Ford Taurus/Sable 1986-1995 Repair Information

Brake Master Cylinder


See Figures 1 and 2


When adding to or refilling the master cylinder, be sure to use Heavy Duty (H. D.) brake fluid that meets or exceeds Ford Motor Company specification ESA-M6C25-A, such as Motorcraft C6AZ-19542-AA or BA or equivalent.

Brake fluid damages paint. It also absorbs moisture from the air; never leave a container or the master cylinder uncovered any longer than necessary. All parts in contact with the brake fluid (master cylinder, hoses, plunger assemblies, etc.) must be kept clean, since any contamination of the brake fluid can adversely affect braking performance.

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Fig. Fig. 1: Brake master cylinder components-sedan

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Fig. Fig. 2: Brake master cylinder components-station wagon


See Figures 3 and 4

It should be obvious how important the brake system is to the safe operation of your vehicle. Maintaining the correct level of clean brake fluid is critical for the proper operation of your vehicle. A low fluid level indicates a need for service (there may be a leak in the system or the brake pads may just be worn and in need of replacement). In any case, the brake fluid level should be inspected at least during every oil change, but more often is desirable. Every time you open the hood is a good time to glance at the master cylinder reservoir.

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Fig. Fig. 3: Before taking the cap off of the master cylinder, make sure all dirt and/or debris is cleaned off

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Fig. Fig. 4: When adding brake fluid to the master cylinder, use only clean, fresh fluid from a sealed container

The brake master cylinder is located under the hood, on the left side (driver's side) of the firewall. Check the Maintenance Component Location charts, at the end of this section, for the exact location on your vehicle. Before removing the master cylinder reservoir cap, make sure the vehicle is resting on level ground and clean all the dirt away from the top of the master cylinder. Remove the master cylinder cap.

Some vehicles covered by this information are equipped with and Anti-lock Brake System (ABS). To check the fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir of a vehicle equipped with ABS:

  1. Turn the ignition OFF .
  3. Pump the brake pedal at least 20 times or until the pedal feel becomes hard, then turn the ignition key to the ON position.
  5. Wait at least 60 seconds to be sure that the fluid level is stabilized.
  7. The fluid level should be at the MAX line as indicated on the side of the reservoir.

The fluid level will lower somewhat due to normal brake lining wear. However, if the level is less than half the volume of the reservoir, check the brake system for leaks. Leaks in the brake hydraulic system most commonly occur at the rear wheel cylinders or at the front calipers. Leaks at the brake lines or the master cylinder can also be the cause of lost brake fluid. If a leak is detected, repair it and bleed the system, as described in Brakes .

  1. If the level is low, remove the cap and add Heavy Duty Brake Fluid (Dot 3) until the MAX line is reached. The level of the brake fluid should be at the MAX line embossed on the translucent plastic reservoir of the master cylinder.

If the master cylinder reservoir has a cap with an expanding rubber diaphragm, be sure to push the diaphragm up into the cap before installing the cap.