Sunday, 19 June 2016



The brake pedal going all the way to the floor can be caused by a number of different issues. All of the possible causes need to be addressed, even if the car is stopping fine.
If they don't, your master cylinder most likely is not pushing fluid out to the slave cylinders. When the brakes leak, there is no back pressure to the pedal. Check each wheel individually to see if the brake is in place and the slave cylinder is functioning properly

What's Wrong With My Brakes?

jeep brakes go to floor?
i have to push my brakes to the floor to stop?
brake pedal goes to floor when engine running?
brake pedal goes to floor slowly?
brake pedal goes to floor after bleeding?
brake pedal goes to floor after changing pads?
brake pedal goes all the way to the floor?
brake pedal goes to floor sometimes?

Easy step by step repair guide on how to fix a brake pedal that goes to the floor, which are presented in order of popularity, this article pertains to most vehicles.
One of the more common causes for the brake pedal going to the floor is a loss of brake fluid. When you're out of brake fluid, your brakes simply won't work. This is pretty easy to diagnose: You should be able to see brake fluid underneath the car if there's a leak in the system.

Another possible cause is a bad brake master cylinder. The master cylinder is where brake fluid gets compressed. Pressure on the brake fluid cases the brakes to be applied to the wheels. If your master cylinder doesn't work properly, or only works sometimes, you're going to lose braking power, and occasionally your brake pedal will go all the way to the floor.

Here's an additional reason a brake pedal could go all the way to the floor: a bad brake booster. The booster is a mechanism that uses vacuum pressure to take the force being applied to the brake pedal and amplify it. If the booster is bad, then the full amount of force needed to activate the master cylinder and pressurize the brake fluid isn't going to be there. The pedal will go all the way to the floor and the car will be harder to stop.

There's one more thing that could be causing the brake pedal to go all the way to the floor: you, the driver. The more the brakes are used, the hotter the brake fluid gets. The hotter the brake fluid gets the more liquid it becomes. It sounds silly, but it's sort of like what happens to Jell-O on a hot day: it goes from a thickish liquid to a thinner liquid. When the brake fluid gets hot and thin, it needs more force to be pressurized enough to operate the brakes; your braking system may not be able to generate the force necessary. So, if your brake pedal frequently goes to the floor and you can't find a mechanical reason, check out your driving style. Make sure you aren't riding the brakes, and always make sure you take off the parking brake before you head out.
Before beginning work place the vehicle on level ground with the parking brake set, using a basic set of tools while wearing protective eye wear and gloves.
Brake pedal goes to floor
Step 1 - Check the level of brake fluid in the brake master cylinder, its normal for fluid to be a little low if the brake pads orshoes have worn down.
If pads or shoes are in good shape, and the brake master cylinder reservoir is empty, the system is leaking. (Note: Vehicle should not be driven.)
Check the master cylinder, calipers or wheel cylinders for leakage, if brake fluid is present they need to be replaced (Note: If brake fluid has contacted pads or shoes they should be replaced as well). Visit - Replace Wheel Cylinder
Wheel cylinder
Step 2 - When a brake master cylinder bypasses it allows fluid to revert into the fluid reservoir rather than creating brake line pressure causing a low or a non existent brake pedal. Visit -Brake Master Cylinder Replacement
Brake master cylinder
Step 3 - When the rear brake shoes wear down due to usage, theself adjuster is designed to not allow the brake shoes to contact the drum in most cases which causes an air gap.
This condition will cause the brake pedal to be low and seem like its going to the floor due to the excessive travel for the shoes to connect the drum.
If the brake system is not leaking and the brake master is in good shape remove the rear tires and drums to inspect the brake shoe condition and replace as needed.
Worn out brake shoes
Step 4 - Occasionally when a brake caliper or rear wheel cylinder fail they can allow air to get sucked into the system when the brake pedal is released after being depressed (without leaking fluid).
Bleed the brake system, if air is observed from any bleeder a second time replace the caliper or wheel cylinder and re-bleed system.
Brake System Bleeding
Step 5 - If the axle bearing fails it can allow the rotor to move back and forth while driving forcing the brake pads inward into the caliper creating an air gap.
As the brakes are applied the pedal will go to the floor as the caliper fills with fluid to close the gap, in these cases it will take two or more pumps to regain normal operation, inspect andreplace failed axle bearings as needed.
Axle bearing hub
If further assistance is needed, our certified technicians are ready to answer your car repair questions for free.
Related Information

Why it goes bad and what it feels like (and why your pedal goes to the floor)

The brake pedal goes to the floor when pressed. There may be little or no braking action when the pedal is depressed. The Red Brake Warning Lamp may be illuminated indicating a system failure.Many of us have experienced it at some time or other: You're sitting at a light, pressing softly on the pedal, just enough to hold the car still, and the pedal slowly begins descending, all the way to the floor. You think you're imagining it, but down it goes. Just to be sure, you let the pedal rise again and stomp on it, but now it stays up! What's going on?

If you get the symptoms above (very gentle, soft application slowly drops the pedal to the floor; hard application sees it remain high) then your master cylinder seals are worn out or damaged. If you had a line leak, or a leak at one of the wheels, the pedal would go to the floor at all times, however slowly. Pushing hard or soft would not change that.

Eventually, if you're dumb enough to drive with a pedal that goes to the floor, it will go to the floor all the time when you press the pedal, but you'd have to ignore the symptoms for a long time.

