Losing brake fluid somewhere



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Thread: Losing brake fluid somewhere

  1. #1
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    Losing brake fluid somewhere

    Noticed today the brake fluid reservoir was almost empty. Obviously i have a leak somewhere. What are the common culprits for these vans? Lines seem to be on good shape. The van has 4 wheel disc brakes.

    In addition, the double verification to do a search is retarded. Hopefully the moderator could change this.
    2012 T&C Ltd. 29,200 miles
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    Follow the lines everywhere they go around. They should be fine unless they have been damaged from road debris. Most likely a caliper is the culprit. Just remove each wheel and look for leakage around them. It will be dark stained and wet. I would say check the rears first as if a front was leaking you would normally experience greatly reduced braking power and pulling.
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    You may not have a leak if your current pads are old. As the pads wear, the level goes down. That is why you should not add fluid before you change the pads, it will gush out as you compress the pistons to get the new thick pads in. You should see a leak on the inside of the rim of your tire if you have a leak on one of the calipers. Usually there is a kind of streaking, sun ray design on the rim and tire from escaping fluid.
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    In some cars with mystery brake fluid loss you also see leaking from the master cylinder into the brake booster. Look around the firewall for anything leaking as well, but I have not seen anyone on here with that problem.

    I agree with Wagner above about the brake fliud level correlation to the pad thickness but I always keep the fluid topped off (and change it every year or so) and just vacuum some out of the reservior before compressing the pistons when changing pads.
    2005 T&C Signature Series, 64,xxx miles
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCE Scott View Post
    In some cars with mystery brake fluid loss you also see leaking from the master cylinder into the brake booster. Look around the firewall for anything leaking as well, but I have not seen anyone on here with that problem.

    I agree with Wagner above about the brake fliud level correlation to the pad thickness but I always keep the fluid topped off (and change it every year or so) and just vacuum some out of the reservior before compressing the pistons when changing pads.
    That is correct way to do it, but most novices don't think to suck it out prior to pushing in their pistons, unfortunately. Makes a real mess.
    2005 T&C Ltd 3.8 108,000
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcwagner1 View Post
    That is correct way to do it, but most novices don't think to suck it out prior to pushing in their pistons, unfortunately. Makes a real mess.
    That is why I loosen the bleed screw, so as not to put any back pressure on the master cylinder and making a mess up there. When done just top it off and I am good to go.
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    If you have ABS, you should lightly crimp the flex hose, open the bleeder and collapse the piston. The last thing you want to do is force all the dirty brake fluid back into your ABS unit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by amrc0308 View Post
    Noticed today the brake fluid reservoir was almost empty. Obviously i have a leak somewhere. What are the common culprits for these vans? Lines seem to be on good shape. The van has 4 wheel disc brakes.

    In addition, the double verification to do a search is retarded. Hopefully the moderator could change this.
    When was it last checked?
    - pad wear will make the fluid go down as mentioned by tcwagner1.
    - banjo bolt not tight enough may let fluid leak out.
    - defective brake hose(s) could leak
    - defective brake lines (rusted out for example) will leak.
    - connections, hoses to lines, may be defective and leaking.
    - caliper seals may be leaking.
    - leaks around the master cylinder or ABS equipment.
    How thoroughly did you check the brake lines?

    Don't understand your problem with the search function. For me I just type in a word or two and press "go", simple as that.
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    The next time I do mine, I intend to do it as described here, drain out as much from the master as possible, put some fresh fluid in and bleed out old through screw as you depress the piston, then bleed fresh fluid through till it comes out the cylinders. I am a bit afraid to squeeze the hoses though, any danger to doing that, like later inner separation and malfunctioning of that brake?
    2005 T&C Ltd 3.8 108,000
    2000 Caravan 2.4l
    1990 Grand Caravan 3.3 149,000 owned 15yrs 4 trannies
    1990 Dynasty 3.0 120k 1 tranny 4yrs
    1981 Dodge Aries 2.6 only new car I ever bought 225k orig 11yrs
    1966 Dodge Coronet 440 Wagon, way old 1 yr. 135$ (Had to borrow it at the bank!)
    1964 Simca 1000 (bought for $10 rebored) 50k 4yrs
    1965 Ply Valiant V8 85k
    1964 Ply Valiant Wagon slant 6 200k 1 qt/200 miles
    1969 Corvair convertible 4 carb

  11. #10
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    Crimping a brake hose sounds like a very bad/dangerous idea to me - especially on purpose.

    The worst/dirty brake fluid is right at/in the cylinders; bleed first, then push pistons back to accommodate new pads. Even if you don't bleed first, it's not enough fluid to make it all the back to the master or ABS - just bleed it all out until running clean.

    -Jim

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