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  #1  
Old 12-30-2003, 05:45 AM
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Brakes going bad, could be master cylinder or booster, but which?

A while ago I put up a post about my brakes and the consensus was that it is the master cylinder that is bad. I was told that it could also be the booster on the other hand from other sources. So I'll tell you what the situation is and you can tell me your thoughts.

All the pads on my car a fine and the rotors are as well, the fronts rotors are almost up for replacement but not yet. There are no visible leaks in the system at the calipers and master cylinder and the fluid level has always stayed the same. The brakes have not been bled for at least a year. ABS works when it needs to. Pedal pressure is the same as its always been.

What happens is that at a stoplight the pedal slowly loses pressure and the car creeps foward. If I immediately pump the pedal it gets firm quickly and will normally hold, only sometimes will it lose pressure again. The pedal always feels firm, just looses pressure and falls to the floor.

From the search and reading past posts I'm fairly confident that it is the master cylinder, I just want to be sure. The only thing that I have heard about the booster going bad is that it creates a spongy feel which I don't have. So any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 12-30-2003, 06:46 AM
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Cool

With the engine off pump the brake pedal several times until it feel firm, holding your foot down firmly on the brake pedal start the engine, the pedal should move in as the engine starts.
If it does the brake booster is working.
The master cylinder could be leaking internally past it's seals.

englishman
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  #3  
Old 12-30-2003, 10:40 AM
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I agree. Sounds like a new master cylinder is in your future.

I hope you're not driving this car until it gets fixed ...
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  #4  
Old 12-30-2003, 01:23 PM
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I think I voted before, but I will vote for the MC again if it makes you feel better.

A booster problem is not going to let the pedal fall to the floor and a loss of system pressure. It would just increase the leg force required to accomplish pressure.
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  #5  
Old 12-30-2003, 04:54 PM
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Wink Master Cylinder 4-sure

Master cylinder 4 sure.

I experienced the same situation in another car while on a drive to New York, and before I could get there, I was losing brake pedal pressure on the NJ turnpike! Not a good feeling, so I had to gear down and use the hand brake until I could get to an auto parts store, and then a hotel where I could change it out in the parking lot.

When I removed the master cylinder, I discovered where my fluid had gone....into the brake booster, where the rubber diaphram is, and I knew that I had to clean it completely (if not the brake fluid would destroy the diaphram). So, thinking of what to use in a hotel parking lot at night, I looked in one tool bag, and found my fuel pressure guage....I removed the overflow tube (small clear tube) and hooked it to a vacum on my intake of the engine.

I then placed the tube in the booster, cranked the engine for vacum, and let the engine suck the brake fluid out. Needless to say, the white smoke at the tailpipe was clouding up inthe parking lot, since it was buring in the exhaust. When I was done, I tried to clear the smoke up, but was tired, so I went to sleep, and got up early the next morning, to get back on the NJ turnpike. Everyone was turning their heads while me and my girlfriend traveled on the highway, since we were leaving a thick white smoke trail behind us for miles. My girlfriend asked if it would ever quit smoking.....I laughed and said yes, eventually.

It smoked for almost 20 miles before buring away! Drivers on the road gave me plenty of space, and they caught up to me after it quit smoking (the ones that tried to motion t me that I was smoking )

Hope this helps. Good luck.
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  #6  
Old 12-30-2003, 10:06 PM
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Yet another MC vote... Internal leakage..
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2003, 01:02 AM
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Since everyone agrees that it's the master cylinder I went out today and bought one along with all the parts that are required to do the 150k service. I got a good deal on the master cylinder, it was less than $100. I think that I'm going to redo the whole brake system while I'm at it. Thanks for the info.
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  #8  
Old 12-31-2003, 08:09 AM
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Don't forget to bench bleed the m/c prior to installation.
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2003, 09:09 AM
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Master cylinder.
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