Hmmm... leaky/scrubbing brake nastiness | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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Hmmm... leaky/scrubbing brake nastiness


Active Member
May 3, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Athens, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 4x4, 96 BMW 328is
ok before I start, I admit that I postponed fixing a problem and now it is probably coming back to bite me in the rear, but so be it... I need help figuring this out.

The truck: 97 XLT, 4 wheel disc, ABS

The pre-problem: scrubbing from the driver's side rear brake. Sounded like a mildly seized caliper had the pad rubbing the rotor. Good bit of heat coming off of it, too lazy to fix immediately.

The current problem: Brake fluid is leaking out and I cannot find where it is coming from. I had my dad sit in the truck and pump the pedal, and there was fluid oozing out, but I couldn't quite make out exactly where it was coming from. Regardless, there is DEFINITELY a leak, on the same wheel that the scrubbing noise was coming from. Oh yeah, now that the fluid's leaking it doesn't make that noise anymore, which furthers my theory about it being a caliper issue.

The question: My theory is that the high heat coming off the brake caused something to loosen, melt, or in some other way deform itself enough that the fluid is now just leaking out. Any ideas where this is most likely to happen? The truck is now officially grounded until Monday when I have time to pull the wheel off and replace some stuff, but I would like to not have to pull the entire thing apart if I can avoid it. So, if anyone has been in this same boat before, please let me know a good place to start looking.. as I said, I can't really narrow it down to a specific location for the leak... there's just kinda brake fluid all over the place, which sucks a lot.

You need to keep an eye on the brake fluid reservoir and keep it maxed out. If it drops too low it will introduce air into the Master cyclinder at its highest point; which will be a pita to get out (and may require a trip to the dealer to blead it and the ABS hydraulic unit)... After that you need to pull the wheel and positively ID the source of the leak.. It could be a number of things (worn hose, rusted brake line, or roasted caliper seal)

yeah it wasn't the brake fluid level that was the problem up until now. I lost pressure and pretty much knew exactly what was goin on. Bleeding brakes is no problem.. do it all the time. PITA, but it's one of those things that has to be done. Any info/recommended brands for stainless steel brake lines? I run them in my honda because of heat issues, and they are GREAT. I can get em from the same company I got em from for the honda, but just wondering if there's any place that you guys specifically recommend?