Line leaks and wheel cylinder leaks eventually result in obvious fluid on the backs of the tires, or on your driveway. And the reservoir level will drop. Air in the lines can also cause the pedal to go to the floor, by usually results in a spongy, soft pedal. Master cylinder leaks are invisible. No drips, no wet spots, no change in the reservoir level. All you have is the dropping, spongy pedal.
The pedal goes all the way to the floor and there are no brakes.

What can you do? Scream? Pray? Try pumping the brake pedal as fast as you can. It might generate enough pressure to apply the brakes and stop your car. If nothing happens, apply the parking (emergency) brake as hard as you can. It should start to slow your vehicle immediately. If you can't react quickly enough and are in danger of crashing into another vehicle, look for a way to avoid the collision. Blare your horn and try to steer your way around other vehicles or obstacles. Eventually your vehicle will coast to a stop. Pull over to the side of the road, shut the engine off, put the transmission into Park (or leave it in gear if it is a stick), set the parking brake and call for help. DO NOT attempt to drive your car until the problem that caused your brakes to fail has been diagnosed and repaired.

USUAL CAUSEbrake_pedal
Very low brake fluid or a defective Master Cylinder is the usual cause of this symptom. The master cylinder pressurizes the brake system when the pedal is depressed and provides hydraulic fluid to each of the wheels to apply the brakes. The braking system is designed to illuminate the Red Brake Warning lamp when a hydraulic failure is present.Possible Causes of No Brakes (Brake Failure)

One of the most likely causes of no brakes is loss of fluid pressure in your brake system. The brakes operate using hydraulic pressure, so if there is a fluid leak in a brake line, brake hose, wheel cylinder or caliper, there may not be enough fluid pressure in the lines to apply the brakes.

When a serious leak occurs, the red BRAKE Warning Light should come on when you apply the brakes. This is to warn you that that has been a loss of pressure in part of your brake system and that your vehicle may be unsafe to drive in its present condition. Check the fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir. If the reservoir is extremely low or dry, you have a serious brake fluid leak. The entire brake system needs to be inspected for leaks so the fluid leak can be found the fixed.

Sudden fluid loss can occur if a rubber brake hose cracks or breaks, or if a steel brake line rusts through. Rusty steel brake lines are common on older vehicles that are exposed to lots of road salt and moisture. Salt can be very corrosive, especially if the anti-corrosion coating on the steel brake lines is thin or of poor quality. Once the rust eats through the line, you have a brake line failure as the fluid blows out and you lose your brakes.

If the brake pedal goes all the way to the floor when you apply the brakes, another cause might be severely worn brake linings. Or, air in your brake lines, which would require bleeding the lines to get rid of the air.

Another possible cause of brake failure might be a faulty ABS modulator that is leaking brake pressure internally and is not routing pressure to the brakes when you step on the pedal. This has been a known problem on older Ford and GM pickup trucks with rear-wheel Kelsey-Hayes antilock brakes. Dirt or rust in the brake system can enter the modulator and prevent the spring-loaded accumulator valve from closing, allowing the modular to leak internally.

Another possibility would be a bad Master Brake Cylinder. If the piston seals inside the master cylinder are worn or damaged and are not applying pressure when you push on the brake pedal.

A faulty power brake booster that is not providing much if any power assisted braking will increase pedal effort, but it will not cause the brakes to fail. You just have to push on the pedal much harder than normal to stop your car.

Brake fade and/or brake fluid boil are other conditions that may occur as a result of the brakes getting too hot (often as a result of mountain driving, driving aggressively, racing or riding the brakes for a long period of time. As heat builds up in the brake linings, it takes more and more pressure to achieve the same friction and braking force when the brakes are applied. The pedal may remain firm but the brakes just don't seem to have much stopping power when you apply them. The fix for this condition is to slow down and give the brakes a chance to cool. Hot brakes may also cause the fluid inside the front calipers to boil. This forms a steam pocket that may increase pedal travel to the point where there is not enough pedal travel to apply the brakes. Pumping the brakes may help in this situation.

If you have just performed other brake work on the vehicle and the hydraulic system was opened, the most probable cause is air in the system. The system will need to be bled according to manufacturers recomendations. The first step in diagnosing this symptom is to inspect the brake fluid level at the master cylinder. If the fluid level is low, the system will need to be inspected for leaks. The calipers, wheel cylinders (on drum brakes) will need to be inspected. Brake pads that are completely worn can cause low fluid level. This is a result of the caliper pistons being completely extended, causing most of the brake fluid to reside in the calipers. The brake pads and shoes (if equipped) should be inspected for signs of brake fluid contamination indicating a leak. Inspect the calipers for leaks at the rubber dust boot around the pistons. The dust boot on the wheel cylinder will have to be pulled off slightly to inspect for leaks. Check the hydraulic lines, proportioning valve and flexible hoses for leaks. Inspect the master cylinder where it mounts on the brake booster for signs of leaks. Loosening the master cylinder retaining bolts and pulling it back slightly, will usually result in detection of a leak if present. If leaking, the fluid will run out of the mating surfaces. In this case, the master cylinder will require replacement. If there are no fluid leaks present or the fluid level is normal and the brake pads and shoes (if equipped) are in good condition, the most probable cause of the symptom is a defective master cylinder.

