Losing brake fluid - where should I start looking?

Brakepads, discs, handbrake. The brakes are crucial for your Volvo 480. Use this category to learn all you need to know!

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dabac
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Losing brake fluid - where should I start looking?

Post by dabac » Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:36 am

Hi guys,

Recently my car has started losing brake fluid, and I don't know from where. Would appreciate a tip on where to start looking, if there is a general area that's prone to trouble. Replaced all the shocks this winter, didn't see anything suspicious in the wheel wells then. It passed it's inspection without any comments on brake lines either. Can't see anything wrong in the engine compartment, and there are no damp spots in the driver's side footwell, so it's not leaking out that way either.

I know that just because things looked OK a while ago it's no guarantee that they'll stay that way, but I really don't want to spend more time under a winterwet car than I absolutely have to...

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chris1roll
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Post by chris1roll » Mon Jan 31, 2005 6:27 pm

Fist off check all the calipers, My first 480 started leaking from one of the rear ones 2 days after the MOT, a day later i was having to stop every 10 miles and top up. (had no choice but to drive it SLOWLY to work)
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felyx
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480 leak

Post by felyx » Wed Feb 02, 2005 4:46 am

hi i MOT'd a 480 in december and it failed on leaking fluid.

the master cyclinder had been replaced 1990 (1.7es) and when the resevior had been put back into the master cyclinder one of the grommets had got snagged and that was where it was leaking from. the resivior just pulls off out of the snug fitting grommets and is push fit back in, new grommets were£.50p from volvo.

cheers felyx
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Big Brother
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Post by Big Brother » Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:38 am

A few years ago we were on our way to Cornwall in the caravan when we suddenly lost all breaking power in the car (a Volvo 240 auto) whilst going down a hill. It turned out to be a cracked break line where all the fluid was draining out of.

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dragon
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Post by dragon » Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:42 am

I'd check in this order:

calipers
flexi brake pipes pipes
hard brake pipes
resivoir and associated piping
master cylinder

Might be worth getting in a garage, or other sheltered flat ground and plonk newspaper all under the car, then run the engine and pump the brakes a bit to see if you can get any drips appearing to help narrow the search.
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dabac
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Post by dabac » Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:58 pm

volvo-bigbrother wrote:A few years ago we were on our way to Cornwall in the caravan when we suddenly lost all breaking power in the car (a Volvo 240 auto) whilst going down a hill.
I've had that too, in a Volvo 265 automatic. Had the choices of ditching, hitting traffic, or trying something outrageous. I choose#3, which meant flooring it while yanking the gearbox into reverse. Everything shook and shuddered, but the car slowed enough for me to be able to use the handbrake to come to a complete stop, without offroading or hitting something. Turned out that the bracket where the left front brake hoses attaches to the brake lines had gotten loose, so every turn of the wheels caused the brake lines to bend and eventually break. Spares were like 8 EUR, and the car started right up afterwards. Apparently the Mad Max brake technique hadn't hurt it.

dabac
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Post by dabac » Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:03 pm

dragon wrote:I'd check in this order:

calipers
flexi brake pipes pipes
hard brake pipes
resivoir and associated piping
master cylinder
I've already checked the "dry and accessible bits", Master cylinder etc. No luck.

So it looks like another weekend with road grime in the eyes, hair and under the collar :badmood:

Thanks though, maybe the newspaper trick can cut down on the amount of crawling needed.

dabac
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Post by dabac » Mon Feb 14, 2005 1:13 pm

We got a spot of decent weather, well at least enough for the parking space to dry up. Thanks to this I managed to locate a suspicious spot by the right front wheel. Got the wheel off and saw a very slick brake hose.

Couldn't brake while watching and had no one around to help, but I replaced it and it looks like the prob is fixed. At least the brake pedal isn't sinking through and bottoming out anymore :wink:

We'll see what the car'll come up with next :(

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