In this guide, you will find videos and step-by-step instructions on how to check the BMW brake fluid level and add brake fluid.
If your BMW brake light stays on, check to ensure the brake fluid level is not low.
- Brake Warning Light on Dashboard
- Brake Fluid! Stop Vehicle Carefully
- Brake Fluid message on iDrive
- The brake fluid level is too low. Reduced braking efficiency. Stop the vehicle carefully. Please contact the nearest BMW dealer.
What you will need
- BMW Brake Fluid
- Do not use brake fluid from an open container. Brake fluid can absorb moisture and degrade; therefore, it is not recommended to use brake fluid from a container with a broken seal.
- Clean Rag
- Open the hood of your BMW by pulling the hood release under the dashboard.
- Locate the plastic cover on the back of the engine. On older models, you will be able to see the brake reservoir, but newer models have a plastic cover that needs to be removed. This is known as the microfilter housing.
- Remove the plastic retainer, twist the nuts to unlock the cover.
- Remove the rest of the plastic trim. Once the plastic trim is removed, you notice the brake fluid reservoir.
- Use a clean rag to remove any dirt that may have accumulated around the brake fluid reservoir cap. Remove the cap. Check the fluid by looking on the side of the reservoir. You will notice a MIN and MAX mark on the side of the brake fluid reservoir.
- If the level is below the MIN mark, add enough brake fluid to bring the level just below the MAX mark. Do not overfill your BMW brake fluid reservoir above the MAX mark.
- Follow the instructions below to reset the brake level warning light on the dashboard.
If you overfill your BMW brake fluid reservoir above the MAX mark, use a clean syringe to remove the excessive brake fluid.
Reset brake fluid light
- Insert your key into the ignition.
- Press the START button without pressing the brake pedal. Ensure your ignition is turned on, but the engine has not been started.
- Once your dash lights are on, press and hold the odometer reset button for about 5 seconds. A yellow triangle will display. Continue pressing the reset button until the triangle disappears and the Oil Can or Cabin Air Filter symbol shows on the cluster. Now you have entered the service menu.
- Toggle the reset switch a few times until you see the brake symbol.
- When the brake fluid symbol shows on the screen, press and holds the reset button again.
- After keeping the reset button pressed for about 5 seconds, you should see RESET? or OK?
- Release and press the reset button again for another 5 seconds.
- Cycle your ignition on and off, and the rest should be completed.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Recommended BMW Brake Fluid?
Recommended: Genuine BMW Brake Fluid
Alternative: ATE Type 200 Super Blue
The most commonly used BMW brake fluid is DOT4. Always check your owner's manual to find out what brake fluid is compatible with your BMW.
How can I tell if the mechanic/dealer changed my brake fluid?
Old brake fluid will be dark in color. Fresh brake fluid is a clear color or bright blue or yellow.
Can I test the condition of my brake fluid?
Yes. You can use test strips that are used to measure the water contamination in brake fluid. Or you can use a tool that measures the specific gravity of the brake fluid, which also can measure the percentage of water in brake fluid.