Low Brake Fluid – What Happens When Your Truck Has Low Brake Fluid?

The braking system has various components that work jointly to stop your truck. Like other fluids, brake fluid is vital for your brakes to function effectively. It is one of the fluids you should consider checking its level more often before driving your truck. When the brake fluid level drops, your truck will show signs prompting you to act. As you read this guide, you will be able to understand what happens when the level of brake fluid in your truck is low. 

Signs of Low Brake Fluid

When your truck starts to experience any mechanical issue, it will ask for help, and low brake fluid levels are no exception. Here are some signs your truck will exhibit when the brake fluid level is low.

  • The appearance of a brake check light on the dashboard. The dashboard check light turns on for a purpose. The appearance of the brake check light can also warn you of other braking problems.
  • Soft or hard brake pedal. The brake pedal should not go down with ease or resist going down when you press it. If such happens is an indication that there is air in the braking system and the brake fluid is low or contaminated.
  • Presence of fluid around your wheels. When you experience the presence of fluids around your wheels indicates that the brake fluid is leaking. 

Apart from leakages, there are other causes of low brake fluid levels.

  • Internal leakage into the brake booster. In such a scenario, you might not note any visible sign of leakage, but it can damage the brake booster of your truck.
  • Old brake pads can store more fluids in the calipers, leading to less brake fluid in the master cylinder.

What Happens When You Drive a Truck Without Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is vital in the braking system, but most drivers usually ignore it. As you drive, chances are high that, at some point, you will run out of brake fluid, but what will happen? Your brakes might completely fail and put you at risk of your truck losing control. But it is possible to stop when your brakes fail. 

When driving and you realize that your brakes have become unresponsive, consider pumping the brake pedal to activate brake lights or turn on your hazard lights. Doing this will warn other road users that your truck has a problem, and they can keep a safe distance or give you the way. 

You can gradually engage the parking brake to downshift to lower gears. Once your truck reaches a speed limit of 20 miles or below, you can slowly pull off the road into the grass, weeds, or small rocks on the side of the road. Such surfaces offer more friction that will completely stop your truck.

If your parking brake fails to engage, downshift to lower gears and carefully steer your truck until it stops.


The role of brake fluid in your truck cannot be taken for granted. If its levels drop, your brakes are more likely to become less responsive or faulty. The above are signs warning you of low brake fluid and what to do when your brake becomes unresponsive while driving.