I have a 2001 Mazda 626 which had its brake service light come on some time back, and the brakes became spongy and ceased functioning properly.

I took it to my mechanic and he replaced the brake lines. The brakes worked properly for a short time (2 or 3 weeks maximum?) and then ceased working again. I noticed what I thought was brake fluid on a cable/line that runs to the rear of the vehicle... I didn't look closely but assumed it was part of the braking system.

Tried calling the mechanic 3 times already and left (polite) messages but no call back. I'm not counting on getting any help from him on this and would like to tackle fixing the problem myself.

So, my question is that: Is there a common reason why this might happen after a brake line replacement, and what is the best way for me to determine the actual cause of the problem and repair it myself?

Thanks in advance for any help and advice that you can provide.

  • 1
    does the level in the brake fluid tank go down ? the tank is mounted on your brake fluid master cylinder, which is mounted on a drum-like component, which is mounted on the driver's side of your firewall inside the engine bay
    – amphibient
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 18:27
  • In my experience rusty brake lines are like a chain, only as strong as the weakest point. It is quite possible you have another failed line. A complete inspection should have been done prior to replacement of the first failed line.
    – mikes
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 22:38

1 Answer 1


You can get one of these devices and pull any air out of the brake system that you can. It can be more effective than bleeding the brakes.

Once you ensure all of the air is out of your brake lines you may find it's resolved. If not, you will need to troubleshoot from there.

The benefit is that you will know it's not air in your lines which is the first thing to rule out if you don't have obvious leaks observable from visual inspection.

The device below is a brake fluid vacuum. They vary in cost.

You attach the device to the bleeding nipple on your caliper and create a vacuum in the line that draws the fluid out.

Image of a brake fluid vacuum

enter image description here

Be careful that you keep the reservoir full of brake fluid while you perform the operation, it get's pulled out quickly and you don't want to get any air in the system.

Ensure you don't get brake fluid on any car paint, it will eat it up in short order.

  • You might want to tell the class what this "device" is called.
    – Bob Cross
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 19:27
  • @BobCross hmmm....yeah, I guess that sounds like a good idea :) Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 19:27
  • of course, a really nice answer from you.
    – Ppoggio
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 8:27
  • Thanks, appreciate that. For real. also....I think I'm onto you. In a good way :) Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 8:42
  • Thanks very much for following up and the compliment. 'preciate it. Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 20:31

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