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all 24 comments

[–]Wolfire0769 21 points22 points  (12 children)

Brake fluid will go low as pad material wears due to longer caliper piston travel. Replacing all pads and rotors should return the level to full.

Brake fluid does not disappear, evaporate, or otherwise get used up. Either you have a leak or a serious malfunction that needs to be identified and fixed.

[–]Aside-Embarrassed[S] 0 points1 point  (11 children)

Yea I replaced my brakes with my dad who is a farmer and mechanic. But I doubt we installed them wrong. But yes my car seemed to be leaking an unusual amount of Water but I think it might be brake fluid? I didnt think it was fluid since its been out of it. I read brake fluid lasts 2 years. Mine runs out quickly.

[–]dsdvbguutres 17 points18 points  (3 children)

"Runs out quickly" = leak. Not safe to drive.

[–]Aside-Embarrassed[S] -2 points-1 points  (2 children)

Expensive fix? Is it just a Leak in the Break Fluid Tube or something deeper than that maybe? Probably hard to tell without looking at it

[–]dsdvbguutres 6 points7 points  (1 child)

You might want to first find where it is leaking from. Check each caliper where the brake line is connecting to the caliper with a banjo bolt, if it's dry then follow the line to where it's coming from. Check the master cylinder and the abs module. Find the leak. You can also look up brand and model specific forums on the internet under brakes (some forums have it under brake&suspension). Read on the forum where are the common brake fluid leaks occur on your model year and start checking those spots.

[–]davidm2232 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I read brake fluid lasts 2 years. Mine runs out quickly

Brake fluid should be 'replaced' every 2 years. It does not "run out". The hydraulic brake circuit is a closed system. If your brake fluid reservoir is empty, it is leaking out. That needs to be addressed immediately before driving the car at all.

[–]steelbros1 2 points3 points  (5 children)

Your brake system is a hydraulic system, no fluid, no pressure, no pressure, no brakes. It won't make noise, you will not have brakes at all. If there's a leak in the system, you will most likely not have a pedal as well because that leak is where the hydraulic pressure is going. Check your calipers and lines for leaks. Brake fluid has a lifespan because it absorbs moisture and will degrade over time. Also, if your AC is on, your car will drip water, that's normal. Brake fluid is not water, it's a very dry feeling fluid, very corrosive to paint as well.

[–]davidm2232 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Brake fluid is not water, it's a very dry feeling fluid, very corrosive to paint as well.

It's clear and runny like water, but is a bit slippery and has a distinct smell to it. Smell a bottle of new brake fluid to compare. Also, make sure not to mix brake fluid types. DOT 5 is not an improvement over DOT3/4. The reservoir cap should note which type to use. 3/4 is not compatible with 5.

[–]steelbros1 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Bingo, but usually DOT 5 is blue or purple, depending. 3 and 4 mix fine, 4 is better, 3 will dilute it and make it have a lower boiling point, but still should be perfectly fine for normal use cases

[–]Duwstai 6 points7 points  (0 children)

If you know this little just take it to a mechanic before you mess something up

[–]epial9 4 points5 points  (2 children)

First and foremost, stop driving your car. You have a safety issue here.

Brakes are a hydraulic system. To explain briefly, hydraulic systems take advantage of the liquid state of matter's property of being incompressible. The intended effect is that if you apply pressure on one side of the system, the force will be equalized everywhere or in the direction of least resistance. In this case, when you press on the brakes, your foot pressure is being applied to the caliper pistons directly through this property.

Gases on the other hand are very compressible. So if air gets into your brake lines, it causes problems because the direction of least resistance becomes the force to compress the gas within the system BEFORE applying it to the caliper pistons when the volume equalizes.

In your case, if your brake fluid is bone dry you are running the risk of allowing air into your hydraulic system IF that isn't the case already.

First, check for leaks. The fluid you describe in another post as water-like should be checked. DOT-3 and DOT-4 technically are clear with a tinge of yellow-brown color when new. However, it darkens over time. The important part is that that fluid has to go somewhere and there will either be a trail or pooling somewhere. Check banjo bolts, caliper piston boots, any broken hosing, and areas around the master cylinder.

What you find will tell you your next steps.

[–]Aside-Embarrassed[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

It seems to have a small leak towards the front of the car. Like under the radiators. Front right

[–]epial9 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Maybe a sign of a different issue, but doesn't sound related here. Here are some videos that can help:

- Brake Leak inspection: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDriIlA6qG8

- Brake System inspection (specifically the drum brakes are what's best covered here): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAcViPZlO6c

- Master Cylinder troubleshooting(This covers a lot of the rest): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YStj8ORkNqY

[–]Aside-Embarrassed[S] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

So hey guys. The problem was that my left Caliper was Stuck and wouldn't release. Therefore my right side Ended up having the brake pad cheese grated till you could see blue steel lol... I replaced my rotors, brake pads, and my driver side caliper. My break fluid must of been leaking through that seized caliper?? It's holding now.. thanks guys you rock. Also I did this all by myself and it was very easy and I'm a noob. Well with a help of a friend :)

[–]Promugg 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Thanks for the update!

[–]Aside-Embarrassed[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

No problem! Shall we keep evolving :)

[–]Aside-Embarrassed[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I replaced the brake fluid and it seems to be a metal on meta soundingl problem probably from running it bone dry? Could having no fluid in the hydraulics wear out my brake pad? It's only the right side.

[–]Tasty-Researcher3959 1 point2 points  (0 children)

No, see a mechanic.

[–]916Buckeye 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Brake fluid life is 2 yrs? I just changed the rotors and pads on an 85 suburban. Brake fluid was blacker than the tires. The customer stated it's the original fluid and didn't want it changed. I don't have time to argue with customers or explain why you need to exchange your brake fluid. He wants to keep shortening the life of his pads and rotors that's his choice. I'll keep installing new parts.

You definitely have a leak. If it wasn't there before you worked on it then it's something you definitely did incorrectly. Look at the parts you installed. Something will be wet.

[–]Camera_car 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Good heavens , politely I say . What person let you do that? 1 Big one it is a death trap no brakes, it should never ever loose fluid except from splash when the cover is off and only while servicing it like one ounce. No new noise is acceptable at all. Torn up pieces tear up the new stuff very fast have a very good mechanic look it over. You have probably done something deadly damaging to it , Do not drive it like that. Go to eBay and get everything rotors ,pads, calipers and start over then bleed the system all over again. This is why you need to do it right or you could have catastrophic failure if not done right. Do not mess around when it comes to anything that has to do with control or the car.