Your car's brake pedal should never go directly to the floor. If it does, that's a sign that your brake fluid levels may be too low and there's insufficient hydraulic pressure in the system. You can add more brake fluid, but if there's a leak, you'll only find yourself back where you started. Before you put more fluid into the brake system, you should address the source of the leak first.
Finding a Brake Fluid Leak
Finding the leak can take a bit of time and a flashlight. Open the hood and inspect the master cylinder and all of the brake lines that are visible. Check all of the gaskets, connections and tubing for any signs of damage, moisture or leaks.
If the problem isn't easily visible under the hood, it's time to follow the brake lines along the underside of the car. Use a jack to lift each side of the car as needed to expose the brake lines along the frame rail. Look for rust spots, cracks or any other damage along the brake lines. You may even see moisture spots along the frame where the brake fluid is seeping.
Addressing the Brake Fluid Leak
There are some additives you can put into your master cylinder to plug leaks in brake lines, but they are only effective for short-term repairs. And, if the lines are worn enough that they're leaking in one spot, you're going to find yourself facing another leak down the road.
Caliper, Wheel Cylinder and Master Cylinder Repairs
If the brake fluid is seeping around the caliper piston or master cylinder, consider investing in a rebuild kit for the part from your local auto parts store. Rebuilding the master cylinder or caliper piston involves disassembling the component, cleaning it and replacing the wearable parts. If the caliper is leaking, though, you'll want to just replace that.
Leaky Brake Line Replacement
If you have a cracked or damaged rubber brake line, you can just replace the entire length of that section of brake line. If you're going to replace it anyway, consider upgrading your brake lines to stainless steel for more durability. Stainless steel doesn't wear the way that rubber does, and it's not as vulnerable to other damage.
Order your steel brake lines pre=bent if possible so that you don't have to try to bend them to fit the frame rail path. Replacing the lines is as easy as disconnecting the fittings on each end of the line using a small wrench, and inserting the new line. Make sure the fittings are secure on each end.
Brake fluid is vital to the proper operation of your brakes. If you aren't comfortable troubleshooting or repairing a brake problem, talk with a local brake repair technician for help. Contact a company like Twinsburg Goodyear for help.Share
4 June 2015
Hello. My name’s Samuel Jacobs. I retired from my job as an auto mechanic last year. During my years as a mechanic, I had the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. Some have remained friends to this day. When I was working, there is one thing that I came across at least weekly. That is how uneducated people are when it comes to their vehicle’s tires. Properly cared for tires are crucial to the safety of your vehicle. Without them, your car isn’t going anywhere. If they give out on you while you are driving, there is the potential for serious injury. I’m going to share some tire safety information here. Things like the importance of correct inflation, how to check the tread, when to replace tires, tire rotation, and what to do in case of a blow-out. I hope you find this information to be helpful.