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Brakes don't work right


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jackx
User

Jan 28, 2015, 9:00 AM

Post #1 of 22 (1255 views)
  post locked   Brakes don't work right  

I am having a problem with my wife's Ford 2003 Escape. I went down to get
the car inspected today. It failed inspection. The tech said the brakes
failed to release. My wife has told me that sometimes it does not have
any brakes when she pushes on the pedal. Is this probably the power
brake booster going out. I can hear air coming from the pedal when ever
I push on the brakes. What do I need to do to determine what I need to
do to fix it.


(This post was edited by jackx on Jan 28, 2015, 9:06 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 28, 2015, 2:48 PM

Post #2 of 22 (1235 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

You mean the regular service brakes, not parking brake right?


If found that one is stuck it's usually a flex hose to that wheel's brake. If you hoist that wheel and open bleeder it then it releases the hose is bad. If so it may have harmed that side and need regular brake work having been too hot and one side worn more than the other. Do it all if that's what's happening.


I doubt the brake booster is doing this for now,


T



jackx
User

Jan 28, 2015, 3:22 PM

Post #3 of 22 (1227 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

No its not the emergency brake.

If its the flex hose what happened to it that would cause it to prevent the
brake from releasing? I assumed it was just a hose. I am having a hard time understanding
why a flex hose could cause the brake to lock up. I figured it was just a flexible hose.
Please explain so I will better understand.

I believe it is the back brakes because my son said it is dragging now but not pulling one way
or the other going down the road.

The only thing I could find that can cause a sticking brake is this:

"could just be bad calipers, period -- likely enough if it already needed one plus a master, the fluid in there was pretty ugly and with two components already down, the other three (plus junction block too) might be in poor shape too. Heat can make a slightly sticky caliper more sticky via the expansion principles underlying the above as well. Start with a good thorough medieval bleeding first, though, if saving money is a priority.

The other cause of sticking brakes is bad flex lines that balloon up/restrict the flow of fluid back when you release the pedal. If your flex lines look old they are cheap to replace and you don't want one to split on you.. "

I guess I will need to replace the flex hose if its bad. I think the rear brakes are dragging and they are drum
so it must be the rear flex hoses

I also will need to replace brake shoe and turn the drums too if they got so hot when they were locked up that they got
damaged. I guess the damage would be obvious in that the pads would be
badly worn and if worn too bad they may have scored the rotor too.


Am I understanding this right? Thanks for your help


(This post was edited by jackx on Jan 28, 2015, 7:02 PM)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 28, 2015, 6:03 PM

Post #4 of 22 (1216 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

Don't start changing anything yet. First, you have to determine which wheels are actually causing the problem. Now, the next time the brakes are locked go to the wheel that is locked, jack it up and open the bleeder. If it then releases, you ruled out the calipers and it's probably the hose.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Discretesignals
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Jan 28, 2015, 6:28 PM

Post #5 of 22 (1213 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  


Quote
My wife has told me that sometimes it does not have
any brakes when she pushes on the pedal. Is this probably the power
brake booster going out. I can hear air coming from the pedal when ever
I push on the brakes.


That sounds to me like the brake booster has a vacuum leak, but it doesn't jive with the brakes locking up. If you have a booster with a large enough vacuum leak, you won't have any power brakes and the vehicle will be really hard to stop.

video of a bad booster vacuum leak:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TPaJaKpa9A





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

(This post was edited by Discretesignals on Jan 28, 2015, 6:34 PM)


jackx
User

Jan 28, 2015, 7:15 PM

Post #6 of 22 (1208 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

Well she was saying she didn't have any brakes.

Then my son drove it down to get it inspected and it failed the inspection because of the brake drag.

He was driving it to see if he could hear the leak and he did not have any problems. He was trying to based on what she had told him determine if the booster was bad. Before he figured out if it was bad he found out the brakes were locking up.

I am thinking like you that what she said does not make any since and that truckl may be an additional problem I need to find out about. I will have to check it out and see if I can hear a leaking booster

. I guess there may be two brake problems. A bad booster that cause ever once in a while the
vehicle to not have any brakes and this other problem that arises when the brakes drag and lock up. That may be new
problem that has just rose its ugly head.