Determining the cause of the failure will dictate what corrective action is necessary. If the hydraulic system needs to be serviced, as with replacement of the master cylinder, it will need to be bled of all the air once it has been resealed. Refer to the manufacturers specific bleeding procedures.Three things will cause the master cylinder to leak:
1) Old age
2) Neglecting fluid changes
3) Using the pedal-pump method of fluid bleeding in a car that has not had the fluid changed regularly

1) Old age is simply the fact that the seals can't rub back and forth against a metal surface for too many years before the action abrades them to the point that they are unable to hug the cylinder walls tightly any more. I just had this happen to my Integra. :( It looks like 248,000 miles is about the limit.

2) Neglected fluid changes will dramatically shorten seal life, since the fluid absorbs water. The fluid in the reservoir drops as the brake pads wear, and is displaced by air that seeps in from the outside through the reservoir cap. Air carries moisture. Well, water is heavier than brake fluid and sinks to the bottom of the  master cylinder bore. And what does water do to aluminum? It makes a little black skunk-stripe of corrosion along the bottom of the bore. This corrosion is rough, and tears the seals up. 

Even if your master cylinder's alloy is very resistant to corrosion, there is one more reason neglected fluid changes cause leakage: swollen seals. With the passage of many years the brake fluid absorbs water. The longer it's ignored, the higher the concentration of water present in the fluid. The seals are constructed of materials that valiantly resist absorbing water, but given quite enough time, eventually they do. That water swells the seals. Of course, a rubber seal can distort, but an aluminum master cylinder bore won't. And so the seals compress against the cylinder bore and distort. Permanently. 
This is OK after a fashion, but then one day you decide to change the fluid. Well, now the water in the seals wants to migrate to the new fluid, resulting in the seals eventually SHRINKING as the water vacates its premises. The seals don't un-distort to fill their original space, they stay squished! So if you change your fluid without pumping the brake pedal and days or weeks later the pedal goes to the floor, guess what? The neglect caught up to you anyway. 

Basically the difference between the two is this: 
Change the fluid and there's an immediate leakage problem: torn seals 
Change the fluid and days or weeks later there's a leakage problem: seal shrinkage. 

3) This item is related to Item 2... In normal use, the master cylinder pushrod and seals only move about a half-inch or so every time you step on the pedal, even when you step hard. However, total travel is over an inch when the pedal goes to the floor when you do the pedal-pump bleed. This means that there is about a half-inch of master cylinder bore that never gets used except when the pedal goes to the floor. If fluid changes have not been done for five years or so, goop, gunk and corrosion builds up in this unused portion. When you then bleed with the pedal-pump method and the pedal goes to floor afterwards, you've damaged the rubber seals agains this buildup.

If the vehicle is equipped with ABS, certain ABS components can cause this symptom. In this case, the system should be serviced according to manufacturers recommendations. If servicing the hydraulic system, use caution not to contaminate the system with dirt, debris or water. Always use the recommended brake fluid DOT rating. This information can be obtained from your owners manual or off the cap on the master cylinder.

Troubleshooting Brake Problems - Brake Pedal Too Low

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan / Staff / Getty Images News / Getty Images
Your brakes are probably the most important part of your car. Without an intake system, you'll just sit there. But at least you won't hit a tree while you're just sitting there! Seriously, brakes aren't something to play around with. If your car is having a braking problem, whether it's weak brakes, a mushy pedal, grinding sounds - whatever your brake problem is, you need to troubleshoot and repair it as soon as possible.

We'll help you diagnose your braking problem so you know what repairs to make.
Brake Pedal Goes Too Far Down to Stop.If you step on the brake pedal and it feels like it's going too far down before you start to slow, you might have the following problems:
  • Low Brake Fluid Level: Check your brake fluid. If it's low, top it off to the mark on the side of the reservoir.
  • Contaminated Brake Fluid: Even though your brakes operate in a closed system, contaminants can still work there way into the works. Air can enter the system through the smallest hole, and you can end up with water in the system from condensation and other means. There's not really any way to check for this, but bleeding your brakes will remove the bad stuff and replace it with new fluid.
  • Worn Brake Pads: Your brakes should never wear low enough to cause your brake pedal to feel low, they'll scream at you before then. But if they do get very low, you might have this problem. Replace your brake pads as soon as possible. Of course, this can be avoided with regular brake inspection.
  • Bad Brake Power Boost Unit: Finally, if your brake booster goes bad you'll have low brake pedal issues. Most brake boosters are vacuum controlled, so a special vacuum measurement device that connects to the brake booster is needed to check it. If it's bad, you'll have to replace the boost unit.
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Troubleshooting Brake Problems - Brake Pedal Too Firm

Brake Pedal Too Firm.If you step on the brake pedal and all of a sudden it feels like you're doing leg presses at the gym with a new personal trainer, your brake pedal may be too firm. This symptom points to a few potential problems, all of which need to be fixed as soon as possible.

  • Vacuum Problems: Your brakes are easier to press because of a brake booster that gives your foot the strength of 10 men. This booster uses vacuum to help you activate the brakes. If there is a vacuum leak somewhere in the system, it won't have enough negative pressure to do its job. Check the vacuum system for leaks. If you find none, your brake booster is probably bad and will need to be replaced. This can be tested by a shop if you want to be sure.
  • Brake Line Obstruction: It's possible for something to block brake fluid from reaching a portion of the system. This could be something in the line like a chunk of rust, or it could be a pinched brake line. Visually inspect the brake lines and replace damaged brake lines as needed.
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Troubleshooting Brake Problems - No Brake Pressure - Pedal Goes To Floor

