The most widely used method of locating a brake fluid leak is the direct approach: Look for the wet spots. Usually, when brake fluid is leaking, the brake fluid level being low is the second thing to be noticed; the first is that spot on the carpet, on the wheel, on the driveway, on the tire, on the road. When that is not what has prompted the question of leakage, a spraying of the fluid is to be suspected. This can occur each time the pedal is applied in slowing the car should a brake hose or line anywhere in the system have a cut or hole in it; and, the spray can be dispersed by the airstream flowing across the undercarriage of the vehicle while it is in motion, giving the appearance of 'disappearing fluid'. At a standstill, however, this leak also can be detected: Just look for the drip... Should a wheel cylinder(on drum brakes) be leaking, the fluid will soak the brake shoes and the inside of the drum; and, once the drum is removed for inspection(because the brakes aren't working properly), the evidence is clear: Everything's wet. Should a master cylinder seal be leaking, the carpet inside the cab will be wet(manual brakes) or the area between the booster and master cylinder will show the evidence of leaksge. If the paint on the booster is blistered below this contact area, it is likely due to brake fluid--- which blisters paint when spilled upon it. When a spray is particularly elusive to the eye, the ear sometimes proves faithful in finding the offender. With an assistant's foot pushing the pedal, the jet-stream may be picked-up by careful listening as it bounces off of plastic or metal surfaces. Everything is, after all, not always a one-person job. Good detective work often takes more than one set of eyes, ears, and so forth; and, this is an instance in which teamwork is indispensible--- even to the pros.
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