Truck only has 79k miles on it.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 28, 2015, 7:56 PM

Post #7 of 22 (1206 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

If you have brakes that are dragging they are going to continue to build up heat as you drive and eventually they will boil the brake fluid and you will lose brakes. You definitely need to get that inspected ASAP.
By that time you will have ruined the rotor also.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Jan 28, 2015, 7:57 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 28, 2015, 11:10 PM

Post #8 of 22 (1200 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

jackx
It doesn't seem like YOU are going to fix this so send it out at ONCE as UNSAFE to use. The "he said/she said" it does this or that from dragging to no brakes then inspection didn't apparently tell you what was found just that it didn't work as it seems.


The comment are correct on this but doesn't matter till someone looks at it. Doubt the booster for now causing brake drag.


What to expect is one set or one wheel drags like posted up top and gets so hot fluid boils then not brakes when that hot. Perhaps those who drive this car should pay a little more attention and NOT drive a car that does things like this to those extremes.


Send this out. Can't even guess at this misinformation exactly but it probably will ruin one axle set needing about everything - not the world, an accident sure can be!


T



jackx
User

Jan 29, 2015, 8:42 AM

Post #9 of 22 (1189 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

I took it to a shop last night and will go down shortly to explain to them what the problem is
and to drop off my keys.

I did want to get a good idea of what is causing them to drag because
I want to discuss the problem with them as educated as possible.

These guys sometimes just replace stuff until they replace the right part. I don't want them replacing the booster if that is not the problem.

I will tell them that they need to look at the rear shoes and replace them if they are worn down and turn the drums then replace the flexible hoses. This is assuming they check the problem when the rear brakes are hot and locked up and they actually release them by opening the brake fluid bleeder. Hopefully they can tell if the hoses are the problem with out having to take the time to drive it until it locks up.

Those hydraulic hoses range from 8-20 bucks apiece. So I figure replacing both will cost about 20 bucks. So, if they decide to replace them because of their age and replacing them does not fix the problem I guess it won't break the bank. I just want the shoes and drums checked out and fixed if they need it and then those hoses replaced since from what I am being told generally they are the problem especially if they are old. I guess if they are on a 2003 model they are 12 years old even if the truck only has 79k miles on it. If that does not stop them from dragging I guess I will have to cross that bridge when I get to it. Main thing is to get it fixed and not drive it until it is safe.


(This post was edited by jackx on Jan 29, 2015, 8:48 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 29, 2015, 10:12 AM

Post #10 of 22 (1183 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

The right tech will find all that it needs. If not dragging but really does it would leave some evidence. Pads and rotors/drums alone really don't cause the issues but take the hit and can be really destroyed.


There's really no telling without total inspection. Pads can fall off metal backing, jam up or who knows over a variety of reasons and conditions it's been exposed to.


A good tech doesn't just throw things out until they stumble upon the problems but should see what's wrong and if per chance isn't doing it at the time find the evidence and take appropriate action.


Let then do their work such that the problem is solved and safe for a good next round of perhaps just a normal brake job meaning before such problems from ordinary time and use would cause,


T



jackx
User

Jan 29, 2015, 10:40 AM

Post #11 of 22 (1178 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

yeah they are fixing to get on it. He told me usually if it is one wheel he has found it is usually the hose but if both
are locking up then it may be the master cylinder or the gizmo that is in the brake line between the master cylinder
and the wheel that splits the line so it can go to both wheels. He said he probably could just tell by the shoes if it is dragging on one or both rear wheels. I know my son drove it about 30 miles with it dragging so bad he could tell it. So,
I'm betting whichever is dragging will be obvious when he pulls the drum off. I assume he is headed in the right direction.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 29, 2015, 11:10 AM

Post #12 of 22 (1173 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

You just have to trust the person with this right in front of them. It takes training plus experience then this should be clear what to do for the tech.


True - if both wheels dragged on an axle you check what is in common to both and so on.


Side note to this is a chat with you said "son" who drove this 30 miles knowing something wasn't right! Nobody is expected to be a tech but should have some clue that you shouldn't be driving it that way.


I've seen the results of ignored dragging brakes, sometimes a parking brake left on that was operational or other that got so hot it melted trim parts off the wheel! Now tell me that didn't have symptoms?