Brake Pedal Goes To Floor.If you step on the brake pedal and it has little to no pressure and goes all the way to the floor, especially if you're getting no braking:
  • Low Brake Fluid Level: Check your brake fluid. If it's low, top it off to the mark on the side of the reservoir.
  • Air in the Brake Fluid: Even though your brakes operate in a closed system, contaminants can still work there way into the works. Air can enter the system through the smallest hole. There's not really any way to check for this, but bleeding your brakes will remove the air and replace it with new fluid.
  • Master Cylinder Bad: A bad master cylinder will cause your brakes to have no pressure. Master cylinders cannot be repaired and will need to be replaced.
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Troubleshooting Brake Problems - Weak or Spongy Brakes

Weak or Spongy Brakes.Sometimes your brakes will still work, but they seem to have grown weak. It takes longer to stop, or you get less braking power when you apply the brakes suddenly. The pedal may also feel more squishy than usual:

  • Low Brake Fluid Level: Check your brake fluid. If it's low, top it off to the mark on the side of the resevoir.
  • Contaminated Brake Fluid: Even though your brakes operate in a closed system, contaminants can still work there way into the works. Air can enter the system through the smallest hole, and you can end up with water in the system from condensation and other means. There's not really any way to check for this, but bleeding your brakes will remove the bad stuff and replace it with new fluid.
  • Worn Brake Pads: Your brakes should never wear low enough to cause your brake pedal to feel low, they'll scream at you before then. But if they do get very low, you might have this problem. Replace your brake pads as soon as possible. Of course, this can be avoided with regular brake inspection.
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Troubleshooting Brake Problems - Brakes Grabbing or Pulling

Brakes Grabbing or Pulling.Your brakes should apply themselves smoothly and even;y when you push the pedal. If they seem to suddenly grab, or if they are pulling the car to one side, you may have one of these problems:

  • Worn or Bad Brake Pads: If your brakes are very worn, or if they have become contaminated or are otherwise bad, you'll need to replace your brake pads.
  • Bad Brake Disc: Inspect your brake discs. If one or both are bad, they can cause your brakes to grab suddenly or unevenly. You'll need to replace your brake discs. They should always be done in pairs, so don't try to skimp.
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    Troubleshooting Brake Problems - Pedal Vibration

    Pedal Vibration.If you step on the pedal and feel a vibration, you're in for some troubleshooting. There are lots of things which can cause the pedal to vibrate when you apply the brakes. Rememeber, if your car is equipped with ABS (most are these days), the pedal will seem to vibrate when you brake very, very hard. The system does this to keep them from locking up. This is normal. Otherwise, check these causes:

    • Bad Brake Pads: If your pads have become contaminated with oil or another substance, they can vibrate as they grip the brake rotor. You'll need to replace your brake pads.
    • Bad Brake Disc: Inspect your brake discs. If one or both are bad, they can cause your brakes to grab suddenly or unevenly. You'll need to replace your brake discs. They should always be done in pairs, so don't try to skimp.
    • Car Out of Alignment: If your car is out of alignment, this can cause your front end to wiggle madly, causing a vibration. Get an alignment.
    • Worn Front Suspension: Any number of worn suspension parts can cause vibrations. Worn ball joints, a bad steering rack, worn tie rod ends, a bad wheel bearing or upper strut bearing, and even a bad front strut could cause it. Start checking.
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    Troubleshooting Brake Problems - Brakes Dragging

    Brakes Dragging.Your brakes should let go immediately as you take your foot off the pedal. If they don't, this can cause brake overheating as well as premature wear to brake parts. Check these potential problems:

    • Bad Wheel Cylinder: A bad wheel cylinder may not relax and release its pressure. A stuck wheel cylinder will cause the brakes to remain on, even slightly at times. Replace your wheel cylinder.
    • Parking Brake Fails to Release: If your parking brake doesn't fully release, your parking brake will be on a little bit all the time. Since it is controlled by a cable, you may need to lubricate the cable ends and the parts associated with the cable. If the cable is still sticking, it may be frayed inside and will need to be replaced.
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    Troubleshooting Brake Problems - Brakes Squeal or Whine

    Brakes Squealing or Whining.Brakes make those high pitched noises for a few reasons, some of which are no big deal at all:

    • Worn Brake Pads: When your brakes are worn and need replacing, they are designed to let you know by giving you some loud squeaks when you apply the brakes. Replace your brake pads.
    • Brake Pads Vibrating: Your brake pads are installed with a little metal gasket between the brake pad and the piston. This gasket absorbs the vibrations that can increase in frequency to the point of squealing. If they are missing, replace them. There are also special anti-squeal lubricants you can apply to shut them up.
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      Troubleshooting Brake Problems - Clunking Sounds

      Brakes Make a Clunking Sound.Sounds that go "clunk" are generally not good sounds. This is true for brakes. A clunk means something down there needs to be fixed:

      • Something is Loose: If any of the bolts that hold your brakes together or attach them to the suspension are loose, the brakes will clunk as they shift slightly when you apply the brakes. Inspect your bolts and nuts to be sure everything is tight.
      • Worn or Broken Suspension Components: Any number of worn suspension parts can cause vibrations. Worn ball joints, a bad steering rack, worn tie rod ends, a bad wheel bearing or upper strut bearing, and even a bad front strut could cause it. Start checking.

