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Old 09-05-2016, 07:00 PM   #1
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Brake fluid dripping from reservoir cap

This is a new one for me as I have never seen or heard of this. 2008 Damon Challenger on a Ford chassis. Triton V-10. This all started about a month ago. We had extremely hot weather and I noticed brake fluid dripping out of the reservoir cap. It has been sitting for several weeks. So I leveled the motorhome just to see if there would be any change. Sure enough, yesterday I find a substantial amount of fluid on the ground. You can easily see it dripping from the cap. Is this a sign of a fluid flush or bad cap on the reservoir? I know brake fluid expands but this is ridiculous.
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:14 PM   #2
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How did the brake pedal feel , did it need to be pumped to get a good feel to the pedal .
If the coach is level and the reservoir is on the full line , about the only thing that would push fluid up to the cap; past the cap seal ; would be a brake caliper piston being pushed back in it's bore to displace fluid back to the reservoir.

That of course would bring up the question ; What would push a caliper piston back in it's bore , on a stationary vehicle?
Loose wheel ?
Wheel bearing failing ?
Both possible on a moving vehicle , but stationary!
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:35 PM   #3
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The pedal is fine. I have not had any brake work done and have not added any fluid. This is a mystery.
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Old 09-05-2016, 11:05 PM   #4
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Caps can of course go bad; you might replace them. Please tell us what you find. I'm still wondering where my fluid went.
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:53 AM   #5
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Check the power steering fluid.

I have never heard of this, but a bad brake booster "could" push oil into the master cylinder, overflowing it.

If this actually happened, and I doubt it, the whole brake system is contamanated.

Can't think of any other way for a master cylinder to overfill itself.
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Old 09-06-2016, 08:44 AM   #6
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So I did some checking around this morning. I talked to an RV tech with over 30 years experience and this is what he told me. Follow me here....he has witnessed this before especially with an electronic assist master cylinder. When you put the vehicle into park most people always leave Thier foot on the brake then turn the engine off. When this happens he says sometimes the system does not fully relieve all of the pressure. If possible, he says to try to put it in park with your foot off of the brake pedal. Yes I know this is not always the case. Also it's possible I have a caliper piston not fully releasing and it is pushing the fluid up as it expands in hot weather. Anything is possible I guess. I did remove the master cylinder caps and cleaned the seals. This whole thing boggles my mind. Now it's a waiting game to see if it still leaks. I will keep you updated either way. We did a 3000 mile trip in July and never had an issue. Also, my power steering fluid is full and I did remove a little brake fluid just to make sure there was no power steering fluid in it. The brake fluid was very clear and no obvious signs of contamination.
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Old 09-06-2016, 08:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnhicks View Post
Caps can of course go bad; you might replace them. Please tell us what you find. I'm still wondering where my fluid went.
johnhicks
Do you have disc brakes?

On a vehicle equipped with disc brakes the level of brake fluid in the master cylinder drops as the brake pads wear thinner.
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Old 09-06-2016, 09:56 AM   #8
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Did you have it services and someone top off the brake fluid ?

The theory the RV tech doesn't explain where this spilling fluid came from. The master cylinder is typically filled to the full line, when pads are installed.

As mentioned, as the pads wear, the fluid level drops. Even retracting the pistons in the calipers shouldn't spill out of the master cylinder cap, unless it was topped off after some brake wear.

It seems a very strange occurrence.

Even water logged brake fluid shouldn't expand more than pure fluid, unless above 212 degrees. Once cooled it would settle back to the full level.
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Old 09-06-2016, 10:40 AM   #9
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I have had no brake work of any kind done. And I have not added ANY brake fluid since we have owned it.
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:40 AM   #10
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If this occured after driving, then some moisture in your fluid could have boiled and expanded. Then it may have pushed out the cap while parked.

Since Ford recommends a brake fluid change and flush, every two years on F53 motorhome chassis, it may be worth getting it done.

For the nonbelievers, look in your owners manual under normal service. At the end, they list exceptions.
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:53 AM   #11
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Yes I have disc brakes but I only have about 45k on the MH. Could be wear but wouldn't that be excessive since it also has an exhaust brake? It's about a quart of fluid to have gone somewhere.

I've only owned it three years; the reservoir is such a pain to get to I suspect my annual service guy in north Georgia didn't check it and I know it wasn't done this June. Could be that it wasn't checked for many many years. It won't go unchecked any more.
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Old 09-06-2016, 12:13 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=twinboat;3242368]If this occured after driving, then some moisture in your fluid could have boiled and expanded. Then it may have pushed out the cap while parked.

I agree with that statement 100%. But the fact that it has been sitting for several weeks after we parked it then started dripping is what I do not understand.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:55 PM   #13
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When was the last time you changed out the brake fluid ? As it ages it absorbs moisture. Could be that sitting in really hot weather expanded the moisture content to the point it overflowed ? I believe there is a test strip available to check fluid condition.
As an aside, if you do have water in the fluid, it will boil under heavy brake use causing reduced brake power.
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Old 09-14-2016, 08:53 PM   #14
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Well it's been a week since I cleaned the caps and moved it around in case I had clipper hanging up. I live in ohio. It's been only highs in the 70's earlier in the week. Guess what?! I have more brake fluid leaking from the cap! I am at my wits end with this problem. I can physically see it leaking right out of the cap.
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