Ford Taurus/Sable 1996-1999 Repair Guide

Brake Master Cylinder


The brake master cylinder reservoir is located under the hood, attached to the firewall on the driver's side of the engine compartment.


BRAKE FLUID EATS PAINT. Take great care not to splash or spill brake fluid on painted surfaces. Should you spill a small amount on the cars finish, don't panic, just flush the area with plenty of water.

When adding fluid to the system, ONLY use fresh DOT 3 brake fluid from a sealed container. DOT 3 brake fluid will absorb moisture when it is exposed to the atmosphere, which will lower its boiling point. A container that has been opened once, closed and placed on a shelf will allow enough moisture to enter over time to contaminate the fluid within. If your brake fluid is contaminated with water, you could boil the brake fluid under hard braking conditions and lose all or some braking ability. Don't take the risk, buy fresh brake fluid whenever you must add to the system.


See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4

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Fig. Fig. 1: The fluid level should be between the MAX and MIN lines; if the fluid level is low, be sure to check the brakes

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Fig. Fig. 2: Wipe the master cylinder reservoir clean before opening the cap to ensure that no contamination enters the brake fluid

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Fig. Fig. 3: Unscrew the master cylinder cap and...

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Fig. Fig. 4: ... carefully pour fresh, approved brake fluid directly into the reservoir

Observe the fluid level indicators on the master cylinder; the fluid level should be 0.16 inch (4mm) below the MAX line.

Before removing the master cylinder reservoir cap, make sure the vehicle is resting on level ground and clean all dirt away from the top of the master cylinder. Unscrew the cap and fill the master cylinder until the level is between the MIN and MAX lines.

If the level of the brake fluid is less than half the volume of the reservoir, it is advised that you check the brake system for leaks. Leaks in a hydraulic brake system most commonly occur at the wheel cylinder.