Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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 1000 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

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 front passenger seatbelt wont release. I've allowed it to fully retract. I've taken off panels the belt is not twisted 1997 Mercury Sable

Hello. It sounds like the retractor itself is failing. This is common on this vehicle, especially as they get older. The mechanism wears out and the teeth inside of it no longer line up correctly and cause this. The unit...

Q: Oil pressure light won't turn off

Hello. There could be an oil leak somewhere, or a problem with the car’s oil pump not working properly. It is also possible that the new oil pressure sensor that you just put in is defective and needs to be...

Q: The oil leaked out of my engine.

First thing I would recommend to do would be to have a mechanic check to see if the hole was caused by something coming up and hitting the oil pan causing the damage and the oil leaked out causing engine...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
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...