Just FYI: Rear brakes if one drags a bit you might not notice and most do not pull because of the rear. Even slight issues with a front on one side will pull that way or then the other when brakes applied as near glowing one is starting to lose or lost friction so the good one grabs. Other times you might smell the problem if bad enough.


Be glad for now the problem is noticed and being taken care of. Being able to stop is not an option,


Tom



jackx
User

Jan 29, 2015, 12:40 PM

Post #13 of 22 (1166 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

I thought I would give an update.

After pulling the rear drums it was obvious they weren't dragging. Everything look new.

The front rotors were fine and none of the wheels was dragging when we jacked it up.

The mechanic told me the proportion valve was ok and was not leaking. So, the only thing to do was replace the master cylinder and power brake booster.

I called my son and found out that the only reason the inspector said the brakes were dragging was after you came to a full stop and let off the brake on a slope the truck did not start to roll forward when you let off the brake. My son said it had never done that before. ''

After talking to him it seemed to me and he agreed the speed of the pressure release to the brake cylinders seemed real slow making it seem like they were dragging. He said after you drove it and it warmed up it was even kinda hard to stop.

This tied into what the mechanic was saying when he said the pedal seemed hard to him. If the booster is bad you no longer have "Power" brakes.

I admit I don't drive the truck. I finally drove it today. The truck was cold when he had me drive it today. I didn't notice anything except when you let off the brakes and got off the pedal and it was stopped, the truck did seem to want to just set there and it took quite a bit of a push on the accelerator pedal to get it rolling again. Real sluggish.

The mechanic I took it to said the pedal seemed hard to him. He said sometimes the master cylinder (which
after looking at it does appear to be leaking) will leak into the booster and ruin it. He said if the booster
was bad it would show the symptoms the truck was showing.

He's putting a new master cylinder on it along with a new power booster. He told me the only thing he was not sure of was the ABS but if it was acting up it would throw a code.

I guess there is not much more to replace. This should fix it. Anyway, I got my fingers crossed.


(This post was edited by jackx on Jan 29, 2015, 12:59 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 29, 2015, 2:07 PM

Post #14 of 22 (1160 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

 
It's totally plausible and a bit rare that somehow master can't allow fluid back but it does have to retract to home position for it to do so either pushrod of booster or a failure of master (none except one brand new flawed one) did that and was fine cold like that.


I'm only a bit surprised that brakes at the wheels are still fine but wasn't looking or feeling this problem either. Sounds like a fair diagnosis to me.


The clue is when a pedal doesn't have ANY freeplay or so little it's not going to release pressure back when you take your foot off the brake and as it gets hotter just gets worse.


Good luck that it's 100% fixed and done with. That would be very unusual to me short of contaminated brake fluid swelling up all rubber parts and tech should have noted a swollen rubber cap seal if so at least IMO. Let him/her do their thing,


T



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Jan 29, 2015, 4:13 PM

Post #15 of 22 (1150 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

Have they ruled out contamination in the master cylinder. If someone puts even a couple drops of a petroleum product like oil in the brake fluid it will ruin every rubber seal in the system and act a lot like what you are describing. That would be a very expensive mistake.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Jan 29, 2015, 4:14 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 30, 2015, 1:45 AM

Post #16 of 22 (1138 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

Quote back a couple ">>That would be very unusual to me short of contaminated brake fluid swelling up all rubber parts and tech should have noted a swollen rubber cap seal if so at least IMO.<<"


Jackx: If that happened AND you use those speedy (especially those) oil change places hope you save your receipts as it would be a disaster.


That must be ruled out and would show it as said. Brake rubber will NOT tolerate oils and things get all topped off or should during oil changes hopefully with a check list.


If YOU do your own and even might have made that mistake say so to the tech. It's HIGHLY unusual to me perhaps just one vehicle perhaps 30 years ago and it did swell up master cylinder rubber, cap first then whole cylinder failed. That car left my hands so don't know how much went bad or if ever fixed or what else happened. THAT COULD FOOL the next person/tech!


Ask for parts back if any chance of that as the fix probably wouldn't last if so and need it all over again! Nasty,


Tom



jackx
User

Jan 31, 2015, 10:09 AM

Post #17 of 22 (1118 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

Here's the feedback I promised. Looks like the new master cylinder and power booster fixed it.

