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Brake light- Master cylinder

My 2003 Toyota 4 Runner with 104K miles recently started showing a brake light off and on. The brake fluid reservoir was at the minimum level and there was some residue leaking from the bottom near a silver disc. Took it to a mechanic and was told it was most likely the master cylinder leaking brake fluid. Is this normal wear and tear or is it unusual in this vintage vehicle? the mechanic said it cost $2200 if it involves the ABS and computer. I do not notice any brake slippage at this point. Should I take this to the dealer and ask why this master cylinder is faulty? I thought Toyotas were long life vehicles?

The first thing that has to be asked is, did you service the brake fluid while you owned the vehicle? This means to have the brake fluid replaced about every three years/36,000 miles. If not, after 104k miles without this service it should be no surprise the brake master cylinder is leaking. Toyota’s are only as good as they’re treated as with any other vehicle.

The master cylinder/ABS pump is all one unit and goes for about $1200. There’s no involvment with the ABS computer. But it does involve a complicated and time consuming brake bleeding procedure.

Try other shops for this repair and one may outbid that quote.


Thanks for the feedback Tester. I have done some additional research and find that you are spot on relating to the cost of the repair. I will definitely seek another quote from another repair shop. In response to your question about brake fluid replacement, it was not done.