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Brake Master Cylinder Brake Fluid leak

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My 2004 XLE FWD has this problem resulting in illumination of the brake warning lamp. My mechanic performed a pressure test and confirmed the leak. Top up of the brake fluid fixed the issue and warning light goes off.

I was surprised Toyota today recall does not include the North America Sienna. Do you folks have experience similar experience? The brake warning light is on and the brake fluid is unexpectedly dropping to below the minimum line of the brake fluid reservoir.


Here is some part of today recall...

The majority of vehicles this time around need to be fixed for a problem with the brake master cylinder, which could lead to weaker braking power, said spokesman Paul Nolasco in Tokyo.

Some models in Japan and elsewhere — but not in North America — have an electrical problem with the fuel pump, which could lead the engine to stall, Nolasco said.

No accidents have been reported from the two defects, he said.

The models affected in the U.S. include the 2005 and 2006 Avalon, 2004 through 2006 non-hybrid Highlander and Lexus RX330, and 2006 Lexus GS300, IS250, and IS350 vehicles, the company said in a release from its U.S. headquarters in Torrance, California.

The release said a small amount of the brake fluid could slowly leak from the brake master cylinder, resulting in illumination of the brake warning lamp.

Owners around the world will be notified by Toyota by direct mail to come for repairs at no charge, Nolasco said.

The models affected in Japan include the Crown, Crown Majesta, Harrier, Mark X, Alphard, Kluger, Lexus GS350, Lexus IS250, and Lexus IS350. The production date of the models range from May 2002 to November 2005.

In Japan, two models — the Lexus GS350 and the Crown — are affected by both problems.

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Here's the kicker to that recall: if you read the fine print, it's only the aftermarket brake fluids that cause the issue. If you maintain your car at Toyota and use Toyota brand brake fluid, you're fine, no issues. There's some sort of polymer in the Toyota fluid that prevents the problem by lubricating the seal, and when people start using off-brands, they don't have the polymer in them, and the seal dries out. I always say maintain your car at the dealer (especially when you hear Jiffy Lube horror stories!)...here's a good reason why.

On the Sienna: not every model uses the same components, so no reason it should be involved in the recall. It may just be getting old, unfortunately...

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