Your car is composed of a variety of parts and systems that are responsible for its operation. If they are not working correctly, you could be compromising on your safety alongside your driving experience. Certain components are more crucial than others when it comes to these aspects. These are your brakes. Brakes ensure your car can stop or slow down no matter what speed you drive. If the brakes are compromised in some way, you are endangering your life and the lives of others. One issue that can affect your brake is a brake fluid leak. But why is leaking brake fluid such a problem? What can you do to rectify the issue? We will discuss this and more in the following article. Let’s get into it.
What is brake fluid?
Brake fluid is a chemical fluid used in your vehicle’s hydraulic braking system. It ensures that the pressure you apply on the brake pedal is evenly distributed to all the wheels. It also amplifies the force you apply, so it is enough to stop the car, even at high speeds. Without the brake fluid, you would be unable to apply the force necessary to stop your vehicle. However, when brake fluid leaks, air bubbles are introduced into the brake line, making the brakes unreliable.
How to find a brake fluid leak?
A brake fluid leaking can be a dangerous problem to have. Therefore, it is in your best interest to find a brake fluid leak as quickly as possible. We will provide you with various symptoms and ways to identify them. It is important to note that some of these can result from other brake problems, so you will not be able to confirm this until it is checked by a professional. We implore you to do it as quickly as possible. Here are the signs of a brake fluid leak:
Brake Warning Light Flashing
There are various warning lights on your dashboard, which light up if the sensors in your car detect something wrong. If the brake warning light flashes, there is something wrong with the brakes for sure. This can be anything from low brake fluid, faulty ABS module, or defective sensors. You will want to get your car checked out in such a case.
Fluid Pooling Underneath Your Car
Another common symptom of leaking brake fluid is a puddle of liquid underneath your car. It is vital to understand that this fluid does not have to be the brake fluid. It can be a coolant or transmission fluid associated with transmission fluid problems. However, you can typically distinguish what fluid it is, courtesy of its color. If the leaking fluid is brake fluid, this will be a clear yellow or brown liquid. Additionally, you will find that this leak’s source will come from some braking system component.
Brake Pedal Feels Soft
Another symptom of a brake fluid leak is that the pedal feels like it has less resistance. You will find that the pedal sinks very easily, almost like it is soft. There are various reasons, such as a defective master cylinder or brake fluid. However, it can also be caused by a fluid leak, resulting in air bubbles entering the break line. This affects the pressure within the fluid, resulting in lower force being distributed to the wheels.
What causes leaking brake fluid?
Faulty Master Cylinder
The master cylinder is a component that converts the pressure you apply on the brake pedal into hydraulic pressure. It is made of plastic and is exposed to a lot of friction and heat. This can wear it down and cause it to crack, resulting in brake fluid leaking out.
Broken Brake Line
The brake line is crucial to ensure that the hydraulic pressure is evenly distributed as it contains the brake fluid. The brake line is resistant to damage, but rust and tears can take their toll over time. As a result, the brake fluid starts to leak out and causes faulty brake problems.
Faulty ABS Module
The ABS pump in the braking systems tends to carry some braking fluid. Some seals hold it in place, but if they get worn out, it can cause the fluid to start leaking out.
How to fix brake fluid leaks?
The best way to repair a fluid leak is to take it to a trained professional or mechanic. They will be able to identify the issue and rectify it accordingly. However, if you want to repair it yourself, you will need some experience or knowledge, alongside some tools. You can find everything in a brake repair kit containing parts, a jack, wheel blocks and car maintenance tools. You will need to isolate the leaking component and repair the leak. After this is done, you will need to flush the old brake fluid and replace it with a new one. Once you are done bleeding the brakes to remove air, you need to test the brakes, and you are all set!
Braking is a crucial function of your vehicle, allowing you to stop or slow it down at high speeds. Braking fluid is vital for the braking system since it provides hydraulic pressure. However, there are moments when the brake fluid begins to leak, which can cause the braking system to be faulty. This can be dangerous, and it is vital to identify the symptoms, causes and fixes. We have discussed each of these in this article so that you know everything about brake fluid leaks. Thank you for reading!