What to Do About a Brake Fluid Leak

brake fluid leak

Modern brake systems have fail-safe mechanisms making total brake failure rare. But a small brake fluid leak can make your brakes less reliable and should be fixed as soon as possible.



Perform some DIY maintenance on your brakes on a regular basis to keep them working well.

If you suspect a brake fluid leak, read on to learn more about how to fix it yourself.

Familiarize Yourself

Always familiarize yourself with your car’s components before working on the car. Study your user manual to acquaint yourself with the basics of the braking system.

You can fix a brake fluid leak yourself, but only if you’re first acquainted with the car and braking system.



Do I Have a Brake Fluid Leak?

If the brakes don’t seem to be functioning right, take a look under the parked car and see if any fluid is leaking. If there is a leak, open the hood of the car.

Take a look at the brake fluid reservoir located on the driver’s side near the rear of the engine compartment. Is the fluid low? There could be a leak. Now that you know where the brake fluid reservoir is, look for a leak underneath it, under the car.

Place some newspapers underneath the car in the general area of the brake fluid reservoir. With the car off, pump the brake pedal. This forces fluid through the leak.

If the newspapers underneath get wet, that’s a brake fluid leak.

Remove the Wheels

Removing the wheels and drums is sometimes required. The leak may be slow and small from a caliper or wheel cylinder. Sometimes a brake hose collapses. Use a flashlight to look for leakage.

Step on the brake pedal again to see if fluid comes through a leak. This helps you locate the leak.

Master Cylinder

The brake master cylinder can leak as well. Pray the clamp off the top of the brake reservoir on the master cylinder. Once it’s open, check for low brake fluid levels. If the diaphragm cups are in the descended position, push them up before replacing the lid.

If the brake fluid level is low in the master cylinder, pour in more brake fluid until it reaches the “full” line. Check your owner’s manual for the correct type of brake fluid. Use only the proper brake fluid for your car.

If brake fluid spills onto the car, it corrodes the paint. Be careful when pouring. Beware of letting any dirt enter the master cylinder chambers.

Caliper Piston

If you suspect the leak is in the caliper piston, buy a brake fluid leak repair kit Any automotive store carries them. Follow the enclosed directions carefully.

If you’re unsure how to replace the calipers, seek professional help.

DIY Auto Maintenance

Before undertaking any car maintenance, read your manual thoroughly. Don’t allow any dust or dirt to enter any areas you’re inspecting. Be careful when handling and pouring fluids.

Now you know how to locate a brake fluid leak! If you have any questions or are unsure about fixing it yourself, seek professional help.

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