Go-karts have strong brakes despite only having them on the rear axle. These brakes often become weaker over time as the brake fluid in the reservoir gets used up. It’s important to top it up regularly and flush your brake system.
The 6 steps to putting brake fluid in a go-kart are:
- Get your tools ready
- Remove the reservoir cap
- Clean out the old fluid
- Bleed the brakes
- Repeat until flushed
- Replace the reservoir cap
Flushing your brakes is a relatively easy process, although it can take some time. It is important to do it often though as it not only affects your performance on track, but it is also crucial to your safety in the kart. Let’s take a closer look at putting brake fluid in your go-kart.
Why Do You Need To Flush The Brakes System?
The brakes are crucially important on a kart. Of course, they are important to the driver’s safety first and foremost. Being able to slow down and stop the kart is necessary. Having properly maintained brakes is critical to this.
Weak brakes will also have a huge impact on your performance. It will mean that you aren’t able to brake as late or as hard as you normally could. This will lead to slower lap times and more difficulty in overtaking your opponents.
Brakes will also begin to fade over time. This could be due to your brake pads wearing out, or it could be due to your brake fluid running low or becoming contaminated. If this happens, you will notice the brake pedal feeling ‘spongy’ and soft. You’ll also notice a lack of stopping power.
It’s normal for the brake fluid to run out over time. It can also become contaminated due to the lack of proper sealing in a kart’s brake fluid reservoir. This also leads to some air being sucked into the system, which can hugely affect the performance of the brakes.
How Often Should You Flush Your Kart’s Brakes?
You should flush your kart’s brakes regularly. Many drivers tend to only bleed their brakes when they need to. It can be a time consuming and boring process, so they tend to wait until their brakes begin to fade before they flush their braking system.
However, it should be part of your regular maintenance. While it’s not necessary to do it once a week, you should keep an eye on it. Once a month or once every six weeks is a decent frequency to flush your brakes.
This will allow you to keep your brakes strong and performing well. If you leave it too long your brakes might fade when you need them most. For example, if you’re in the middle of a racing event, you won’t have enough time in between sessions to bleed your brakes properly. This could cost you in a race.
6 Steps To Put Brake Fluid In A Go-Kart
1. Get Your Tools Ready
There are a couple of tools you will need in order to complete this process. It’s always important to make sure you have the right tools before you get started. If you don’t, you might find yourself stuck without being able to get the job done.
Here’s what you will need to replace your kart’s brake fluid:
- Allen keys
- 8 mm spanner
- Brake fluid
- Short rubber hose
2. Remove The Reservoir Cap
To bleed your brakes, you need to use an Allen key to remove the brake fluid reservoir cap. You will find the master cylinder by following your braking cable. They normally have three screws, and you need to remove all of them.
The two screws at the front can be difficult to get to. The easiest way to gain access to them is by pushing the brake pedal down and holding it in place. This will move the braking cable out of the way. Below the reservoir cap you will find a rubber fitting. This also needs to be removed in order to gain access to the reservoir.
3. Clean Out The Old Fluid
You will notice that the brake fluid might be dirty and have small bits of dirt or metallic parts floating in it. You will need to get rid of all the old brake fluid. Start by cleaning the brake fluid off the rubber fitting you removed under the reservoir cap.
Next, you can use the syringe to easily remove the old fluid from inside the reservoir. Try to get as much of it out as you can. Once the level of brake fluid becomes too little for the syringe to suck up, you can use the cloth to soak up the rest.
Use the cloth to clean out all of the old brake fluid. If there is any old fluid or dirt left in the reservoir it can contaminate your new brake fluid that you need to put in. This could cause it to go to waste since it will contaminate the entire braking system all over again.
When you have the reservoir all cleaned out you can put the cloth underneath the master cylinder. Make sure you cover up your chassis because brake fluid eats through paint. This is just in case you spill any brake fluid.
4. Bleed The Brakes
The next step is to bleed the brakes. This is the step where you get rid of all the old brake fluid in the system. You may need to repeat this step multiple times before the system is fully cleaned. This is the most time-consuming step.
You need to have the brake pressure applied while you are bleeding the brakes. This means you have to keep the brake pedal pushed down fully to push the old brake fluid out of the brake system. You must have new brake fluid in the system to prevent it from sucking in air. Air in a brake system is bad, so always make sure there is new brake fluid in the reservoir while you are bleeding your brakes.
Put the short rubber hose on the bleed nipple in order to catch the fluid when you open it. This will make it easier and prevent brake fluid from spilling onto your kart. Use the 8 mm spanner to open and close the bleed nipple. Always make sure you do both sides of the brakes, otherwise this won’t work properly.
To bleed the brakes, follow these steps:
- Apply brake pressure
- Open the bleed nipple until fully bled
- Close the bleed nipple
- Remove brake pressure
5. Repeat Until Flushed
You may need to repeat the process multiple times before your brake system is fully flushed. This is important, and you can’t just do it once or twice. The system needs to be fully flushed before you can end the process.
While going through this process, make sure that you keep an eye on the brake fluid level in the reservoir. If it gets too low, it will begin to suck in air. Make sure that you refill it after every second or third bleed.
6. Replace The Reservoir Cap
The final step of the process is to reinstall the reservoir cap with its rubber fitting. You can do this by simply placing the cap back on the reservoir and putting the screws back in place.
The process of bleeding your brakes and adding new fluid is important. However, because it can become a time-consuming process, many drivers overlook it or put it off until it is really needed. It’s a good idea to do this regularly to ensure that your brakes are always performing at their best and they won’t fade away when you need them most.
I created and have been writing on this site since 2019, collaborating with drivers, coaches, engineers and manufacturers to provide you with the most reliable information about motorsport. Find out more about me here.