Considering the fact that you clicked this link, we believe that your brake light is on. Or your brake might not be that responsive, and the pedal is beginning to sink to the floor when you push it. Well, these are the signs of a brake fluid leak.
And you might have already noticed a good amount of puddle underneath your car. But the good news is that you have not much to worry about as we are going to describe how to fix brake fluid leak properly.
Furthermore, the process we are going to describe will be easier to follow. So, you will not even need that many mechanical skills to follow them either.
How to Properly Fix Brake Fluid Leak
While there are plenty of guides available on the internet, most of them will follow the process that takes a lot of work. However, this guide is different. We have got loads of experience regarding fixing the brake fluid leak.
And through those years of experience, we have finally found out the most straightforward way, which is what we will describe in this segment.
Step 1: Locate the Leak
According to us and pick preference, the first thing you need to do is diagnose the placement and severity. Without performing this step, you would be incapable of making an actual repair. And to locate the leak, first, open up the hood and take a look into the fluid reservoir. It should be located on the driver’s side.
If that reservoir is empty or close to being empty, fill it up with a little bit of brake fluid to properly locate the leak. Check beneath the car and try to find the leak. Here, you would be looking for residues.
However, you might not be able to locate the leak properly just by looking beneath the car. In that case, place a newspaper underneath the vehicle and then get into the vehicle. Pump the pedal to make the fluid leak. But do ensure that you have not turned on the car, or else the fluid will squirt out from the reservoir quickly.
Then, crawl under the vehicle and try to locate where the leak is. There should be a little puddle of fluid on the newspaper. But if the leak is coming from within the wheel, you might need to remove it and check the leak in between the lines and calipers.
On that note, if your vehicle has brake drums, the liquid might leak from the cylinder. You would need to remove it to check the severity of the leak.
Step 2: Check the Master Cylinder
Now that you are sure that there is a leak and located the leak’s location, it would be time to perform the small diagnostics. First, check the master cylinder. Its location will vary from one vehicle to another. However, the user manual should specify where it is located.
Find it and check whether the master cylinder is leaking too or not. Then, verify whether the lid is closed correctly or not. Sometimes, the cover can come unturned due to bumps on the road. And when that happens, the pressure inside the cylinder gets low, which causes the leak.
If the lid is tight and the fluid is still leaking, move along to the next step.
Step 3: Rebuild the calipers
If the master cylinder looks good, it is probably the calipers. Here, we would recommend installing freshly rebuilt parts as the old parts that are reusable might output the same problem later down the line. Also, a complete brake caliper set is readily available in the market. Some OEMs even offer them.
To rebuild the calipers, first, you would need to remove the old caliper. Make sure you remove the outer dust seal part while removing the old calipers. Then, replace the piston and calipers. Once everything is in place, bleed all of the air out from the brake system.
Step 4: Replace The Wheel Cylinder
Failed wheel cylinders are one of the reasons why brake fluids leak. Like the calipers, it is possible to rebuild the whole cylinder system. But that will require too much work, and you would also need a good amount of mechanical knowledge for that. So, we would recommend replacing the cylinder system with a new unit.
For this, first, remove the wheel. Ensure that you use penetrating oil to loosen up the existing rusts after removing the wheel. Now remove the brake drum. It would be a good idea to place a drip drum beneath the brake shoes when you are removing the brake drum.
However, if the brake shoes are covered with fluid, you might also need to replace them. Use brake cleaner to spray all of the dirt and dust away from the channels.
After that, work on the wheel cylinders. You will need to use a socket wrench to loosen up the bolts. Once all the parts are replaced, bleed all of the air from the system.
Step 5: Replace the Brake Lines
The brake hoses can get cracked over time. They might even show a flaky or spongy nature. When that happens, fluids are sure to leak from the lines. But there is not really an easy fix for this. You might need to replace the whole line system if all the pipes are leaky.
To replace the brake lines, first, remove the tire that is just over the brake line. Here, we are referring to the pipe that is leaking. Then unscrew the line that is close to the master cylinder. By removing the mounting clips, remove the line. And then install the new line to the caliper.
Once the line is in place, reinstall the bracket clips. If the old ones seem rusty and a little less sturdy, replace them with new ones. Attach the fittings properly, bleed all the air from the system, and you should be all good.
Hopefully, we were capable of adequately describing the process of how to fix brake fluid leak. And now that you know all about the process, we hope that you will not freak out when there is a brake leak in the future. Just follow the steps correctly, and you should end up with a fully functional brake.