Your brakes are more than rotors and pads; your brake system is driving by brake fluid, which transfers the force created when you push on the brake pedal to your brakes. Brake fluid is one of the driving elements that connects everything and ensures your brakes work correctly.
Your brake fluid is a closed system that doesn't wear down when working correctly, nor does it need to be topped off. If your brake fluid starts to leak, that means there is damage somewhere in the brake system.
It is essential to be aware of the signs that your brake fluid is leaking because you will not be able to stop properly without that fluid.
Sign #1: Fluid Under Vehicle
You should always keep an eye on any fluid that is leaking under your vehicle, as your vehicle is not designed to leak fluid. Brake fluid tends to leak on or near the tires, but it may leak from under the car near where the master cylinder is located.
Brake fluid, when it is new, has a clear or yellow color to it. Brake fluid tends to get darker over time. If you touch brake fluid, it will have a greasy feeling to it. It also tends to have kind of a fishy smell to it.
Sign #2: Brake Warning Light On
Multiple issues can trigger your brake warning light. Your brake warning light will most likely come on if your brake fluid is low or if your brake pads are worn down. Either way, your brake warning light coming on is a sign that you need to get your brakes inspected by a professional mechanic so they can figure out what is going on and repair it.
Sign #3: Squishy Stopping
When you press on your brake pedal, you should feel a consistent level of pressure. You should feel resistance as you press down.
If instead of feeling resistance and firmness when you press on your brakes, you get a spongy or soft feeling before the brakes stiffen up, you have an issue with the brake fluid. That squishy feeling in your brakes is causing by air in the brake lines because there is not enough fluid.
Squishy brakes will result in poor and unexpected stopping, which can lead to an accident. In this situation, drive to your mechanic right away, or pull over and get a tow. Squishy brakes are ineffective and dangerous brakes.
Sign #4: Sinking Brakes
Sinking brakes are a little different than squishy brakes. When this happens, you will not experience the usual resistance in your brakes, and you are going to be able to push your brakes all the way down to the floor. This happens because the master cylinder doesn't have enough fluid in it. Essentially, you are able to press down on your brakes because they are not working right. This is another situation in which the safest thing is to pull over and get your car towed to the mechanic, as you can't trust your brakes to work correctly.
If you think your vehicle is leaking brake fluid, you need to schedule an immediate appointment with your mechanic. It is not safe to drive with non-working brakes.
For more information, contact an auto repair service today.