duty One Person, Fits all makes and models
1,140 Reviews
Phoenix Systems (2104-B) V-5 Reverse Brake Bleeder, Light Duty One Person, Fits all makes and models
  • Patented Reverse Bleeding removes more trapped air than any other brake bleeder by simply pushing Brake Fluid fluid from the bottom up.
  • Reverse bleeding is the only method capable of bleeding tough ABS units without a scan tool.
  • Allows you to refill and bleed a completely dry brake or clutch system. Perform Reverse, Vacuum, Pressure and Bench bleeding all with the same tool.
FOUR UNCLES 2L Vacuum Brake Bleeder Air Brake Bleeder Kit with 2L Brake Fluid Extractor and 1L Refilling Bottle
1,080 Reviews
FOUR UNCLES 2L Vacuum Brake Bleeder Air Brake Bleeder Kit with 2L Brake Fluid Extractor and 1L Refilling Bottle
  • 【One Person Operation】This brake bleeder bleeds and flushes hydraulic brakes and clutches with a vacuum and is simple to use. Large capacity collection reservoir can contain 2 liters of fluid, also includes an automatic master cylinder refill kit with a 1 liter reservoir (safety cup), which makes changing brake oil easy and simple for one man operation.
  • 【2 Silicon Bleed Hoses】The brake oil bleeder kit includes a 40 inch silicone bleed hose with a universal rubber adapter that used with most standard and ABS brake systems, and a 40 inch master cylinder evacuation hose especially for bleeding brake in master cylinder.
  • 【Efficiently to Bleeding Work】It contains a variable thumb throttle which maintains average air flow rate 2 cfm and a desired brake fluid flow rate. And the fixing ring lock keeps extracting oil continuously, efficiently and quicker.
Scroll to Top