How to Tell If Your Car Is Leaking Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is a vital part of your car’s braking system, and that means you need it for obvious safety reasons. If you suspect the vehicle is leaking fluid, you should not put off addressing the situation. Let’s look at the guidelines for assessing and repairing brake fluid leaks.

What Does Brake Fluid Look Like?

Brake fluid, unlike engine oil or antifreeze, is colorless. It is much lighter than those fluids, too, with a consistency like vegetable oil. If you see a puddle under your car, look closely to see what type of fluid it might be. If it does seem to be brake fluid, your next place to look is under the hood. Look at the brake fluid reservoir to check the fill level. A nearly empty tank means it likely has been leaking for a while. Be sure to add fluid before driving anywhere.

Why Would My Car Be Leaking?

There are several conditions under which your car would leak brake fluid. One of the rubber hoses, brake calipers, wheel cylinders, or master cylinders could be leaking. Here are some of the usual causes when fluid is disappearing at an alarming rate:

  • Leaking brake lines
  • Worn brake pads or shoes causing caliper seal failure
  • Loose bleeder valves
  • Problems in the calipers or wheel cylinders
  • Leak in master cylinder
  • Faulty ABS unit

Should I Have It Inspected?

If you fear that your vehicle is leaking brake fluid, you should definitely take it to a trusted service center for an inspection. However, there are some checks you can make yourself first. Step on the brake pedal. If it is mushy or doesn’t offer any resistance before sinking to the floor, pump it several times to build up pressure. If no pressure builds, you could be looking at a serious leak. When you schedule an appointment with the service technicians, they will determine where the fluid is leaking from.

Brake problems such as leaking fluid should be taken seriously. It is much better to simply replace a failing part than posing a safety risk. At our Sun Auto Service locations, we can determine the source of the car’s fluid leak and address the problem. You’ll be back on the road quickly with the peace of mind about your safety that you desire.