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Inexpensive electronic brake fluid tester

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For years, one of the most common questions we get asked is knowing when to change the brake and clutch hydraulic fluids, other than using the "every two years" rule of thumb. This is especially important to those that track their cars regularly and tend to beat up on the fluid long before the normal flushing cycle and find they are getting "spongy" brake pedals on track days. While we use a hand held refractometer at the shop to spot test the condition of the fluids, these testers are fairly expensive (over $100), which puts them outside the budget for all but the most ardent car owners.

Recently, OTC tools released an inexpensive fluid tester (OTC 4598 Brake Fluid Tester) that seems to be both reasonably accurate when compared to the refractometer, and reasonably priced (around $24 on Amazon):


This battery operated device is simple to use, just press the on button at the end, and dip the two metal prongs into the fluid in the system reservoir. It uses a five step LED display reading between 0% and 4% moisture content to quickly give you a reading of the current condition of the fluid.

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