Leak under front left. Full brake fluid, bad brakes

Just saw a leak tonight under the front left (driver’s side). Haven’t driven the car all week, it’s not from rain or AC. Not sure what it might be coming from?

Also the brakes have been bad. Randomly going almost all the way out when I drive it (which is why I haven’t driven it all week lol). Brake fluid is full, but dark brown… Just got new brake pads and tires last year. Brake fluid might need to be flushed. But I’m wondering if that’s related to the leak at all?

I don’t want to dump money in this car if the repairs are too much. Tie rods are rusted too and it’s just extremely old. Not sure if it’s even worth paying for it to get towed to a shop and paying for diagnostics/repairs, or if i should just try to figure out how to get a newer car instead?

If the vehicle appears to be leaking brake fluid and has a soft brake pedal?


Until you find out why this is occurring.



Do you think the leak might be brake fluid even if the fluid reservoir for that is full? That’s what’s throwing me off so much with this new leak now :joy: i stopped driving it when i realized the brakes were giving out. But now a leak too

Soft brake pedal and a leak, not worth the risk

Time to fix it or get a new to you car

Consider the cost of repairs vs car payments. You might get new tie rods, brakes fixed and a few more things fixed for less than $1,000 How many car payments would add up to $1k? Not too many


It’s a 1995. No airbags, broken light for the speedometer that isn’t from a fuse or bad light bulb, expired inspection sticker because i know it won’t pass. Cracked windshield, AC is broken and it’s not the coolant, driver’s side door doesn’t unlock, radio doesnt work, the windows are all manual. And it has 280,000 miles. I was hoping it’d last me until the spring. But there’s only so much money i’d want to put into it before getting something to replace it lol

Call the closest junk yard. They will buy it for scrap and tow it away. Or keep calling until someone does tow it away…


If it can be driven someone will pay more than a junk yard will. Sometimes the brake hoses can get old and develop leaks.

Have someone look while you press the brakes.

What does the leaked fluid feel and smell like?
The soft pedal is probably a failed master cylinder.
Flushing brake fluid every 3 years might have prevented that.

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@Kay.bayyy_183366 I am going to recommend that you do not sell this vehicle to someone . It has too many problems and the people who might want to buy it as cheap transportation are also the kind that might not change registration or even put liability insurance on it . The few hundred dollars extra will not begin to cover the cost of legal problems if they crash into someone with it still registered to you.


Probably a wise precaution. Would it avoid that problem if you met the buyer at the government office that handles vehicle titles and registration? You would officially declare that your ownership has ended. Any fees and sales tax would be collected then and there. The buyer would then be the owner of the vehicle. Whatever they do with it would no longer put you at risk.

I once sold a Toyota truck with a broken frame in this manner. I also had the buyer sign a statement that the vehicle had a broken frame and would not be driven on public roads. He had it trailered away.

I wouldnt even spend the money to put a tank of gas in that beater.


I own a 1992 Corolla, would still be on the road as my daily-driver except for some annoying technical difficulties associated w/Covid.

If brakes are not working correctly , have it towed to a shop and ask them to repair the brakes, and tell them about the leak. Brakes have to be repaired anyway for common-sense safety reasons, and you might find out where the leak is coming from gratis. An opportunity for a freebie. If brake fluid plastic bottle remains full, and you haven’t topped it off, imo leak seems unlikely to be brake fluid.

I’d guess leak is either transmission fluid or coolant. Check both levels. Does the substance on the cement feel like oil, or does it feel more like water, but maybe a little more slippery than water? What does it smell like? Coolant has a sort of sweet aroma. Transmission fluid would usually smell more acrid and petroleum like.

I’m with Mustangman on calling metal scrap yards or auto dismantler. They should pick it up in a flash. Many will also pay you cash, probably from $100 to $250 for that era car depending what it is.

If it was me and it’s still driveable and insured I’d drive it (slowly) directly to a metal scrap yard and get cash based on it’s weight. Given the tires are only a year old I’d remove the wheels after dropping it off, take ‘em away and sell ‘em online. Very easy to sell as a set of 4.
Of course that option means needing someone else to assist with their car, not Uber home.

The lightness you feel after junking/ recycling a problem car is immeasurable and immediate.

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Or if near San Jose, George might buy it as a parts car.

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