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Losing brake fluid

Old 01-23-2010
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Losing brake fluid

I have a 1994 civic ex. My brake light came on yesterday and I found I was SEVERLY low on brake fluid. I used the last of my dot 3 and the light hasn't come on yet. I don't seem to be losing it very quickly, but my stepdad and I speculate it may be a leaky caliper, piston etc. How would I be able to tell where it is leaking? If I jack up the car and look at the caliper would it be covered in brake fluid or would I have to check a seal somewhere? I haven't had a chance to research this yet, so I was just seeing if someone had any suggestions. Thanks!
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Old 01-23-2010
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Re: Losing brake fluid

are the brake pads worn down? you will use fluid that way too even tho its not leaking. if its leaking, youre gonna have to inspect all the lines and where they connect.
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Old 01-23-2010
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Re: Losing brake fluid

I'll check the brake pads here soon, since they do squeal and grind a bit. Prolly gonna do rotors too. . . One quick question. How would I loose brake fluid if the brake pads are worn down but I'm not leaking?
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Old 01-24-2010
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Re: Losing brake fluid

its a closed system, but the pistons have to extend more and therefore retain extra fluid when pads are worn, which makes it appear like you are low on fluid (even tho you really have the same amount of fluid, its just that more of it is tied up in the braking system rather than in the master cylinder reservoir). so you can just top it off with a new bottle of fluid-never use old fluid thats been sitting more than a week-until you have time to have the pads replaced. brake fluid needs to be changed every 3 yrs regardless of mileage, so they will either replace the fluid entirely or if its still new, they will bleed the system. either way, you will have the normal amount of fluid again after they change the pads.
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