My Hayes “Purple” hydraulic brake lever doesn’t work. I thought the reservoir was empty, so I put some brake fluid in and it didn’t work. The lever comes down too far with no response to the brakes, then sorta clicks. What should I do? Any suggestions would help a lot because I am going biking soon.
Either the mechanical linkage to the piston is broken - which would explain the lack of return force, but if the lever is not loose and appears to be pushing the piston then the problem is in the hydraulic system.
The lever not returning indicates you have a bigger problem than just needing a bleed. If you lost substantial amount of hydraulic fluid you should be able to see a leak.
I think you have no option but to take it to a good bike mechanic for diagnosis and repair, or replacement.