Many brake repairs are the result of brake fluid leaks that went unchecked for too long. When brake fluid leaks, your vehicle's brake system doesn't maintain proper working pressure, and this can result in poor brake performance. In fact, the brake fluid inside the primary cylinder reservoir can diminish until the brakes eventually fail completely. Fortunately, you're able to prevent many brake problems by being aware of what brake leaks look like. Here's what you need to know.
Have You Spotted a Leak? The Colour and Consistency to Look For
You may have noticed small stains on your driveway, or you might even notice the vehicle leaking whilst you're parked. If you've spotted a leak in your vehicle, you need to identify its source straight away.
The colour of the leaking fluid is a major indicator of where it originates. The most common leaks in a vehicle can include:
- Engine oil is a medium to dark brown colour
- Transmission fluid leaks are usually red in colour
- Antifreeze fluid is green in colour
- Windscreen wiper fluid is blue in colour
Brake fluid is different because it's typically colourless. However, in some cases, brake fluid may be a brownish or even black colour, especially if it hasn't been changed in a long time. This can make it somewhat similar to engine oil in appearance at times. However, a close look at the consistency of the fluid can tell you whether it's engine oil or brake fluid in this case.
Whilst engine oil is thicker and more oily, you can often identify brake fluid by its slick and slippery consistency. If you've noticed a leak that appears to be brake fluid, it's time for brake servicing. You may simply need a minor repair -- and the sooner it's done, the better.
Take a Look Under the Bonnet
If you're fairly sure that the leak you've discovered is brake fluid but want to verify before you go for brake servicing, pop open the bonnet to take a look. Check the brake fluid reservoir to see if the level is low. If it's even slightly low, it's best to add the brake fluid recommended by your vehicle manufacturer up to the line before you drive to the brake repair shop.
If the brake fluid reservoir is virtually empty, speak with your brake repair provider about the situation. This may indicate a leak so serious that it's best not to drive the vehicle at all.
Contact your brake repair shop to get help if you're dealing with any of the above signs of brake fluid leaks. This is one problem that is always best dealt with straight away!