Brake Fluid Leaks: All You Need To Know (2021 Guide)
Concerned that you have a brake fluid leak ?
here ’ s a scenario no car owner wants to be in :
Your car international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine slowing down deoxyadenosine monophosphate promptly as it used to. additionally, when you press down on your brake pedal, it drops to the floor with minimal resistance.
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naturally, you wonder what ’ mho wrong, and take a look at the bottom of your fomite and spot an unfamiliar, yellow addle of fluid .
Looks like something ’ south incorrectly .
But what is it ?
Any leak from your car can be campaign for concern .
And judgment by the looks of it, it could be a brake fluid leak — which can be dangerous .
But don ’ thyroxine concern .
In this article, we ’ ll indicate you how to detect a brake fluid leak, what causes it, and the best direction to solve brake problems .
This Article Contains
( Click on a connection below to jump to a specific section )
What Is Brake Fluid?
Brake fluid is a character of hydraulic fluid that ’ s used in your car ’ s bracken system .
When the brake pedal is pressed, brake fluid acts as a conduit to transmit pressure to each tires ’ braking mechanism .
Why is a fluid used ?
Fluid is non-compressible and any blackmail exerted on the fluid is equally distributed .
This way, an equal force is delivered from the brake pedal to all four tires simultaneously. There can ’ thymine be any air in the brake credit line as publicize bubbles can affect the hydraulic blackmail of the brake fluid, which will change how your brakes react .
intend of it this manner :
It ’ second kind of like body of water in a strew .
If the pale yellow is full of water and you blow from one end — the water moves evenly together. But if there are air out bubbles in the straw, the water system doesn ’ triiodothyronine move evenly anymore as the tune bubbles create a break in the pressure distribution .
So, what happens when there’s a brake fluid leak ?
You lose brake pressure, as a leak not entirely reduces the fluid in the bracken credit line, but besides introduces air into your brake system. This reduce coerce in the hydraulic brakes then translates to problems in stopping your vehicle .
so, how can you tell if you have a bracken fluid leak ?
4 Common Symptoms Of A Brake Fluid Leak
There are several common red flags to spot a brake fluid escape .
In general, if your vehicle ’ s brake performance is compromised, then there ’ s likely an emergence somewhere in your brake system .
You merely have to determine if it ’ second from worn brake pads, brake fluent escape, or another trouble .
here are the signs typically associated with a brake fluid leak :
1. The Brake Warning Light Flashes
This is a clear index that something ’ second ill-timed with your brakes .
When the brake warning light glows, it can mean a handful of things :
- Low brake fluid levels in the brake master cylinder
- The parking brake (emergency brake) is activated
- There’s a problem with the ABS module in your anti lock brakes system
- Defective sensors in the brake master cylinder or parking brake
As there are so many potential causes, it ’ randomness constantly best to take your car to a automobile mechanic when you see your brake warning inner light flashing .
2. There’s A Puddle of Fluid Under Your Car
This is the most obvious signal of a brake fluent leak .
however, not every puddle of fluid under your car indicates a brake fluid leak .
Remember, your vehicle uses all types of fluids for it to function. A muddle under the car can indicate many things, so don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate immediately panic. Sometimes it ’ mho good compression from your atmosphere conditioner, particularly if you ’ ve had it running on a hot day .
That ’ sulfur why the best thing to do is have a beneficial look at the fluid .
The semblance can indicate what it is :
- Coolant leaks will typically turn up as a green-tinted fluid
- Transmission fluid and power steering fluid are pinkish to red
- Engine oil is golden brown to black
- Brake fluid is a clear, yellow to dark brown color
however, paying attention to the location of the make is just arsenic crucial as taking note of the color. If your vehicle is leaking brake fluent, the puddle ’ s location can indicate which bracken system component is causing problems .
For model :
- Finding brake fluid leaking near or on your wheels can point to a brake caliper leak
- If the brake master cylinder or brake lines are leaking fluid, the puddle of brake fluid can appear towards the car’s center or rear (away from the wheels)
3. A Mushy Feeling When The Brake Pedal Is Pressed
Does your bracken pedal abruptly feel less insubordinate than convention ? possibly it feels bathetic or squishy ?
This normally happens if there ’ s an issue with the master cylinder, brake booster, or a low brake fluid level in the reservoir. however, air out in the brake line resulting from a leak can besides lead to a soft bracken bicycle feel .
You can pump your brakes several times to build up hydraulic press. If there ’ mho placid no pressure buildup, then you likely have a brake leak.
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4. The Brake Pedal Drops To the Floor
If your brake bicycle sinks all the way down to the fomite shock when you step on it, you could have a serious trouble .
If this happens before you start on your trip, don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate drive .
It ’ s a critical warning sign of the zodiac that can indicate a massive leak or a trouble with the master cylinder. There ’ randomness a good probability that the brake fluid level is plainly excessively moo for efficient brake serve .
If bracken issues like this find when you’re driving, the best thing you can do is to use gear-braking. Downshift your gears to slow the car using the locomotive, and find a safe, stopping descry adenine soon as possible .
When you ’ rhenium moving lento enough, you can apply the park brake lightly to roll to a stop. Don ’ t pull the parking bracken when you ’ re still at travel rapidly, as this can send you into a spin .
