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Leaking rear cylinders?

what are the symptoms? shouldnt i see some grease around rims? just turned 100k miles—took it in to get pads cked is opening up the cyclinder “boots” usually done?? they said there was fluid in the boot-so i need new this something that shld have been done? thanks for any clarification!

Brake fluid is not grease. It is a liquid. You may see some on the inside of the wheels if the rear wheel cylinders are leaking, but the leak would have to be bad, or have been there for some time. A small leak may go unnoticed until someone removes the brake drum.

If your rear brake cylinders are leaking they should be replaced. The leaking fluid can contaminate the brake shoes. Brake cylinders are used with drum brakes, which have brake shoes, not pads. Disc brakes use brake pads, but don’t have wheel cylinders. I’m a bit confused by your terminology. Are you talking about the front brakes, the rear brakes, or all four?

Also, year and mileage of your Corolla would help.

hi mcparadise thanks for your reply–yes just the rear brakes,its an '89 corolla, with 100k miles–i had the front brakes replaced a few months ago and havent noticed any probs w/stopping/noises, etc. i went in for new tires & so asked them to ck the rear brakes–didnt know they didnt have pads–sorry, my confusion—anyhow i guess he took off the “dust” boots? and said there was fluid in there and said some spilled out onto the brakes when he looked into the boots? does that sound right? is there any point to getting another shop to look @ them? iwas told by the original shop that i just needed cyclinders for $161–but in calling around–i can get a complete brake job including cylinders for $170…or just cylinders for $129—what should i ask th 2d mechanic about the shoes or drums–can you tell by looking if they are good or not?cause i dont wwant to spend more money i dont have if it only needs cyclinders thanks…

One of the classic inspection steps of drum brakes is to roll back the lip of the dust boots to see if fluid is collecting. As the cylinder pressure seals get worse, the brake fluid leaks out onto the hardware and eventually gets wiped up by the shoes making them ineffective. In a completely failed cylinder the fluid will make it out of the drum onto the back of the tire – that is really bad. But before this happens you will like get a pulling to one side when the brakes are applied.

Usually when the brake shoes are relined on a car with this mileage the cylinders should be replaced or rebuilt because relined shoes will force the piston seals to ride on a badly corroded part of the cylinder. If you did not have a leak before, you will have one after a brake reline. You got your mileage out of these cylinders so bite the bullet; get new ones; and go another 100k miles

Hope that helps.

thanks guys–i did get the cyclinders replaced -only $120! and the mechanic showed me the dust boot & the fluid inside–very informative. i also saw the drums? & the shoes which on one side were about 1/4 worn and the other side maybe the same–he said i didnt have to worry right now–glad i got it done --thanks alot for your help…

You’re welcome.