About three months ago I had the right front caliper...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | May 01, 1994

Dear Tom and Ray:

About three months ago I had the right front caliper replaced on my 1986 Ford Tempo. Since then, the brake light has been coming on every three weeks. Once I check the reservoir (it's always a little low) and add brake fluid, it goes off. Is it possible that when the caliper was replaced something happened to cause the leakage?

TOM: This is always a dilemma for a mechanic, Cale. Customers have a tendency to blame the repair shop for anything that happens to the car after it's been in for service. A guy comes in for an oil change and six month later he gets a flat tire...it must have been the oil change.

RAY: But I think you've got a pretty good case here. If they worked on the calipers three months ago, and ever since then, you've been losing brake fluid, it's a pretty good bet that there is some connection between the two.

TOM: There's a place on the caliper where the brake hose connects, and that connection may be loose. Or, the rebuilt caliper itself could be leaking.

RAY: There is, of course, a slight possibility that there's a leak somewhere else that they didn't see when they replaced the caliper, but the timing of your leak makes that explanation a bit of a stretch.

TOM: Of course, if they manage to convince you of that, and charge you extra to fix the leak, please send us some notes on the story they use. We're always looking for tips.

Get the Car Talk Newsletter