The Nissan brand remains largely popular with drivers due to its reliability on the road as well as its affordability. Durable and dependable, you can count on your Nissan to take you from point A to point B safely, whether to-and-from the office or on a long-distance family road trip.
The best way to prolong the lifespan of your Nissan is through preventative care and maintenance to thwart off potential problems that may arise over time. One of such problems you may encounter is brake fluid leakage.
The Purpose of Brake Fluid in Your Vehicle
When you step on the brake pedal at a stop sign or stoplight, the force from your foot triggers a vacuum booster located behind the brake pedal, activating the master cylinder and pushing pressurized brake fluid into the brake lines. The more force you use on the brake pedal, the more pressurized the brake fluid becomes, increasing the stopping force. This explains how your vehicle is able to stop so quickly should you step on the brakes at the last second when approaching an intersection as the stoplight changes to red.
As the brake fluid flows through the brake lines, it reaches the caliper on each wheel, allowing your car to stop fully. You may wonder how brake fluid allows all of this to unfold. As liquid is incompressible, it can act as a solid force under pressure, despite being a liquid substance.
As you can see, brake fluid is mandatory for your brake system to work properly, making brake fluid leaks a huge cause for concern regarding your safety and those on the road near you.
Signs of Brake Fluid Leaks
The following are signs of brake fluid leaks that shouldn’t be ignored. If you encounter any of them, schedule an appointment with your trusted Nissan mechanic immediately. Failure to do so can cause further damage to your brakes and make your car unsafe to drive.
- Puddles Underneath Your Car: One of the most obvious signs of a brake fluid leak is discovering an oily puddle beneath your car. Brake fluid can leak from several places, including around the calipers, from the rubber hoses and from the master cylinder.
- Soft Pedal: If your brake pedal sinks to the floorboard with little resistance, or feels soft or squishy when you press down on it with your foot, it may be a sign of leaking brake fluid. The soft or squishy feeling you encounter is due to less brake fluid to compress than what is considered normal, causing your brakes to work improperly and possibly even malfunction.
- Worn Brake Pads: If your brake pads have seen better days and are worn and old, this can lead to brake fluid leakage. The thinner the brake pads get, the more fluid it will take to fill the calipers, leading to excessive brake fluid loss. Your brake pads may even make a whining noise if they’re in need of replacement. Worn brake pads can be avoided by taking your vehicle in for routine maintenance and having your brake pads inspected.
- ABS Warning Light Illuminates: Should your Anti-Lock Brake System (or ABS) warning light illuminate on your dashboard, it could mean your brake fluid is running low. As your Anti-Lock Brake System requires brake fluid to operate efficiently, a lack of fluid will cause this warning light to illuminate.
- Service Brakes Light Illuminates: The Service Brake light illuminating on your dashboard could be caused by brake fluid leakage or something more severe. Should this light come on, it’s imperative to have your car seen by a mechanic as soon as possible.
Franklin Automotive Can Fix Your Brake Fluid Leak
Brake fluid leaks are nothing to ignore as they can lead to serious damage on your brakes, making it unsafe to drive your car. Franklin Automotive has been Birmingham’s go-to Nissan service experts since 1992. Serving the communities of Hoover, Homewood, Vestavia, Mountain Brook, Pelham, Trussville, and Birmingham, Alabama, we can repair your brake fluid leak and any other subsequent issues you may be dealing with and have you back on the road safely in no time. Call us today to schedule your appointment.