      Why is the brake pedal going all the way to the floor on Audi A4

      My Audi A4 2.0 TDI 2007 brake issue. I have a problem with my brake pedal disappearing all the way to the floor. I have tried to change my master cylinder, but there was no difference. I have narrowed the problem down to the front end, because if I blind the front hoses, I get "pedal" as on my other cars. If I blind the two rear, and just one of the front hoses (doesn't matter which), the pedal goes to the floor. I can feel that the car doesn't stop as fast as it should. I am able to pump pressure onto the pedal as long as the engine is not running.
      The problem came after changing brake pads in the front end. The brake lines have been flushed to see if there was any air trapped. No Air found. I held my finger on the nipple to make sure that no air got back into the system. Then I changed the master cylinder. I bleed fluid down to the ABS unit until there was no air in the lines. Then I flushed out of the ABS unit, and the last step was to bleed down to the callipers until no air was found. So what you say is that the ABS have to be activated while bleeding to get out all the air?

      I assume there is no electronic sound as if the ABS were activated or you would have mentioned it. I suspect one of two things. Either air has gotten into the system somehow (previous repair work, failed component), or possibly one of the calliper “sliders” is seized and the front brakes are wearing in such a way that the pistons have to move excessively (should travel only a fraction of a mm) to cause the vehicles pedal to sink.
      Whatever the cause the first step would be a thorough inspection of the brakes (particularly the fronts). Remove the wheels so you can get a good look. If everything looks in order and the brakes are wearing evenly, have an assistant depress the brake pedal while you observe. If anything is found to be of concern and you don’t know what to do, let me know and I will continue to assist you.
      If everything checks out with the inspection, the next step would be a complete bleeding/flushing of the brake fluid. This should be done with a pressure bleeder and scanner to activate the ABS pump during the bleeding process, so I do not recommend this to the DIY mechanic. Brake fluid is hydroscopic (attracts and retains water) so the system should be flushed every 2 years. I recommend if you do not find anything with your inspection that you take it to a garage that can perform the flush for you. At the same time they should be alert to the fact to look for air being expelled during the flush process. Dependent on how much air, where (L/F, R/F, etc.), and when the air is expelled could air in the diagnosis of this condition.
      Let's start back at when it started. When you changed the brake pads, this should not have caused any change in the pedal travel feel (pedal going to floor). How do you account for this?
      If you bleed the brakes with someone pumping the pedal and "holding a finger over the nipple" on the "up stroke" this WILL NOT assure air is not being sucked back as the threads of the nipple are not sealed and leak air. When doing a manual bleed, the nipple MUST be closed between pumps!
      Typically during the flushing process you do not need to activate the ABS pump during the process, however if air is somehow introduced into the ABS pump it becomes necessary. If you took precaution not to let air into it "flushed Out of the ABS unit" it will likely be ok. What you could do is with the engine started and in gear allow the wheels to spin and ABS to activate several times during the bleeding process. 
      The chances of success are far greater if you have a pressure bleeder to bleed these systems. Not only does it prevent any air from getting sucked back, but assure that the reservoir does not run out of fluid and air be reintroduced. It's been awhile, but I have had several Audis (typically the older A6s) that have been VERY difficult to get bleed out after ABS or master cylinder repairs.
      So I would try bleeding it again, at least the front wheels, closing the nipples between strokes. If that does not do it I suggest you seek the assistance of someone with a pressure bleeder.
      Then there is the matter of how this all started in the first place. Did you open the hydraulic system somehow to introduce air?
      If you did not open a bleeder or hose when changing the pads, introduction of air is not likely. I would go back and look over your work carefully, dismantle and inspect if necessary. I believe something to be amiss.
      The odds "junk" being in the system of an 07 year model vehicle are low to nil.
      I suggest you reinspect the mechanicals of the front brakes. See if you have something installed incorrectly and advise you.
      Was the piston exposed? It should be sealed with the protective boot? If the piston was exposed and oxidized, this could well be the cause of the condition. It needs to be a SMOOTH surface free of any deficiencies. If not, it is likely the cause.
      If it was exposed and the surface damaged, this is the likely cause, and should be replaced.


      Nissan D21 brake pedal goes to floor( Repair Solution)

      The brake pedal goes to floor. No pressure at all. We filled master cylinder. Went to the pass rear tire to bleed line. Started to pump it squirted a little then all air. No fluid ever came threw. Same result on all 4 tires. What do I do

      Here is what you do. 

      1. Fill the reservoir with fresh clean brake fluid.

      2. One wheel at a time. Start at the furthest from the brake master cylinder reservoir which is going to be the right rear wheel. I'm going to have you do what is called a power bleed. So please follow these steps in order to get the fluid flowing again.

      3. Have someone in the cab to operate the brake pedal. Open the bleeder. Tell them to push the pedal to the floor.

      4. Have them tell you when the pedal is down by saying "down". It will drop fast and with 0 pressure. This is to be expected.

      5. Once the pedal is at the floor and they have told you it is down, close the bleeder. Now tell them "up". They should release the pedal and it will come up.

      Do this a until you start to get fluid flowing. Do it until you get a steady stream. Make sure you check that the fluid reservoir still has fluid in it or you will have to start over.

      Once you get good flow with little are at the wheel, close the bleeder, have them pump the pedal 10 times and then hold on the tenth time. Open the bleeder to release any pressure. The pedal will fall to the floor, again normal. Once you do this and there is no air coming out you are in good shape. 

      Once the right rear wheel is done, check the fluid reservoir and top it off. Move on to the other wheels in this order.

      Left Rear, Right Front, Left Front.

      DO NOT pump the pedal and hold then release the bleeder.

      DO start with the bleeder open, push the pedal down to the floor, close the bleeder, then release the pedal once the bleeder is closed. 

