Why Does My Brake Fluid Leaking From Caliper?
Many car owners have experienced a brake fluid leak after a few years of owning their car. In this article, you can find out why do brake fluid leaks from the caliper and what to do if you plan on taking care of your brake system yourself.
First thing’s first, what is it? A brake caliper is one part of an automobile’s braking system that compresses the disc or drum causing a stopping force thus increasing friction between all four tires and the ground. Over time the seals in the piston calipers start to fail which causes air bubbles/water mixed with brake fluid to be released into the hydraulic system every time you apply your brakes. This can cause a loss in brakes and therefore should be repaired quickly to avoid damage to the vehicle.
4 Reasons to brake fluid leaking from caliper
Now that we know what it is, let’s check out four reasons why brake fluid leaks from calipers:
Reason #1: Your Brake Fluid is Low
This may not seem like a big deal but in fact, this could lead to an increase in pressure when you try to use your breaks. This will inevitably cause brake fluid to leak from the caliper because the seals aren’t strong enough under high pressure. The solution? Keep track of your brake fluid annually and top it up if needed.
Reason #2: Corrosion on Pistons & Cylinders
The exterior coatings used for all braking system components are susceptible to corrosion from moisture, extreme cold or heat, and worn breaks. If a piston begins to corrode due to a lack of protection, it will wear down over time causing the braking system to fail. The solution? Replacing all brake fluid every few years can help prevent corrosion in your pistons and cylinders. However, if you don’t have the money or resources to do this then manually cleaning each part is advised instead.
Reason #3: Damage Caused by Incorrect Installation
This seems like common sense, but unfortunately, there are some people out there that don’t think about this when installing new brakes on their car. Many times mechanics will install brake calipers incorrectly because they tighten them too much which causes damage to seals within the piston that won’t allow it to move freely. The solution? If you are having issues with your brakes before or after installation, make sure the mechanic has fully serviced them before using them again.
Reason #4: Corrosion Build-Up Around Seals
Over time, brakes that aren’t properly lubricated will cause corrosion build up around the seals which will eventually damage calipers leading to brake fluid leaks. This can be avoided if all parts of the braking system are well maintained and repaired as needed.
Problems that can be caused by brake fluid leaks
- Brake fluid leaks can damage a car’s paint job in the following ways:
- Brake fluid is very corrosive and will destroy your brake lines over time, which leads to decreased braking effectiveness.
- Brake fluid accumulates quickly on painted surfaces of vehicles making it difficult to get rid of later on without causing damage such as rust spots if not taken care of immediately.
- Leaks can cause harmful vapors that aren’t good for your health so ventilating the car properly before entering it again is highly advised.
Symptoms that indicate a leak in your brake caliper
- The brake pedal will constantly feel soft even if the brakes are applied fully.
- You may also notice that your car isn’t stopping as quickly or effectively when you step on your breaks.
- If you keep smelling strong fumes whenever you apply pressure to your breaks then this is another possible indication of brake fluid leaks.
A guide on how to fix a leaking brake caliper
Here is how you can fix a brake fluid leaking from the caliper:
What happens if brake fluid leaks from caliper?
If fluid accumulation gets too bad, the pistons in your calipers can get stuck which will prevent the car from stopping properly. If this is not addressed quickly it could result in an accident.