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Changing Brake Fluid

In all 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 Reservoir

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 periodically.

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 figure 9.

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 elsewhere on 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 these  cars.

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.


Fig 2. Remove back panel screws Fig. 3. Remove light bulb connection

Fig 4  master brake cylinder reservoir

Fig 5  Surround reservoir with a towel Fig 6  Dripper to add and remove oil

Fig 7  Close-u of brake bleed nipple

Fig 8.  Open nipple rubber cover


Fig 9. Vacuum pump to remove oil Fig 10. Pump attached to outer air bleed nipple
Fig 11. Old oil removed from brake line


Fig 12. Pump attached to inner air bleed nipple

This page was last modified on 03/12/2014

This page was last modified on 09/06/2014