: '96 Fleetwood Brougham Leaking Back Wheel Well?



red96fleetwood
06-20-11, 12:38 PM
Hello!
Can anyone tell me what and where this leak is coming from. I have noticed a puddle around my back wheel on the passenger side, it looks like oil. I can't really tell from where it is coming from,it just started a week or so ago, looks like a leak coming from the wheel well or somewhere up in that area. We just got this '96 Cadillac FWB a few weeks ago and love it to death, but I am new to these cars. We got it with 102,000 on it, drives very nice. Our tiny 2000 Chevy Metro got totaled from a tap in the back, so we went from one extreme to the other and do not regret it. A little hesitation when accelerating after slowing down, but other than that and the leak, everything is AOK so far.Any info would be appreciated.
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turbojimmy
06-20-11, 12:51 PM
The only oily liquid back there is brake fluid. Probably a wheel cylinder or a rusted line. If all that liquid is brake fluid, you should definitely feel a difference in the brake pedal.

outsider
06-20-11, 12:56 PM
could it be brake fluid?
I would start looking there. Take the rear wheel off and have a look around at the brake components.

red96fleetwood
06-20-11, 01:00 PM
Hey Thanks Turbojimmy, my wife has been the one driving it and she just did notice the brakes being a bit spongy last night, off to the mechanic I go.

I shall return!

csbuckn
06-20-11, 03:03 PM
That's a lot of brake fluid. Good thing you have a seperate resevior for front and rear brakes.

turbojimmy
06-20-11, 03:09 PM
That's a lot of brake fluid. Good thing you have a seperate resevior for front and rear brakes.

Yep, BTDT. Brake light should be on, too. The switch for the warning light is very sensitive. It detects a difference in pressure front vs. back. I had a really tiny leak at a union that made that light come on. If your light isn't on with that kind of leak, check to make sure it's plugged in. The previous owner of my car decided that the best thing to do was to unplug it rather than fix the problem.

red96fleetwood
06-20-11, 04:10 PM
If your light isn't on with that kind of leak, check to make sure it's plugged in. The previous owner of my car decided that the best thing to do was to unplug it rather than fix the problem.

Yeah mine was not on, I figured it would have a light for that...where is the plug located and or leak sensors?

turbojimmy
06-20-11, 04:45 PM
The plug is on the proportioning valve under the master cylinder. It's a single wire plug.

jayoldschool
06-20-11, 06:13 PM
While I agree that it may be brake fluid, it could also be rear end lube from a failed axle seal. Those are the only two possibilities.

brougham
06-20-11, 07:50 PM
It's either brake fluid or oil from the axle. Easiest way to check if it's brake fluid is look if the level went down. Even with a dual reservoir with a big leak you will still loose brakes. DOn't drive it until you get whatever it is fixed.

turbojimmy
06-21-11, 09:22 AM
While I agree that it may be brake fluid, it could also be rear end lube from a failed axle seal. Those are the only two possibilities.

Oh yeah - axle lube is back there too. The question, then, is it a light oil or heavy oil?

My money is still on a wheel cylinder. Looks like it's running down the backing plate, onto the tire and is being dispersed from there.

red96fleetwood
06-22-11, 09:11 PM
Thanks to everyone here for your knowledge and input, it was all very helpful.
It did turn out to be a leaking cylinder. My mechanic checked the other one back there and it was about to go as well, so I had them replaced with new brake shoes,resurfaced and bled the system. All is good in Cadillac Heaven. The brake warning light does not show, so I will check the switch. I am not sure what maintenance has been done in its 102,000 miles, early in its life it went unregistered for a few years as it was owned by an old retired doctor. It is a '96 but was bought new in '98....
Anyway, Thanks again, I will probably post some of the other issues with it on another topic as I go along with this beauty.

HUF
06-22-11, 10:27 PM
As a new owner you should know that LT1 engine has some minor issues. Check out exhaust manifold bolts/studs. Some may be loose or even missing. The worst case is a bolt which lost its head...

red96fleetwood
06-23-11, 02:47 AM
Huf,
I will give it a look. I am currently reading old post about the fuel gauge accuracy/sending unit problems. We were told it runs out of fuel at the fourth bar and it goes a ways before dropping down from full...

