A brake fluid leak is dangerous for your car because it reduces the working efficiency of your hydraulic braking system, which will impact the overall performance of your brakes. When brake fluid leaks, the remaining master cylinder reservoir fluid is reduced and the brakes will cease to work. Brake failure can lead to accidents and fatalities that could be prevented if you diagnosed the leak and got brake service on time. This guide is designed to help you diagnose and get brake fluid leaks fixed in your car.
Make Sure The Fluid Is Brake Fluid
You must first inspect the car to ensure that the leaking fluid is actually brake fluid. Keep in mind that unlike other fluids, brake fluid is usually colourless. The fluid is lighter than engine oil and coolant and should look more like olive oil or cooking oil for your reference. Once you're convinced that you have a brake fluid leak, open the bonnet and look at the brake fluid reservoir. This is a small tank with a translucent finish located at the rear end of the engine. You will typically find the reservoir on the driver's side of the car.
Find The Leak
When you look for the source of the leak, you should find it easy to locate the general leaking area and if it is, for example, coming from the master cylinder or a particular tyre on the car. You will need to hit the brakes a couple of times to identify the specific source of the leak. If the leak is coming from a tyre, then you will need to inspect the calipers and lines inside. A brake service professional will be able to diagnose the exact source of the leak if you are unable to find it, but your quick action to block the leak will be ideal until you can reach a qualified mechanic.
Establish The Extent Of The Leak
Establishing the extent of the leak will help you understand whether you can drive or not. While all brake fluid leaks should be repaired immediately, an emergency or urgent situation may require you to drive with leaking brake fluid before brake service is undertaken. If you notice just a few drops on the ground, then the leak may be small. But if you notice large puddles of fluid, then you've got a bigger leak on your hands. These leaks will affect the hydraulic systems and your brakes will likely fail, which could be extremely dangerous while you drive.