      This is a different variation of bleeding a hydraulic system which prevents internal pressure from trapping air and making it hard to bleed.

      Please re-read the method I posted and try it. If that does not work then you will most likely require a new brake master cylinder. That will need to be bench bled or you will face the same issue. 

      I think you will have success if you try my method. You can also leave one bleeder open and allow it gravity bleed until fluid starts to trickle out, then start the bleeding procedure.


      Traction Control and ABS Lights are On

      My traction control and ABS lights come on about 1 mile of driving. They stay on most of the time. What can I do to fix my brake problem? (2004 Chevy Avalanche)
      Answer: The first thing that needs to be done is a code check. If these lights are on then there are codes set in your computer. Most auto parts stores and many repair shops will do this for free. After you know the code you will be able to narrow down the possibilities.
      The most likely cause of your brake problems is the wheel speed sensors on your vehicle. Many times they go bad and the computer is no longer able to read them to tell how fast each wheel is spinning so it turns off your traction control system and many times your ABS system as well until the problem is resolved. There are many other things like the ABD control unit, the computer, wiring, etc. that can cause these lights to come on but they are not as likely.

      It is important to get this brake problem fixed as the system will not work correctly until it is repaired. Normally, if a speed sensor does need to be replaced, it is not an expensive fix.

      Brake Pressure Problem

      I'm having car brake problems. My 1992 Toyota Camry blew a leak in the left front brake hose, (just past the midway clamp).
      The pads had been replaced about 10 days prior and other than the visual brake fluid present in the wheel well there was no notable loss of pressure while driving. We replaced both the hose and the flexible line as the coupling between the two had rusted and we couldn't separate them. All the fittings are tight, checked numerous times. We bled all the brakes, RR, RL, FR, FL, twice.
      Problem is...lots of brake pedal pressure when the car is running but as soon as you start it and depress the brake pedal, it goes to the floor. We did not bleed the Master Brake Cylinder, (that was going to be our next step). Any other suggestions?
      Answer: It sounds like the classic symptoms of having air in the brake lines. You normally do not have to bleed the master cylinder when you replace a brake line, but it is possible to get air in it.

      I suggest you go back and bleed them one more time starting with the one that is the furthest from the master cylinder. When bleeding the brake lines be sure that the master cylinder is ALWAYS full of fluid. It would even be a good idea to get someone to watch it constantly while the brakes are being bled.

      When bleeding the brakes I normally open the bleeder valve and give the pedal about five good pushes, then hold the pedal to the floor and close the bleeder valve. After the valve is closed then let up on the pedal and open the valve just a little and push down on the pedal and hold it to the floor and close the valve. Do this about five times for each wheel.

      This procedure should get all of the air out. I have rarely had any problems when bleeding brakes like that.

      Leaking Brake Fluid

      My car is leaking brake fluid inside drivers wheel well and the pedal goes to floor. I'm sure the leaking is the cause for the pedal to go to floor. How difficult will it be to replace and repair the problem assuming its a leaking line. (1996 Chrysler Cirrus)
      Answer: Thanks for using my website and asking me your question. There are two common things that can cause this type of problem.

      The first thing that might be happening is that you might have a caliper piston seal that is leaking. If this is the case it is just a matter of replacing the brake caliper and bleeding the brake system.

      The most likely cause of this problem is a bad brake hose. Many times they break where the metal line turns into a flexible rubber line. If this it the case then you just need to replace the line and bleed the brake system.

      Either way it should not be too hard or expensive to repair. I hope this helps with your brake fluid leak problem.

      Brake Light is On

      My 1996 Acura Integra LS brake light on the dash stays on without the brake being on, what brake problems should I look into?
      Answer: The first thing to check is that your emergency brake is not stuck on. Try to engage it then let it go and see if that makes the light go out or flicker or anything. This is a common cause for brake problems.
      Another thing to look into is the switch at the top of your brake pedal. If it is faulty, it might cause your brake light to stay on. An easy way to check this is to have someone watch the lights while you pull up on the brake pedal. If the brake lights go off then that is most likely your car brake problem.

      You also should check your brake fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir. If it is low it will cause the light to come on even though your brakes are working fine. If you find that it is low then you need to track down the leak.
      There is no reason for the brake fluid to be low unless it is leaking out somewhere. You'll want to check around your wheels to see if a wheel cylinder or caliper is leaking. If no, look under your dash where the brake pedal goes through the firewall. If it is wet, it means the master cylinder is leaking. Finally check the master cylinder to see if it is leaking externally.

      Power Surges and ABS Light is On

      I just spent $1,200 having repairs done on my 2003 Windstar. I had the front sway bars replaced on both sides, front wheel bearings replaced on both sides and the power steering fluid motor replaced.

      The power steering fluid motor was cracked and was seized to the frame and they had one heck of a time getting it off.

      Anyway, as soon as I left the lot and put the brake on for the first time the brakes crunched (just like you are sliding on ice in the winter) and the ABS light came on and stayed on. The only time it goes out is when I turn my vehicle off, but it goes on the first time I brake again.

      Also when I put my cruise control on, the van surges forward and then slows down (as much as 10 kmh per surge) . For instance if I put it on cruise at 100 kmh (62mph) it will surge and drag between 110 kmh and 90 kmh but does not stay steady at 100 kmh like it used to. Also I notice while it is surging and dragging the rpm meter is also going up and down.

      These two problems were not there before I had the other repairs done. I know I have to take it back in to be fixed but would like some idea what the problems are and if (in your opinion) these were caused by something they did during their repairs.

