Lamborghinis the brake fluid should to be changed every
5,000 to 10,000 miles. This number will change depending on
how hard you drive and use the brakes. The friction on the
brake shoes on these heavy cars is tremendous. The brakes
quickly get very hot and can lead to severe burns if
touched. Likewise the oil driving the cylinders in the brake
shoes gets hot. Over time it starts to char and go brown or
black. If unchanged it will cause buildup of deposits in the
lines leading to poor brake performance. Fortunately a
brake fluid change can be done at any good brake shop or if
you have the time and knowledge done yourself. It is quite
easy to do and is described here.
This is one of those situations where it is useful to
have somebody help out. You may need a person to "pump the
brakes" as you clear air out of the lines.
Alternatively you can use a vacuum device to suck oil
through the lines. This is described below.
|Figure 1 Brake Fluid
The hydraulic brake system in Lamborghinis is fairly standard and
simple. When you push down on the brake pedal, oil stored in a
reservoir (fig 1) is pressurized in two cylinders (directly under
the reservoir) and forced to all four brakes where the
cylinders there under pressure push the brake pads on to the brake
rotors thereby slowing the car down. As in almost all modern
cars you are helped with pushing down on the brake pedal by a vacuum
chamber driven by the engine. This is all fairly
standard in today's cars. What is different in Lamborghinis is the
scale and extent of things. These cars are large and heavy. They
have enormous brakes that develop high pressures and heat. You
can "stop on a dime", but you need to replace the oil in the lines
Ok, first we need to get to the brake master cylinder. This is
located behind the back panel in the trunk of the car. If you open
the 8 screws (fig 2) it pops off. There is a wire connected to the
trunk light. This light pops out from which the wires can be
disconnected (fig 3). This then allows you to remove the panel
completely. The brake fluid reservoir can be clearly seen (fig 4).
Surround the base of the reservoir with a towel to collect any oil
that may spill. Brake oil will dissolve paint. Take care not to get
it on your hands or anywhere on the car. You should use brand
name DOT 4 (SAE J1703) brake oil. Lamborghini recommends "ATE
TYP 200". I use Castrol GT-LMA oil.
To remove and add oil to the brake fluid reservoir I
use a common kitchen device called "turkey roster dripper" (fig 6).
If you wish to spare the oil you can completely empty the reservoir
and fill it with new oil bleeding the lines (see below) as you go.
The oil is not expensive, so in order not to get air in the lines I
prefer to 3/4 empty the reservoir, fill it, bleed the lines (see
below) and repeat the process 3 or four times.
- Bleeding the lines
- The oil in the actual lines to the brakes is where the worst
oil is. This is the oil that sees the highest temperatures. You
must remove this oil. To do so starting with the right rear
brake, remove the rubber cover (fig 7,8) on the brake air bleed
nipple. To suck the air out you can attach a tube with a
collection container and have somebody "pump the brakes" or if
you are alone use one of many commercial brake fluid vacuum
pumps found in most auto stores. I use a large one as shown in
Each brake shoe has two sets of caliper pistons. One on the
outside brake disk surface. The other on the inside. To get to
inside air bleed nipple you must remove the tire.
- Attach the end of the tube to the air bleed nipple first to
the outside air bleed nipple (fig 10).
Pump up a vacuum. Open the air bleed half a turn. The oil is
sucked out or the brake line and brake cylinders. At first it
may be brown (fig 11). Continue to do so until it is clear all
the time making sure to top up the oil reservoir at the front of
the car. When done, open the vacuum valve to release the vacuum.
Then pump the brake pedal once or twice. The oil must be clear
with no air bubbles. Close the air bleed screw. Now do
this for the inside brake air bleed nipple (fig 12). Then
repeat this process the rear left brake, then the front right brake and
finally the front left brake. Replace the trunk panel etc.
you are done!
- 6.0L Diablos
- In the 6.0L, (but not in earlier cars) the clutch
hydraulic system shares the same brake oil reservoir. In order
not to contaminate the new brake oil that system needs to be
bled as well. This requires getting under the car.
The procedure is describe
this site. On earlier cars the clutch has its own
reservoir. It should have an oil change and be bled as well
although the oil never sees the temperatures brake oil gets in
As always, if the above is difficult for you
to understand. Do not attempt replacing the oil yourself. Bring
it to somebody that knows what they are doing. To say brake failure
can lead to serious accidents is an understatement! You are
doing this at your own risk. Drive the car slowly at the start and
repeatedly test the brakes before attempting normal driving.