Is My Brake Fluid Low?

If you are having low brake fluid problem, here are some causes and advice on how to find a brake fluid leak and how to fix it.

It’s very important to pay extra attention to this problem because it can cause your brakes failure if the brake fluid becomes low. Let’s look at the causes.

Low Brake Fluid Causes

Two cases can cause Low Brake Fluid.

1. If your brake pads are getting worn out that can cause the caliper piston to push out of its housing, and then the brake pads will contact the brake rotor when you apply your brakes. When you are running on low levels of brake fluid, your vehicle is at a higher risk of getting damaged. When replacing your brake pads, always fill up the liquid , otherwise, your brake pads will get worn if the fluid is low. If your brakes were not maintained for a long time, then it can be a cause for the low brake fluid. It’s a very common situation, so always check the fluid level of your vehicle.

2. The second one and very common is a leak. And it can be very serious.

If you can not find a leak or don’t know how to fix, and still continuing to drive your vehicle, you could end up running the brake system dry and when applying your brakes they just will not stop. Safety first, so don’t ignore this fluid leak, try to fix it on time.

How to Find a Brake Fluid Leak

First of all, check the place where you usually park your car. There can be fluid puddles on the ground. It can be a bright color or even dark brown if it’s old and you will feel oily in your hand if you touch it. Check out our Brake Fluid Color Guide for more info.

If there is nothing under your car, then check around the wheels. If there is a leak near the wheels, you will see a wet spot. Don’t forget to check the bleeder valve on the calipers and all the flexible brake hoses near the wheels.

If you are using drum brakes, then it’s good to check the brake wheel cylinders as well. These cylinders have pistons in them which push out and expand the brake shoes to contact the drums and stop the vehicle. Sometimes the seals become dry and cause a leak.

Another place to check is the brake master cylinder. It’s a very common place to find a leak. Always recommended to verify where the master cylinder meets the firewall, look for bubbling or peeling paint. It’s obvious and easy to see a leak after the fluid eats out the paint. Another common place to find a leak is inside of your car under the dash at the top of the brake pedal.

To find this leak, turn on your car and push the brake pedal slowly, if your vehicle is stopping, then there is nothing to worry if it’s not then there is a leak somewhere. Repeat doing that and then check under the vehicle and around the brake master cylinder.

How to Fix Brake Fluid Leaks

If you know that you have low brake fluid, then decide what is better for you, to fix it by yourself or to leave this job to a certified mechanic.

If you already know how to bleed brake s, then it’s not a problem for you to fix it by yourself. If you’ve never done it before, then it’s better to take it to the mechanic.

Check our guide on How to Evaluate a Good Car Mechanic for more info.


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