      Thanks for your help!

      Answer: Thanks for submitting your question. I know it is very frustrating when you take your car for repairs and you have problems as soon as you drive off the lot.

      The first thing you should do is take your car back to the shop that did the work. It definitely sounds like something that they did wrong. This is why:

      Each wheel has speed sensors that are built into the wheel bearings. These speed sensors tell the cars computer how fast each wheel is turning. They are also used for ABS braking - If the computer sees that the wheels are sliding, it will activate the ABS system. These sensors are also used for the cruise control system. This is how the cruise control computer knows how fast the car is going.

      If the speed sensors are not working properly, then it can cause all the problems that you are having. Most likely the shop did not get the wheel bearings installed correctly, or they could have even gotten the wrong parts. Either way they need to repair this car brake problem and they need to do it at no charge to you.

      Vehicle Shakes When Stopping

      Hey, I've got a 2004 Ford F-150 XLT Crew Cab with low km's (30,000). I picked it up 2 months ago and have started noticing that the truck shakes when I come to a complete stop. It doesn't happen if I VERY gradually come to a stop, only regular stop and go city driving or, if need be, heavy braking situations. It also only happens after the vehicle has come to a complete stop.
      I watched the RPM's and they don't move, but it almost sounds like the truck is stalling out. Any information would be great!
      Answer: The first thing I would do is look for a vacuum leak. It sounds like you might have one. It is possible that your brake booster is leaking which could cause your shaking. There is also a PVC elbow on the back of the intake manifold that is prone to degrade and cause leakage. These are the first things to check.

      The next things to check are the IAC and the Throttle Body. Both of these should be cleaned with a good brake cleaner. You could also clean the Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF) these will sometimes cause this type of problem.

      The above mentioned items are the most likely causes of your truck brake problems. That said, there are other things that could cause problem with brakes, such as injectors, ignition coils, Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system problem (The EGR valve could be sticking open), etc.
      Without being able to read the datastream that the computer is putting out, it is impossible for me to give you much more help than this. I think if you check all of the items I've listed you will probably find your brake problem.

      Brake Stays On

      When I apply my brakes they feel like they stay on. The rotors and wheels get very hot! I have a 2003 Chevy S10 4x4 V6.
      Answer: Thanks for sharing your brake question. There are quite a few things that can cause this type of brake problem. If all of the brakes seem to stay on, the master cylindercould be the culprit or you could have a problem with a brake hose. You could also have a problem with your ABS (Anti-lock Brake System).

      If the braking problem was only with one wheel, I would say it is probably your brake caliper sticking... but since it sounds like it is happening to all of your wheels, then that is most likely not the case.

      I recommend that you check your brake fluid to be sure that it is not really dark and degraded. If you have done all of the above but you are still having problems with braking, then you should take your vehicle down to a good mechanic or brake shop.

      Squeaking Brake Problem

      I have a 1994 Lexus LS400 with 161K miles. I recently took it to Mienke for front metallic break pads. The breaks are fine in the morning, in the afternoon they start to squeak. I paid $125 for lifetime breaks. Is this normal? Should I take it back to Mienke to get my money back and go to the dealer. I normally do most repair work at the Toyota dealer.
      Answer: Thanks for your question Laverne. Brake squeaking is a common complaint and there are many things that can cause this brake noise problem. Some things that might be causing your brakes to squeak are low quality brake pads, long life pads, rotors that need to be "turned" (smoothed out by removing a small amount of their metal surface), dust and grime, etc.

      I'm assuming that you did not have this brake problem before you took your car to them so the squeaking brakes are caused by the work that they did.

      Metallic pads have small pieces of metal in them and some brands have more than others. The more metal, the more likely they are to squeal. Brake pad manufacturers use metal in place of the asbestos that they used to use.

      "Lifetime" brake pads usually contain more metal in them which is why they last longer, unfortunately the side effect of having more metal is the fact that they will probably also squeal a lot more.

      I would recommend that you return to the shop that replaced your brakes and just have them take a look to make sure that there is nothing wrong. I suspect that everything is fine, but it does not hurt to have them take another look.

      Parking Brake Problem

      My parking brake goes to the floor but will not hold the vehicle. What is causing my brake problems? (2002 Chevy Avalanche)
      Answer: There are several things that might be causing your brake problem. The first is that your parking brake shoes might be worn out or they could be misadjusted.

      There could be a problem with the parking brake cable. It could be broken or came loose somewhere. You need to get under your vehicle, find the cable and check to see if it is loose. These are the most common things that could be causing your brake problems. It should not cost a lot of money to fix this brake problem.

      Brake Pedal Goes to the Floor

      1992 Sedan Deville. Suddenly, the brake pedal goes down and feels like the car won't stop. Repair center tried bleeding the brakes. They said the right rear wheel cylinder was blocked. They said to replace both cylinders.
      My brakes did same thing on way home. No leak, fluid full. Brake pads are fine.
      Answer: The most likely cause of your brake problem is an internally leaking master cylinder. This is a common problem with brakes.
      What happens is the seals inside the master cylinder get old and brittle or crack so they cannot hold the pressure that is needed in your braking system. Since it leaks on the inside, there is no external leaking.

      If there are no leaks on the exterior of your car, then there are very few other thing that would lead to this type of brake problem.

      Vehicle Shakes When Stopping

      I have an 2005 Chevy Colorado with a manual transmission. When I come to a stop the whole truck shakes. Some have told me it is the clutch. What could it be? Thanks, Jeremy.

