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

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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.

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