I have a 1953 Chevrolet pickup. Since I have not had much time or money to work on the old truck, it just sits in my backyard. Recently, I moved it, and when I tried to use my brakes, it seemed as if the master cylinder was dry.
I know it is hot out here in Phoenix, AZ, but can this cause the brake system to go dry? Do you have any ideas on how to cure this problem without spending a lot of money? I’m on a tight budget.
The reason master cylinders go dry is a leak in the system. It’s a closed, sealed system, so brake fluid would have no way to evaporate from heat. A good course of action would be to fill the master cylinder with brake fluid, and then have someone slowly pump the brake pedal while you explore where it may be leaking.
Common leak-prone areas include the back of the master cylinder or any of the four wheel cylinders. You’ll also want to check all of the brake lines as well. Often, the culprits here are the swaged flex lines near the front wheels, or the flex line to the rear axle. Once you know exactly where the leak is, you’ll have a better idea on what needs to be done to fix it.
Here’s a note of caution though, protect your eyes when looking for brake fluid leaks! That stuff really hurts if it gets into your eye. If you don’t immediately flush it out it, it can even cause permanent damage. So, be careful, and good luck!