Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. What Can Cause Brake Fluid to Leak From the Brake System?

What Can Cause Brake Fluid to Leak From the Brake System?

brake fluid leak

The braking system in a vehicle is designed to circulate brake fluid, using it create the pressure against the wheels when slowing or stopping is desired. It is a closed system, which means that the fluid doesn’t evaporate over time and require periodic topping off when it is operating optimally. If you have a brake fluid leak, it is anything but natural and is the result of another problem in your braking system. The only possible exception to this rule is if you’ve recently had parts of your brake system serviced and the brake fluid reservoir is low; this just means that the fluid has naturally settled throughout the system and required a little more to be completely full.

Since a brake leak can lead to brake failure, this is not an issue to take lightly and requires your immediate attention for your own well-being and the safety of others. Here are some of the most frequent reasons why a vehicle may leak brake fluid:

  • Damaged brake lines or fitting: This is a very serious issue that, although inexpensive to fix, can endanger lives if not tended to quickly. You will know if there is a hole in one of the lines or a failed fitting if there is little to no resistance when you press the brake pedal, even after pumping it several times to try and build up pressure.

  • Loose bleeder valves: Also known as bleeder bolts, these parts are situated on the brake calipers and serve to remove excess fluid when servicing other parts of the brake system. If you have recently had a brake fluid flush or other work, the mechanic may not have tightened one of the valves fully.

  • Faulty master cylinder: When brake fluid accumulates on the ground underneath the rear of the engine, the master cylinder is a likely culprit, although it could also indicate an issue with the slave cylinder. With other brake leak issues, the fluid tends to pool near the wheels.

  • Bad wheel cylinder: If you see brake fluid on one of your tire’s walls, then you probably have a bad wheel cylinder if you have drum-style brakes. Another symptom of a brake leak from a wheel cylinder is your car pulling to one side as you drive due to uneven fluid pressure.

If you have seen evidence of your car or truck leaking brake fluid or have checked the levels and found them low, seek help immediately. Our mechanics can come to you for a complete inspection to diagnose the cause of your brake fluid leak.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

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

More related articles

Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...

Related questions

Q: Jeep losing a lot of brake fluid

Sounds like you have multiple issues going on. Brake light bulbs going out is a common thing. Most are fairly easy to change with a few tools. The thing to watch for is to make sure the bulb socket is...

Q: How do I check and change the transfer case fluid?

The transfer case fluid keeps the transfer case in good working order. The inspection and changing of the transfer case fluid is important to the maintenance of your vehicle. To check and change the transfer case fluid. Clean transfer...

Q: Brake pad replacement - Front & Rear

If your vehicle uses DOT 5 (silicone-based) fluid, the flush interval is much, much longer than 2 years or 32,000 miles. However, if your vehicle uses glycol based fluid, it should be thoroughly removed from the brake system roughly every...