Some vehicles are equipped with a hydroboost brake system. This uses the power steering pump instead of a vacuum booster to boost braking. The hydroboost unit contains a pressure piston that activates the master cylinder. If pressure piston seals fail, the hydroboost unit may leak. Power steering fluid may be visible around the brake master cylinder.
One of the easiest ways to tell if your vehicle has a fluid leak is to simply move your vehicle. Once you’ve moved your car you may notice fluid on the ground. Then, try and look at the color of the fluid to determine what is leaking. Power steering fluid is bright red. The color of brake fluid is often a pale yellow, but can also be several other colors. Check your brake fluid reservoir to find out the color of your brake fluid. If you can't determine the color of the fluid, check the level of the fluid in both the power steering reservoir and the brake fluid reservoir.
If you don’t notice any fluid spots, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a leak within the system. You should continue to monitor your fluid levels every time you change the oil. By regularly monitoring your power steering fluid you can ensure your brakes have the correct stopping power.