      Answer: The first thing that I will say is that if your truck shakes only when the brakes are applied then you probably have warped rotors or drums. This is a fairly common brake problem. If the steering wheel shakes during braking, it indicates warped rotors. If it just shakes when you apply the brakes but does not really come through the steering wheel, then it is most likely because of warped drums.

      If your truck shakes when you are not using your brakes, then there are some other possibilities for your brake problems. If your have worn suspension parts or faulty U- joints, it can cause this probelm as well. It isn't likely for a bad tire, wheel bearing or clutch to be the culprit, it is still possible.

      The first thing you need to do is figure out if this shaking only happens when you brake. I suspect it does and if so then you probably need new rotors and/or drums.

      Brakes Lines are Coiled

      What is the reason for brake line to be coiled between the master cylinder and poportioning valve? This is on a 1960 Chevy Impala with single reservoir.

      Answer: Great question! This is something that many people have wondered and something that I wondered for many years. The answer is actually very simple and probably not what most people expect.

      The reason for all the coils in your brake line is simply to add flexibility. Normally a brake master cylinder is located on the vehicle's firewall and the proportioning valve is usually bolted onto the frame. The frame and body are attached with rubber mounts that actually give quite a bit of flexibility when doing things like stopping quickly.
      If the brake lines were straight when this happened then would bend and eventually be weakened and break. With the brake lines coiled they is plenty of play in the line to let the body and frame move independent of each other.

      Stiff Brake Pedal

      I have a 1980 Chevy C10 and the people that have recently put it back together and rewired some stuff. I'm not quite sure what they have done. The brake pedal is very stiff you have to push down very hard and I'm a pretty big guy. I was just wondering if bleeding the breaks would help or if it was more than likely the booster? What do you think?
      Answer: The most likely cause of your truck brake problems is the brake booster. The booster is what makes the pedal easy to push down. It could be something as simple as the large vacuum hose to the booster not being connected.

      If someone has done some brake work and they are really stiff afterwards, then they should take your vehicle back to rework the brakes.

      Brake Pedal Clanks When Pressed

      01 Chevy Malibu 3.1 V6. Just did brake job and changed rotors, but now when I press the brake pedal it clanks. Checked caliper bolts and are tight? Not sure if rotors were not machined correctly and center is to big for hub and too much play in the rotor? Why am I having these car brake problems?
      Answer: Thanks for sharing your brake question. There are several things that could be causing problems with your brakes. The first thing to check is your caliper bolts and slides. Be sure that there is no play in them and that they are tight.

      Next, make sure that you have the correct shims installed. Most brake pads come with shims and if they are not installed or the wrong ones are used it could cause this type of problem.

      It is also possible that the rotors were not machined correctly, but that is not likely. If I were you, I would return to the place where you got the rotors and ask them to check if the noise is caused by the rotors.

      You could also take your car to a repair shop and just have them listen to your brakes. They might be able to quickly tell you what is wrong too.

      Brake Pedal Goes to the Floor

      Hi, my car is in the garage now. I changed all the brake system, bled the brakes, placed a new master cylinder and the brake pedal still doesn't work. What could be the problem? Is it with Ford's computers or what? Any help? (1998 Ford Windstar)
      Answer: The first thing I need to know is if you bench bled the master cylinder. When you buy a new one, you need to bleed it out before installing it on your car. If you did not do this, you will need to remove it and make sure all of the air is out of it. There are usually instructions on the packaging to do this.

      It sounds like you just have not gotten all of the air out of your system yet. If the master cylinder has been bled then go through and bleed the system again. Be sure to have someone watch the master cylinder the whole time and keep it full. If you let air into the master cylinder while bleeding the brakes you will just have to bleed them more.

      When you bleed them again, be sure to have someone pump the pedal five to ten times for each wheel then have them hold the pedal down while yo close the bleeder valve. Then have them let up on the pedal and then open the valve and have them push down on the pedal and close the valve when it is down. So this about 5 times for each pedal and you should get all the air out.

      You also might need to bleed the ABS module. If you bleed them all again and the pedal still goes to the floor then this is probably what you will need to do.

      Clacking and Tickling Noise

      I'm the owner of a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee laredo 4x4 with the 4.0 L i6 and an automatic transmission. The problem is that on a hot day in heavy stop and go traffic (particularly when going from the highway to stop and go traffic) the thing develops a very loud clacking or ticking noise.
      This noise varies with engine speed and occurs regardless of being in gear, reverse, neutral, or 4wd or not. The odd part is, the noise always completely goes away if the vehicle is put in park, and resumes if put back in gear. This noise also goes away completely if the vehicle is turned off and is given sufficient time to cool. This noise is also not heard in the winter.

      The fact that it goes away when put in park makes me think that it is something with the automatic transmission. That said, I had already opened the thing up and serviced the thing (including replacing bad gears) 3 years (35,000 miles) ago. The torque converter was also replaced at the time. I really hope I don't need to drop the transmission again, but I can't think of what else it could be. Thanks for any advice.

      Answer: Hi, Chris. The only thing that immediately comes to mind when I read your question is torque converter to flywheel bolts. If they get loose they can cause the exact type of ticking or knocking that you are having. This is the only thing that makes sense to me. Without hearing the noise, this would be my best guess.

      It is usually easy to tell if they are loose just by removing the cover between the engine and tranny and shine a light up there to see if they are loose or missing. This is a fairly common brake problem.
      This will help.