Depending on the type of brake lines that your car is fitted with, there is a possibility of wear, corrosion, perforation, and seal failure. Any of these problems can lead to brake line leaks, which compromise the pressure in your brake system and, therefore, your brake operation. It's important that you understand the potential signs of brake line problems so that you can address the issue as quickly as possible to protect your car's brakes from complete failure. Here's a look at what you need to know.
Brake Fluid Leaks
Sometimes, a leak under the car is the first sign that a car owner has a problem. If you see any kind of fluid leak under your car, you need to identify the fluid source first and foremost. If the fluid is colored, it's typically either oil, transmission fluid, or power steering fluid. Antifreeze may be colored as well. However, if you see what seems like clear fluid under your car but it feels thicker than water, that could be brake fluid that's leaking from your car.
You can get a general idea of the location of the leak based on where you're seeing it under the car. If you're seeing it near one of the wheels, it could be a seal on the brake line that's failing. Somewhere between the wheels may indicate a brake line that's punctured or otherwise damaged, and brake fluid under the engine compartment might indicate a failed seal on a brake line or the master cylinder leaking.
If you press the brake pedal and it feels soft, or there's more give in the brake pedal than there usually is, those are indications that there's a problem with the brake system. Often, when there's a brake fluid leak, the source of the leak allows air into the lines. This creates air pockets which can disrupt the function of the brakes and reduce the hydraulic line pressure. Over time, this can also lead to brake failure. If you notice signs like this from your brake pedal, you should reach out to your mechanic as soon as possible.
If your car's dashboard has a diagnostic light for the brakes, it may illuminate when the pressure in the system drops below a safe level or there's another malfunction detected in the system. If the brake service indicator light comes on, you should park the car as soon as possible and reach out to your mechanic. This will ensure your safety as well as the safety of others on the road since you could be facing the potential for brake failure.
Talk with a mechanic right away if you have reason to suspect that your car's brakes are malfunctioning. Make an appointment with an auto shop, such as H&A Service and Sales.