Signs Your Car is About to Die

Hello, my name is Roy. For many years, I drove a 1976 Ford estate car around Sydney. The car had belonged to my grandpa. It was passed down to me when I had just passed my driving test at the age of 18. That was in 1986 and the car was already in a pretty bad condition then. Fast forward to 2006 and I was now aged 38 and still driving the same car around. Sometimes the car wouldn't start, white smoke came out of the exhaust and the gearbox made a terrible sound. I did my best to patch it up, but eventually, I had to scrap the car and buy a new one. I decided to start a blog to encourage others to service their cars.

3 Symptoms of a Failing Brake Master Cylinder


The master cylinder is one of the most vital components of your car's braking system. Its function is to convert the pressure you apply on the brake pedal into hydraulic pressure needed to push the brake fluid through the vehicle's brake lines and force the brake callipers to squeeze the brake pads against the brake rotors to slow down your car or bring it to a halt. Therefore, it is imperative to always have a properly functioning brake master cylinder. However, brake master cylinders can pick up a problem or two down the line. It is important to be aware of the signs that the car brakes are failing so that you make the necessary repairs. Here are some of the things to watch out for.

Spongy/Mushy Brake Pedal

The first common sign of bad brake master cylinder is an unusual behaviour of the brake pedal. Watch out for abnormalities such as a spongy, mushy brake pedal that sinks to the floor slowly when you depress it. The brake master cylinder has seals that help maintain the pressure. Over time, the seals can wear out and affect their ability to maintain the pressure. Also, damaged or worn master cylinder seals will form internal brake fluid leaks. Overall, the pressure needed in the brake system will be affected and this effect will be felt in the brake pedal.

Contaminated/Dirty Brake Fluid

It is important to conduct routine checks of your vehicle's brake fluid. You may find something that indicates a potential problem with the braking system. With continued use of your car, the brake master cylinder seals will break down into parts that will end up in your brake fluid, contaminating it. Therefore, when doing your routine brake fluid checks, inspect for signs of contamination. You will know your brake fluid is contaminated by looking at its colour. Brake fluid is usually almost clear and may have a tint of yellow to it. If it is brown or black in colour, that's a definite sign that it has been contaminated.

Low Levels of Brake Fluid

This is another obvious sign of a problematic brake master cylinder. A leak anywhere in the cylinder will leave your car running low on brake fluid. Therefore, check the level of brake fluid in the reservoir. Also, check underneath your car for any fluid puddles especially after it has been parked for some time such as overnight.


18 April 2018