A lady needs maintenance help

Recently my low brake fluid light came on in my van. My husband (a boat mechanic) checked the brake fluid and said it was fine, the sensor must be on because of the cold weather… A few days later my brakes “stuck” and then popped and released. He finally took the vehicle brake pads. It worked for a few days, then low brake fluid light came on again. He said again was probably the cold setting off the sensor. Tonight on my way home from work my brakes went out completely. He came to pick me up, checked the brake fluid and it is empty. Obviously, there is a leak (or he is trying to get my life insurance, ha) he thinks he can fix it saying it is a bad caliber (?) … Is this something I should trust him to fix, since he was so negligent in the past in keeping me and our children safe in an obviously unsafe vehicle? Also, my power steering went out a few weeks ago, also had a leak, he supposedly repaired that, but could one have anything to do with the other? Thank you in advance! :slight_smile:

I meant replaced the brake pads…

Well… if he called it a caliber and not a caliper, I wouldn’t trust him. Is he the beneficiary to the life insurance, or are your kids?

Seriously, it should be simple to see where it is leaking fluid. Calipers seldom leak, although it’s not unheard of. Check hoses and fittings, and the master cylinder where it attaches to the brake booster. If fluid is running down the outside of the booster, the master cylinder is your problem. The M/C can also leak INTO the booster and onto the carpet inside the vehicle. If it’s inside, you will smell brake fluid on the floor.

Cold weather doesn’t cause the brake light to come on unless the parking brake is sticking. Since boats don’t have brakes (at least mine doesn’t!), maybe a car mechanic would be the way to go. Brakes are kind of important.

If the fluid was empty, there’s a leak. If he can find the leak and fix that part, then it’s safe for him to do the job. If he’s just throwing parts at it to try fixing the leak, you need a car mechanic to look at it ASAP.

And it had nothing to do with the power steering fluid leak, unless he took part of the brakes of to fix it.

A boat mechanic has no reason to become knowlegable in brake systems, so I think a car mechanic is definitely in order here.

Please take the car to a proper shop that does brakes and also have the power steering checked out.

Brake work is a specialty and your husband is obviously not trained that way, no offense!

I’m an egineer and I’m having an electrician come in today to do some specialty security wiring in my house. I readily admit not understanding this particular task…

what year is the car, you may have a leaking line and yes ditto on finding an automobile mechanic

A boat mechanic who can’t spot a leak?
Ditto the others: find a car mechanic.

boat mechanics should stick to boats

car mechanics should stick to cars

There are obviously exceptions to the rule, but not in this case, apparently

boat mechanics should stick to boats

car mechanics should stick to cars

I agree with @db4690. Boats don’t have brakes, so a boat mechanic wouldn’t expect to have experience along these lines. On the other hand, cars don’t have anchors. An auto mechanic might have problems repairing an anchor lowering mechanism.

Lots of people who are not even any mechanic do their own brakes, it would seem he must be mechanically inclined, the power steering and brakes are not related, if the past is only the brake issue we get tons of posts for intermittent issues by people dealing with mechanics. Hopefully the problem is now diagnosable and fixable.

I’m a driveway diy’er, have some experience working on my own cars brakes from time to time. I’ve come across situations where what I think is the fix, well, it didn’t work. I had to return to the drawing board. Eventually I’d get it right. But I don’t let other people drive these cars, and after any brake work I’m very careful to test it out to make sure it remains safe to drive.

In this particular situation, I think the best bet is to ask friends/relatives/co-workers for an independent shop recommendation, preferably someone who has experience in this make. Let them handle it. It should prove easy to find the problem and for them to make a safe repair.