I was driving my focus and stopped at a store when I got back on the road my pedal was soft and car was not even stopping. I checked and the brake fluid was gone, I filled it back up and found out I had to bleed the air out. I Have bled my brakes and have got it back on road but I feel like its not 100%. I have checked on the fluid level and its still full so my question is, Why was there no fluid that time and can it just get used up after years of not filling it or changing it? Because the fluid has been in it for some months now and has not got low. I'm worried I didn't fix the problem.Thanks

  • There is still air in the brake system, bleed it again.
    – Moab
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 20:15
  • Thanks, yesterday was the second time ive bled it and i did get a lot of air out and i most likely will Bleed it again. Would you know why the brake fluid was empty in the first place because i haven't had any problems with it leaking out since but I also never found any evidence of it leaking out in the first place, does the fluid get low when it gets used normally or should the fluid level never drop.?
    – Benjamin13
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 20:41
  • Disc brakes will lower the reservoir level as the pads wear, this is normal as the caliper pistons move out and takes up more fluid.
    – Moab
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 20:50
  • Ok that makes sense now, Thank you so much!..this was my girlfriends car and she never checked the fluid or topped it off so that could explain it, I appriciate your time to respond thanks again, I will be bleeding it again.
    – Benjamin13
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 21:16
  • 1
    Now she will love you even more!
    – Moab
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 21:22

1 Answer 1


Brake fluid doesn't get used up, it has to go somewhere. One possibility is that your brake pads got worn down enough for the calipers to go in far enough to draw so much fluid from your reservoir that that the level dropped low enough to introduce air into the system. If that is the case then I'd suggest replacing those pads and giving the system a thorough bleed. Keep in mind that when you push the calipers back out the fluid will go back into your reservoir, and as you've filled it you could overflow. Use a syringe to remove some fluid so it doesn't happen.

It's also possible that you have a leak in your braking system somewhere:

  • master cylinder seals have gone
  • brake line leaking or badly connected
  • brake caliper seals degraded

I would go over the system with a fine tooth comb; small problems have a tendency to become big ones, and in this case could leave you without brakes at a critical time, which is bad™.

  • Thank you I will be checking all that. The brake pads are pretty worn and I lost pressure almost completely after going down a mountain had to tow my car back to my home which was 90 miles. I've bled the brakes twice and drove the car yesterday and did fine but feel like the brakes can be better although I still have the worn out brake pads on it. If the reservoir overflows will it leak out of it or does it leak into other parts of the system?
    – Benjamin13
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 21:37
  • If the reservoir overflows it leaks out and brake fluid gets everywhere, that's all @Benjamin13. It gets hot on the engine and smells. It's not a disaster, just messy and stinky.
    – GdD
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 21:56
  • Changed the Master brake cylinder and that fix my Brake issue. I did notice some fluid residue where the lines connect to the cylinder but didn't find any damage to it so I went on to replace it and all is well now. Thanks to everyone that helped with great info!
    – Benjamin
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 20:51

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