Honda CRV/Odyssey 1995-2000 Repair Information

Brake Master Cylinder



Use only Honda®, or equivalent brake fluid meeting DOT 3 or DOT 4 specifications from a clean, sealed container. Using any other type of fluid may result in severe brake system damage. Avoid using any brake fluid which has been left open for several hours, or which had been initially opened more than 3 months prior to being used.

Brake fluid damages paint. It is also absorbs moisture from the air. Never leave a container or the master cylinder uncovered longer than necessary. All parts in contact with the brake fluid (master cylinder, hoses, plunger assemblies, etc.) must be kept clean, since any contamination of the brake fluid will adversely affect braking performance.

When cleaning a brake component, make sure to use rubbing alcohol, or a suitable brake cleaner. Use of non-compatible cleaners will cause damage to brake seals and related components.


It should be obvious how important the brake system is to safe operation of your vehicle. The brake fluid is key to the proper operation of your vehicle. Low levels of fluid indicate a need for service (there may be a leak in the system or the brake pads may just be worn and in need of replacement). In any case, the brake fluid level should be inspected at least during every oil change, but more often is desirable. Every time you open the hood is a good time to glance at the master cylinder reservoir.

To check the fluid level, look on the side of the reservoir to see how high the fluid level is against the markings on the side of the reservoir. The level should be at the FULL mark. If not, remove the reservoir cap, then add the proper amount of DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid to bring the level up to FULL.

See Figures 1 and 2

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: When checking the brake fluid level, it should be at the FULL line. Add the proper amount of fluid if necessary

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Fig. Fig. 2: Pour in enough DOT 3 quality brake fluid to reach the FULL level. Be careful not to spill any brake fluid, as it can damage painted surfaces

When making additions of brake fluid, use only fresh, uncontaminated brake fluid which meets or exceeds DOT 3 standards. Be careful not to spill any brake fluid on painted surfaces, as it will quickly eat the paint. Do not allow the brake fluid container or the master cylinder to remain open any longer than necessary; brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air, reducing the fluid's effectiveness and causing corrosion in the lines.