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Help Brake Fluid Leak! What to do?

I just had my brake fluid changed at an authorized Audi dealership (at their suggestion) as part of another issue associated with the engine.

After driving about 1 ? hours the brake light went on, so I phoned the dealership to apprise them of the problem and they first thought (without inspection) that maybe their mechanics had not filled the reservoir sufficiently — so the first course of action was to top it off with DOT 3 (wrong choice I later learned because most Audi?s take DOT 4) lesson learned read the manual yourself. The light did go off! SUCCESS! HA!

The problem is that the next time I drove the car for about 15 minutes the light came back on, so I drove home slowly with ?mushy? brakes and noticed that on the passenger right rear tire that there is this black stuff adhering to the tire, brake pad location, and even splattered onto the paint. This was not apparent the day before and I also noticed the spot underneath my parked car had a similar liquid.

My questions are the following

1)Is the dealership responsible for not securely tightening the bolt/plug?

2)If the brake fluid lands on the paint, I removed it immediately after finding the problem, should I have some sort of protection against paint damage in the future that?s payable by the dealership?

3)Tires. At over $1,000 for four of these tires, has one?s life been shorten by having brake fluid over it?

4)Is there any other damage that I should look out for now and protect myself against possible future damage caused by the brake fluid leaking?

Thanks to my neighbors, they told me about the paint and possible tire damage.

First of all, don’t worry too much about filling your reservoir with DOT 3 fluid instead of DOT 4. They are compatible and there is barely any difference between the two. Now for your other questions:

  1. It definitely sounds like the dealership did something wrong, like failing to properly tighten a bleeder valve after flushing your brake fluid. At this point, they are responsible for offering you a sincere apology, cleaning up the mess they made, and ensuring that the work is re-done and done correctly this time.
  2. Brake fluid is not good for paint and will cause damage if a lot of it is allowed to sit on paint for a long time. The same applies to the clearcoat on alloy wheels. It is good that you cleaned it up promptly. It is highly unlikely that you will see any paint damage out of this. Wax and clearcoat will protect the color coat, and any damage done will likely be impossible to see.
  3. As long as the tire is cleaned up, it is unlikely any appreciable damage was done to the tire. It is, however, the dealership’s responsibility to clean up the mess, as I previously noted.
  4. I wouldn’t worry too much about it once the dealership has made it right. They made a mistake and should be given the opportunity to make it right. Just be glad an accident did not result from this mistake.

Have the car towed–do not drive–back to the shop that did the work and have them pay the tow bill and correct their mistake!

Thank you so very very much for the very sage advice. Being human is just that and I look forward to them making it right!

I will take the suggestion for them to pick it up and I will send them the photos to prove my point of the leagage overnight.