Lately I have started losing my brakes in that they won't ease on, the pedal goes almost all the way to the floor then at the last little bit the brakes engage fully and pretty much make the tires lock up. I noticed a small leak from the clutch master cylinder above the clutch pedal and am in the process of putting a new kit in for that. Is the brake and clutch working off the same unit?

  • Not sure about this specific vehicle, but cars with hydraulic clutches will often share a fluid reservoir for both clutch and brakes, but the master cylinders are obviously separate.
    – mac
    May 7, 2013 at 15:02
  • Probably worth bleeding the brake system. Might be alot of air in the lines.
    – Mike Saull
    May 7, 2013 at 15:07
  • got a 89 econovan the oil reservoir is for clutch and brake. a hose goes to the clutch master cylinder. Changed the clutch master cylinder and it was a pain!!!!
    – peter
    Feb 9, 2017 at 10:32

1 Answer 1


Generally the systems are separate. The brake system should only need to be bled if the system has been opened or a leak has allowed the level to drop to the point that it is pumping air. If bleeding aleviates the symptoms you need to find the point at which the air is entering the system. You should be aware that the master cylinder can fail without a visible leak present. The fluid just leaks around the piston instead of being pushed out. If the master cylinder has run dry you must bleed the master cylinder prior to bleeding the brake lines. The clutch slave/master is bled using the same technique as brake lines.

  • I am only a hobbyist but we must work on different cars. In may experience the brakes and clutch draw from the same fluid reservoir. I do agree that if that hasn't gone dry you could bleed them independently. But I would not want to mix new fluid with old so I always bleed them together.
    – Ukko
    May 10, 2013 at 19:49

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