Can a Leak in the Brake System Cause Total Brake Failure?

Schedule Brake Pad Replacement
Service Area

$123.64 - $445.92

Price range for all vehicles
Average rating from 11,191 customers who received a Brake Pads Replacement.

Although there are several issues that can lead to total brake failure, the most common one is some form of brake fluid leak. When a brake leak is present, it affects the fluid pressure in your system. Since it is that pressure that actually causes your wheels to slow or stop when you activate the brake pedal inside your vehicle, your brakes will fail to engage once the fluid levels are too low. Whether you have a small or severe brake fluid leak, this is an issue requiring your immediate attention because there is little warning for the moment your fluid is too.

Since the potential consequences of leaking brake fluid can be life-threatening, it is vital to check your brake fluid levels regularly. Many experts recommend checking it monthly and additionally every time you open your hood because it is so simple and quick to do (usually, eyeballing the brake fluid reservoir does the trick). If your vehicle develops a brake fluid leak between your regular maintenance checks, however, there are some signals that you should promptly inspect both your brake fluid level and entire system before an issue leads to total brake failure:

  • Your ABS or Brake Warning light on your dash comes on. While this should be a no-brainer, people often ignore such warning lights, thinking that repairs can be put off to another date. When it comes to your brakes, however, never delay what can be done today for tomorrow.

  • Your brake pedal feels softer or “spongy.” If it suddenly requires much less foot pressure to depress your brake pedal, it indicates a severe brake fluid leak problem. This softer feel is due to a loss of pressure in your lines that can easily lead to brake system failure.

  • Your brake pedal goes all the way to the floor. Similarly, if your pedal now goes down much further than normal – perhaps completely to the metal – the pressure in your brake lines is insufficient to work properly. Seek mechanical help immediately.

  • You see brake fluid pooling beneath your engine or by your wheels. It doesn’t matter how big the puddle is or even if it is big enough to qualify as a puddle. If there is brake fluid underneath or around your vehicle, that fluid came from somewhere and indicates a leak. The severity of a leak can worsen with little to no warning, so any leak is worth your prompt attention.

While some vehicles are equipped with fail-safe mechanisms to prevent total brake failure and change such situations into only partial failure with increased stopping times, never take a brake fluid leak lightly. Even a partial brake failure can lead to accidents, and lives have far more merit than the status of your bank account or any inconvenience taking care of the problem may cause. If you suspect your vehicle is leaking brake fluid, call for help at once. Our mechanics will be happy to consult with you about your problem and make any appropriate recommendations for repairs.


Next Step

Schedule Brake Pad Replacement

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Brake Pad Replacement. Yourmechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7 days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 10k cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Brake Pad Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Brake Pad Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

11,191

Rating Summary
10,671
333
68
34
85
10,671
333
68
34
85

Michael

15 years of experience
518 reviews
Michael
15 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz GL450 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Atlanta, Georgia
Micheal was punctual and friendly. Work was completed within promised time. Will definitely use again.
Volvo S80 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Roswell, Georgia
Michael was SUPER QUICK with doing my brake and rotors. Great communication throughout the whole process. Will always recommend

Kenneth

19 years of experience
509 reviews
Kenneth
19 years of experience
Toyota Sequoia - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Newport Beach, California
Kenneth did a great job and very knowledgeable. He has a great attitude and I will for sure be using him again.

Chuy

13 years of experience
129 reviews
Chuy
13 years of experience
Honda Civic - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Cicero, Illinois
Excellent work on doing the breaks for my car and the break and steering system flush I’ll definitely recommend and take into consideration for chuy’s work whenever I need a fix on my car

Richard

16 years of experience
72 reviews
Richard
16 years of experience
BMW 328i - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Dublin, California
Richard was an outstanding mechanic. After he arrived, the first thing he did after taking the initial pictures of the car is an assessment into what work was asked. He quickly verified that I did not need brake fluid and my front brakes even-though it affects his personal commitments and time, which I think is highly appreciate and thorough professional. He was detailed oriented - took time to make sure that all the issue are fixed. He paid attention to detail in overall car assessment- he goes above and beyond. He was also teaching me through the process which I found highly educational and appreciate him providing the information ensuring and making me comfortable what he was doing and explaining patiently all the questions that was thrown at him. When he works - you know he's highly skilled and experienced and knows his stuff. He is highly experienced. He is a "Master" mechanic in true sense :)

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE