Bill McGinnis is a retired ASE Certified Automobile Technician and Night Foreman of a taxicab repair shop in Northern Virginia. He has a special interest in fast and efficient testing to solve automotive problems.
If the brake system is in normal condition, you should never be able to smell brake fluid. If you do smell brake fluid, this indicates a leak of brake fluid from somewhere in the brake system. If the red "brake warning" light also comes on, simultaneous with the smell, this confirms the diagnosis: brake fluid leak. Once the red brake light comes on, the car should be towed, not driven to the place where the repairs are going to be made. (Make sure that the parking brake was not accidentally left on, because this, too, will cause the red brake warning light to appear.) Even if the red brake warning light does not come on, the smell of brake fluid alone is important enough to demand immediate attention, since the brakes simply will not work if the fluid level gets too low.
Your job now is to find the brake fluid leak(s) and repair it.
To learn what brake fluid smells like, you can buy a small can of brake fluid from an auto parts store, open it, and smell inside. Brake fluid has a characteristic smell which you will never forget once you learn it.
If you sniff around the entire car and smell no brake fluid, then it has passed the Brake Fluid Smell Test.
You can contact me, Rev. Bill McGinnis, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOD'S ONE LAW FOR ALL MANKIND:
"Love All People As Yourself."
"Treat Others As You Would Like To Be Treated."
GOD'S ONE LAW FOR ALL MANKIND: "Love All People As Yourself."