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Brake Fluid Leak

Old 03-19-2018, 12:09 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 160
Default Brake Fluid Leak

Yesterday, I noticed that the brake fluid reservoir was below full. I always keep it at full, so I added brake fluid. Today, the same thing happened. I'm at the same level ground when I check and I estimate that 3 cc were lost.

I have about 160k on the car.

My records show that on 12/9/14 at 143,500 I replaced the left rear brake wheel cylinder.

I also have speed bleeders on all wheels, but have not bled the brakes in about a year (and this problem just started within the last week).

Is it likely that the right rear brake wheel cylinder is leaking?

Old 03-19-2018, 06:44 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 282

I just finished redoing my calipers and backing plate for my 1995 Camry LE so I am happy to share my thoughts. I have discs and you have shoes.

That said, it could be the brake lines but my Toyota like yours probably has a heavy brake line outer coating ( very good idea from Toyota) to prevent rust and if not in Midwest (salt) probably good.

It could be from the wheel cylinder in your case since just rebuilt my caliper and my piston. While not leaking but had a little rust on the exterior starting to chew at seal and creating partially seizing. The sliders , boots etc. were in bad shape also.

My theory after working on brakes the rear of the car gets hit with most of the salt, dirt ,etc. and your right to look there first.

Also 3 ml leak is hard to see over time.

Take a look at rear backing plate and see if it leaked on that. Also brake leaks hit the tire and rim when driving so check there. Hopefully it did not leak onto your brake shoes.

Keep us posted. Any questions give me a jingle since I just spent a while repairing mine.
Old 03-19-2018, 10:11 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2014
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How about the master cylinder or brake booster leaking?

When I had a 1995 Corolla, I recall a mechanic telling me that the wheel cylinders commonly leaked on Toyotas.

However, I've never seen replacement of wheel cylinders as a regular maintenance item.
My local auto parts store (O'Reilly) sells them cheaply, about $12 each, but the warranty is only one year. I see other parts, eg starters, coming with lifetime warranties.

Any brands you'd suggest?

Should I make changing them a regular maintenance activity? If so, how often?

Old 03-20-2018, 01:00 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 282

The master cylinder and brake booster are easy to check just open the hood and look for leaks. The wheel cylinders should last a long time. However, I have not had a drum in a long time. For something like the cylinder I try OEM first then a quality aftermarket if too expensive from OEM. Some auto part stores only carry their own generic brands. I go to Rock Auto a lot since they have many name brands like Raybestos, Bendix, and ACDELCO. Many times I have to do a lot a lot of online searching about the part and its quality to make a good decision.
Old 03-20-2018, 11:11 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PTW
Posts: 11,691

Check vacuum hose to booster for signs of brake fluid.
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