VW Golf manuals

Volkswagen Golf Owners Manual: Brake fluid

Fig. 144 In the engine compartment: cap on the brake fluid container

First read and observe the introductory information and safety warnings

Brake fluid will gradually absorb water from the surrounding air. The brake system will be damaged if there is too much water in the brake fluid. The boiling point of the brake fluid is also considerably reduced by the water content. Heavy use of the brakes may cause a vapour lock in the brake system if the water content is too high. Vapour locks reduce levels of braking power, considerably increase braking distance and can even cause the brake system to fail completely. Your own safety and that of other road users depends on having a brake system that functions properly at all times  .

Brake fluid specification

Volkswagen has developed a brake fluid that has been optimised for the brake system in the vehicle. To ensure optimal operation of the brake system, Volkswagen recommends the use of brake fluid compliant with VW standard 501 14.

Before using a particular brake fluid, check that the specifications printed on the container correspond to the vehicle requirements.

Brake fluid that is compliant with VW standard 501 14 is available from Volkswagen dealerships.

If this brake fluid is not available and it is necessary to use another high-quality brake fluid instead, brake fluid that is compliant with DIN ISO 4925 CLASS 4 or US standard FMVSS 116 DOT 4 can be used.

Not all brake fluids that are compliant with DIN ISO 4925 CLASS 4 or US standard FMVSS 116 DOT 4 have the same chemical composition. Some of these brake fluids may contain chemicals that can damage or destroy brake system components over time.

Volkswagen therefore recommends the use of brake fluid that is compliant with VW standard 501 14 to ensure sustained optimal operation of the brake system.

Brake fluid that is compliant with VW standard 501 14 fulfils the requirements of DIN ISO 4925 CLASS 4 or US standard FMVSS 116 DOT 4.

Brake fluid level

The brake fluid level must always be between the MIN and MAX marking on the brake fluid container or above the MIN marking  .

The brake fluid level cannot be checked accurately in all models as engine components may partially conceal the brake fluid container. If the brake fluid level cannot be read exactly, please proceed to a qualified workshop.

The brake fluid level drops slightly when the vehicle is being used as the brake pads wear and the brakes are automatically adjusted.

Changing the brake fluid

The brake fluid should be changed by a qualified workshop. Volkswagen recommends using a Volkswagen dealership for this purpose. Only brake fluid that conforms with the required specification should be used.

WARNING

Brake failure or reduced braking effect can be caused by the brake fluid level being too low or by brake fluid that is too old or unsuitable.

WARNING

Brake fluid is toxic.

NOTICE

Brake fluid that has leaked or been spilt can damage the vehicle paintwork, plastic parts and tyres. Brake fluid that has leaked or been spilt should be cleaned off the vehicle paintwork and other components immediately.

Brake fluid can pollute the environment. Any spilt service fluids must be cleaned up and disposed of properly.
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