Where To Check For A Brake Fluid Leak
If you ’ ve noticed any of the symptoms mentioned, you can cautiously pop the hood and check the brake fluid reservoir to confirm a leak. A severe escape will cause very low brake fluid levels in the reservoir. If you ’ re having trouble locating the brake fluid reservoir, you can refer to your vehicle ’ second owner ’ s manual .
If the brake fluid level looks fine, there ’ sulfur even a hypothesis that you have a humble leak somewhere that ’ s letting in air, causing you to lose brake fluid at a slower rate .
so, where do you search for these minor leaks ?
typical automotive bracken systems can be divided into the follow sections :
- Master cylinder
- Brake lines
- Front brake caliper and rear brake caliper /wheel cylinder
While you can check these sections for a leak, it ’ randomness always better to let professional brake technicians do the job.
Brake fluid leaks can occur due to several unlike reasons — some of which require check parts that the average car owner may not be companion with. professional mechanics are far more well-versed with brake inspection and have the necessity equipment to deal with these issues .
With that being said, hera ’ s a look at some of the most common causes of a brake fluid leak :
6 Common Causes Of Brake Fluid Leakage
here are some of the most common culprits of brake fluid leaks that your technician can help you find :
1. Damaged Brake Master Cylinder Reservoir
The brake overcome cylinder reservoir is typically made of formative and can become brittle from heat exposure. When this happens, it ’ ll finally crack, causing brake fluid to seep out and flow down the spinal column of the engine .
2. Failed Piston Seal
Brake components like the dominate cylinder, magnetic disk brake caliper, or drum brake wheel cylinder all officiate through a piston .
The piston is a moving separate that ’ randomness activated by brake fluent. It has seals that help contain the fluid, and these can be damaged from even wear and pluck, causing a leak .
3. Worn Out Brake Pads, Shoes, Rotors And Drums
Brake pads, rotors, brake shoes and drums can besides wear down over time .
When this happens, it ’ s possible for the caliper piston or roulette wheel cylinder piston to become hyperextend, breaking the piston seals and leak fluent .
Also read: Explore the differences between the ceramic and semi-metallic brake pad to determine which one suits you .
4. Damaged Brake Lines or Brake Hose
Brake lines and hoses are designed to withstand most road and weather conditions. But they ’ ra subject to rust, pitting, and tears over clock .
A broken brake line, a tear in the bracken hose, or damaged brake line fittings can all lead to brake fluid leaks .
5. Damaged or Loose Bleeder Valve
Each brake caliper or brake drum has a hemophiliac valve ( or bleeder prison guard ) used to “ bleed brakes, ” — which allows air to be expelled from the steel brake lines .
If the hemophiliac valve gets damaged or knocked loosen, it can cause brake fluid to leak .
6. Faulty ABS Module
Some parts of the ABS pump in your brakes carry and hold hard-hitting brake fluent. unfortunately, your ABS brake reservoir seals can wear down over time – leading to a brake fluid leak .
At this point, you or your automobile mechanic should have figured out the reference of your brake fluid escape .
The following doubt is — how much will the animate cost you ?
The Average Cost To Fix A Brake Fluid Leak
The price for fixing a brake fluid leak depends on your vehicle ’ s make and model, and which component is causing the leak .
To give you an idea, hera ’ s a rough cost breakdown :
Vehicle componentAverage Replacement Cost
(including parts + labor)Master cylinder leak$400-$550Brake line leak$150-$200Brake caliper leak$525-$700Rear drum cylinder leak$150-$200
While it ’ s potential to fix a brake fluid leak by yourself, it ’ randomness not recommended unless you ’ re a trained automotive professional. It ’ second always best to hire a machinist to ensure repairs are performed correctly .
The Best Way To Get Your Brake Fluid Leak Fixed
If you ’ re looking for a automobile mechanic to help you diagnose and repair a brake fluent leak, make sure that they :
- Are ASE-certified
- Only use high quality brake hardware and replacement parts
- Offer you a service warranty
RepairSmith is the most commodious car sustenance and compensate solution that offers all of the above and more. They are presently available in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Texas .
here are the benefits of having RepairSmith as your fomite repair solution :
- Brake fluid leaks can be diagnosed and fixed right in your driveway
- Convenient, simple online booking
- Expert, ASE-certified mobile mechanics will repair your brake fluid leak
- Competitive, upfront pricing
- Your brake maintenance and repairs and are performed with high-quality equipment and replacement parts
- All RepairSmith repairs come with a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty
To get an accurate calculate of what your brake fluid escape will cost, just fill out this on-line mannequin .
Never Ignore That Puddle Under Your Car
Most car owners don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate normally check under their car for leaks — which can make diagnosing a brake fluent leak unmanageable. however, if you ’ ra facing any of the symptoms we mentioned, remember to get your car checked out immediately.
And if you need to get your car repaired, look no further than RepairSmith .
All it takes is a few clicks to script an appointment, and an ASE-certified technician will show up at your driveway — ready to get you back on the road .
Get in touch today and let RepairSmith fix that brake fluid leak you ’ ve been worried about !