Q: Why is my brake fluid leaking? How can I test where the problem is?

asked by on

We bought this car about 3 weeks ago. Just the other day, I noticed a small puddle near the front, driver's side tire. I put some paper under to get a better look at the color, but it looks clear, with a very faint yellow tint to it. There isn't a smell as far as I can tell, which leads me to think it is leaking brake fluid. I checked my resvouir and it is a little low. I haven't noticed any problems with the brakes since we bought it, and about 4 days ago, I had my car in for an oil change (a day or so before I noticed the leak). They topped off all the fluids, but said the only ones that were low were oil and transmission. This makes me wonder if they might have done something that could have caused the leak. Again, it is only happening at the one tire (driver side front). Any ideas of what the problem would be, as well as how much it would cost to fix?

My car has 128000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The only fluids that could be leaking near the front tire is going to be the brake or transmission fluid leak or coolant is leaking. You should use a clean white paper towel under where the leak is so a mechanic like one from YourMechanic can come and inspect the towel for the type of leak it is. Once the type of fluid is identified then the leak can be located for you. If it is the radiator tank or core is leaking then the leak will be more toward the front of the car. If the transmission oil pan is leaking then it would be more toward the center of the car. If it is a brake line or brake caliper the leak would be directly behind the tire. With a car that is 18 years old it could be any one of these components leaking. You will need to have the vehicle checked for leaks by a mechanic and then a good idea of the leak and the cost of the repairs will be known.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Why is my brake fluid leaking? How can I test where the problem is?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My car shakes and dies when stopping.

Shaking or vibrating may be caused by many different things such as faulty spark plugs, poor fuel pressure or misfires. Other things such as a faulty idle air control valve may cause the engine idle to drop below the normal...

Q: Engine rattling noise

Hello. It sounds like a pulley for the belts is going bad. The water pump, alternator, power steering pump, or A/C compressor could have a problem as well, that is causing the noise you hear. The worst case scenario is...

Q: Power steering fluid leak

The best way to locate a fluid leak of any kind is to first clean the entire area that the leak is suspected to be coming from. Then allow time for the area to dry or use compressed air to...

Related articles

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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.