1988 Honda Civic Troubleshoot Brake Line

The brake lines in your 1988 Honda Civic are integral to your safety and the safety of the public. The 1988 Honda Civic employs a closed hydraulic brake line system. If there is a leak of the brake lines are compromised the brakes will fail putting you and everyone around your vehicle in danger. Troubleshoot the brake lines in your 1988 Honda Civic if you suspect there is a brake fluid leak to ensure everyone's safety.

Tools Used: Garage lift, Shop rags, Dot-3 brake fluid, Clean white rags or paper towels, Automotive degreaser

Troubleshoot Brake Line

Lift the entire vehicle safely and securely. A garage lift is preferable when lifting the entire vehicle for safety sake.

Open the hood and locate the master cylinder. It is in the engine compartment nearest the driver's seat. There is a brake booster that is a large disc mounted on the firewall approximately the size of a small frisbee. Mounted on the front of the brake booster is a tube with the words 'Brake Fluid' written on it. This is the master cylinder.

Locate the brake pipes and hoses. The brake pipes are metal and run from the brake booster underneath the engine. The pipes split and travel to each of the front wheels. The rear wheels are connected by pipes that run from the passenger side front wheel down the passenger side of the vehicle. The pipes enter the passenger side rear wheel then travel to the driver's side rear wheel. The hoses are smaller, rubber lines that connect the metal pipes to the brake disc assemblies in each wheel.

Clean the brake pipes and hoses thoroughly with automotive degreaser. Make sure you can see any potential leaks of brake fluid from the lines.

Turn the key to the 'On' position without firing the ignition. Fill the master cylinder to the max with Dot-3 brake fluid. Have a friend get into the vehicle and pump the brake pedal.

Inspect all pipes and hoses systematically starting with the pipes coming out of the brake booster. Follow the lines to the driver's side front wheel, the passenger side front wheel, the passenger side rear wheel and the driver side rear wheel. Pay special attention to where the pipes meet the hoses. Use a clean white rage to run along the pipes and hoses to expose any red liquid. If you find red Dot-3 brake fluid you have found a leak.

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