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Brake Master Cylinder Leaking

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02 Feb 2016, 01:52 pm
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Default Brake Master Cylinder Leaking

Hi, I'm somewhat of a newbie when it comes to working on cars. I've fixed a few things on my pt like oil change, motor mount and radiator fan replacement but besides that have no other experience. I'm having an issue with a leak from a brake line going into the brake master cylinder and I was wondering if someone could help me figure out what to do to fix it? Do I need to replace the whole master cylinder or just the brake line itself? I've attached a picture of where it is leaking...the picture is of the brake line going into the bottom of the master cylinder. I'm a single woman just trying to save some money by doing some repairs myself and am hoping I could get some advice on what to do next. Thanks in advance!
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Old 02 Feb 2016, 02:49 pm
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Default Re: Brake Master Cylinder Leaking

First of all, welcome to the forum. It's always nice to have a new female member that's not afraid to get her hands dirty. As far as the brake line goes, if that's what's leaking (and it probably is), you can buy replacement lines at any of your local parts stores. Personally, I'd recommend removing the one that's leaking and taking it with you to be sure you get one that's long enough and has the correct threads. Some are SAE thread and some are metric. I don't know what the PT has. Of course, you'll want to place a container under the master cylinder to catch the brake fluid that will drip out, or drain the reservoir with an old turkey baster and just replace the fluid with some clean, fresh stuff and bleed all four brakes when you're done.
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Old 02 Feb 2016, 04:25 pm
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Default Re: Brake Master Cylinder Leaking

Thanks for the quick reply and warm welcome! After reading your explanation I'm pretty confident I can do what you prescribed. I just have a few questions if that's alright. First is there some way I can find out for sure which is leaking, be it the brake line or some part on the master cylinder which connects to the brake line? Second the brake lines are hard....I'm assuming that I will have to bend the new line myself to match the old line, is that correct? Third, if I have to replace the master cylinder or the brake lines am I correct in thinking I will have to take all four tires off of the car and drain the line or master cylinder and then replace the broken part, clear the lines of any air bubbles and then be done? Sorry for the endless questions, just want to make sure I am clear on what needs to be done. Thanks again!
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Old 03 Feb 2016, 09:40 am
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Default Re: Brake Master Cylinder Leaking

Yes, the lines are somewhat hard, but are easy to bend. They're rigid, but malleable. Ideally, you'll want a tubing bender so you don't crimp the line if you try to bend it by hand. Now, you can bend them by hand but you have to take your time and be patient. I'm not one that cares how they look, so I'll bend one only as much as needed to make it fit. Some folks are anal and want them to look perfect. If that's the case, then order some OEM ones from a dealer. They won't be cheap. As far as the leak goes, just have someone get in the car and push the pedal. If you see it oozing out from where the line connects to the master, then there's the problem. It could be as simple as a loose connection. Have you just tried tightening it and see what happens? And if you find out that the master needs replacing, then NO, you don't have to remove the wheels. All you have to do is get the fluid out of it, remove the lines and then remove it. Put the new one on, (bench bleed it first) then reconnect the lines and bleed each wheel cylinder starting with the passenger side rear, drivers side rear, passenger front, drive front as the sequence. This will allow you to get the air out of the longest lines first and work your way to the shortest line. Be sure to check the fluid level in the master after each bleed so you don't run it out of fluid. Is it easy? Relatively speaking, yes. It's a little time consuming and messy, but well worth doing it yourself and saving several hundred bucks. I hope this helps you.
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Old 03 Feb 2016, 01:29 pm
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Default Re: Brake Master Cylinder Leaking

Thanks for the explanation. This cleared up a lot of questions I had. The leak seems to be coming from where the brake line connects to the master cylinder so I have tried what you said about tightening up the connection a couple of weeks ago but that did not fix the issue. It is a very slow leak, I guess it's been going on for a year or more. Because of the placement of the leak I'm unsure if it's the master cylinder or the brake line or maybe it's neither and just one of the connection parts or something like that? As soon as I can identify the problem I can go ahead and order my parts and the get the repairs underway. Thank you for all of your help. It's greatly appreciated!
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Old 04 Feb 2016, 08:02 am
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Default Re: Brake Master Cylinder Leaking

Master cylinders don't usually leak like that. Most of the time they leak internally. I'm pretty sure you've just got a cracked flare on the end of the line. If you had a flaring tool, you might be able to just disconnect the line from the master cylinder and cut it off and reflare it and be okay. It might take a double flaring tool, I'm not sure. I'd just replace that one line with a new one if it were me, though. Cheaper and easier than buying a flaring kit. Safer too if you're never used one before.
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Old 04 Feb 2016, 08:12 am
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Talking Re: Brake Master Cylinder Leaking

How slow is the leak? How often have you had to add fluid? If it isn't dripping on the ground, I think I would live with it as long as it didn't get worse. Every time you check the oil, wipe the fitting off. You might find that only a light oily film has accumulated between oil checks.

There are products on the market that can stop hydraulic leaks. These are applied to the outside of the leaking area, like a putty. Ask your auto parts store what they have.

BTW, what year is your PT?
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Old 05 Feb 2016, 01:38 pm
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Default Re: Brake Master Cylinder Leaking

The leak has been going on for maybe a year or more, I'm not completely sure, but it has steadily been getting worse and I now have to replace the brake fluid every two months or sooner. I also have a small puddle under where I park the car that is steadily growing. It is a 2003 pt.

I do not have a flaring tool and also have no experience with them so I will probably just replace the whole line like recommended. I feel I have a better grasp on what I need to do and am hoping to get the repairs under way within the next few weeks while the weather is mild. Thanks for all of the help and explanations, it is a relief to know I can come here for help when my own research and expertise fail me.
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Old 05 Feb 2016, 01:55 pm
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Default Re: Brake Master Cylinder Leaking

I am all for the cheap fix, but not with brakes and especially when it's not my money!

AFAIK, you always double flare brake lines, but I would probably just replace the line. I probably wouldn't bother reflaring it
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Old 05 Feb 2016, 02:38 pm
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Default Re: Brake Master Cylinder Leaking

Go to the dealer or maybe ROCKAUTO will stock the line you're after. It will come pre-formed so all you'll have to do is R & R the line. Then of course bleed the system. The factory manual and of course Haynes/Chilton state that you should bleed the left rear (drivers rear wheel) first, then the right front( passenger front), then the right rear (passenger rear) then the left front (drivers front) in that order.

CHUZZ please take note of the above quoted sequence.

TIRS

Jerry
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Last edited by wwpptc; 05 Feb 2016 at 03:09 pm.
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