Also a little hesitation after slowing down and getting back to speed, mechanic said it was the Overdrive issue (any threads on this?)...we'll see what else comes along, but the ride is worth it.

was told the color of our FWB was Garland Red.

turbojimmy
06-23-11, 03:52 AM
Thanks to everyone here for your knowledge and input, it was all very helpful.
It did turn out to be a leaking cylinder. My mechanic checked the other one back there and it was about to go as well, so I had them replaced with new brake shoes,resurfaced and bled the system. All is good in Cadillac Heaven. The brake warning light does not show, so I will check the switch. I am not sure what maintenance has been done in its 102,000 miles, early in its life it went unregistered for a few years as it was owned by an old retired doctor. It is a '96 but was bought new in '98....
Anyway, Thanks again, I will probably post some of the other issues with it on another topic as I go along with this beauty.

You and/or your wife should notice a huge improvement in braking now. When I first got my car I had several issues related to the rear brakes that I wasn't aware of: small leaks, worn shoes, leaky wheel cylinders. Once I got it all fixed up I was amazed at how nicely these cars stop for such big vehicles.

With regard to the brake warning light, just make sure it's plugged in at the master cylinder. There's nothing to service there other than making sure it's plugged in. The proportioning valve, which would have had a bias toward the front when you lost the fluid in the rear and should have caused the light to come on, will reset itself once pressure is restored in the back.

I'm not aware of an "overdrive issue" with these cars, but I'm relatively new to the Fleetwood game.

HUF
06-23-11, 06:18 AM
Huf,
I will give it a look. I am currently reading old post about the fuel gauge accuracy/sending unit problems. We were told it runs out of fuel at the fourth bar and it goes a ways before dropping down from full...

Also a little hesitation after slowing down and getting back to speed, mechanic said it was the Overdrive issue (any threads on this?)...we'll see what else comes along, but the ride is worth it.

was told the color of our FWB was Garland Red.
Hesitation, shutter are often caused with weak ignition system, vacuum leak and a lot of other ENGINE problems often blamed on transmission. Our Fleetwoods share the same powertrain with Impala SS of the same years. You might want to check out their forum (http://www.impalassforum.com/vBulletin/index.php) along with this great forum for specifically powertrain issues.

Vacuum leak can be caused with bad EGR valve. It is on the back of the engine and easy to replace.

Another problem area is the distributor called Optispark aka Opticrap. It has a vent harness attached. Check the latter for proper operation. If you pull the vacuum line of that harness of a little blue elbow attached to air duct, plug the both with fingers and wait for a minute or so for vacuum to build up, the vacuum line should hold a piece of paper (vacuum should be at least 19 "Hg.)

Check this video for Opti operation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFCjaz6zHfc

These cars are relatively easy to work on. If you can do your work yourself and get the knowledge from forums, you'll save a lot of money and your car will be in a better shape.

red96fleetwood
06-23-11, 12:14 PM
As to the last two post, I did think it might be an ignition issue regarding the hesitation when accelerating. It only does it when the engine is warmed up and at its' worse when driving in OD slowing down and accelerating back up around third gear, sort of feels like passing over rough road . I don't think the plugs and wires have been changed-something I'm not capable of doing and my mechanic said its about a $500 job due to the placement of everything on the LT1....it's on my list.

I have read other post about the Cadillac Fleetwood torque converter lock up solenoid/issues related to that and that seems to be what I am experiencing. We did the "tapping of the break" test and that confirmed it. Like I said there are several other post that get into greater detail about this issue.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/rwd-19xx-1984-deville-fleetwood-1985/231799-just-purchased-1990-brougham-need-help.html

http://www.montecarloss.com/TCC_Solenoid.html#Definition

I did confirm this morning that the break warning light is not working and I'm not sure if I'm seeing the switch associated to it.. There is a connection down under the break booster, but not sure if that is it. Could it be a fuse? There are a few other lights I am not seeing when the key is turned that I would expect to see like the Check Engine..

HUF
06-23-11, 12:21 PM
If the brake light does not work the brake switch might be faulty. You cannot perform "brake tap" test of TCC locking with faulty brake switch.

Click on the video in this thread to learn running onboard diagnostics. The clip is about Roadmaster, but you will figure out how to do that on Fleetwood.
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/rwd-19xx-1984-deville-fleetwood-1985/173800-rwd-faq-tech-info.html

R (http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/rwd-19xx-1984-deville-fleetwood-1985/173800-rwd-faq-tech-info.html)eplacing spark plug wires on the passenger side is not fun, but $500 for the labor sounds too steep.
I bought OEM AC Delco 718F wire set for $70 with free next day shipping from this guys: autopartstomorrow.com

red96fleetwood
06-23-11, 12:34 PM
Thanks again Huff...I think his $500 quote was out the door-parts,labor and all...it does look like a tricky job to do. Let me check out this link...