I started it up backed it up pulled it forward. Hit the brakes then released the brakes and it immediately started rolling forward like it should. Before you had to nail the accelerator pedal pretty hard to get it to start moving again. This
resulted in the inspection tech flunking its annual inspection. He said they were dragging. He was wrong about that
I guess but they were definitely messed up. It does weird things I guess when the Booster is going bad. I guess
when it was going out it made my kid think the brakes were going out because it was hard to stop.

My son took off on a 50 mile trip. If I don't get any bad feedback then it's fixed.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 31, 2015, 10:30 AM

Post #18 of 22 (1116 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

There seems to be some confusion as to just what the misbehavior was I think? Bad booster usually leaks and doesn't provide power assist when they fail not DRAG brakes that would make them hot which doesn't seem to be the case but rather just crept forward or back with what should have been normal brake application and didn't?


If master leaked (you said you saw that) and filled up the booster (never saw that happen) with fluid someone would have been constantly adding fluid even if over some long time that hopefully would be noticed.


It's a lot of "ifs" but fixed for now so you say and tech must have thought so. If funky problems meaning not just normal wear out problems happen soon fluid just might have had oil added?


TMK and not tested but told that oils like a transmission fluid or engine oil if added would float on top but in use over a short time would find its way to begin wrecking brake rubber parts anywhere it could touch and all along the way to each wheel possible is the fear if that happens and not noticed right away - minutes to correct that and still risky IMO that it's fine.


Would a shop or speedy place tell you - should but doubt it.


Pay attention to anything strange with a vehicle brakes or otherwise. Being on time really does save more damage or with brakes perhaps an accident that could have been avoided.


Let us know if anything isn't just right now - have to hope it is and if checked out probably is,


T



jackx
User

Jan 31, 2015, 12:52 PM

Post #19 of 22 (1108 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

   Yeah agree with everything you said. Lots of confusion. When we picked it up my son told
the mechanic that it was locking up and he could smell the pads. Well the pads, rotor and the
rear shoes were just like new.....weird...he is still saying the brakes were dragging and he could
even smell the pads.

There was no evidence of oil in the brake fluid either. No rubber seals were leaking either
before or after the work was done. I really don't know if the brake master cylinder was really leaking
that bad either. He brought it over about a month ago and someone had loosened up the brake line
going into the master cylinder. It was leaking and I just tightened it up. I filled it and it quit leaking. He told
me his wife had let some guys at a service station work on it and she thought they had loosened it
up and didn't tighten it back up.

He sent me a text message after he got home. He drove it 50 miles. He said it was fine now. I guess
the master cylinder and brake booster must have been causing him the problems.

These old cars are a constant problem aren't they. It is really hard sometimes to figure out what is wrong
based on what the customer is telling you. You have to read between the lines.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jan 31, 2015, 3:36 PM

Post #20 of 22 (1103 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

Quote ">>
These old cars are a constant problem aren't they. It is really hard sometimes to figure out what is wrong
based on what the customer is telling you. You have to read between the lines.<<"
_______________
No, just plain old cars and problems DO NOT have to go hand and hand if all is taken care of many can go ages longer and be trouble free and new ones be a PITA right away?


This particular issue AS I READ BETWEEN THE LINES like you said is too many cooks in this kitchen making up thoughts of what is doing what and when. That would mess up any repair order. The customer needs to explain the issue as best they can and it's still interpreted as to what was really meant or misunderstood.


Routine work you just say time for this or that and forget it.


Anything to do with noises, odors and throw in different people noticed what this is left to that tech to really find it. He/she could have bullSh!tted you into tons more and nobody here would support that.


You were told brakes at the wheels looked fine which is inconsistent with real dragging brakes so there's a communication issue from the get go.


Sometimes with odd behavior of whatever ask the tech to test drive it when it's well known it would duplicate the complaint.


However a shop is set up when something isn't clear ask to speak and show the person who will get the job can save tons of honest confusion and errors.


I'll suggest more that you should NOT tell a shop what to replace or fix but rather what the problem is. Any real tech should take it from there. Ask for a call/notice if more found than you can deal with at that time if so or estimate when it's not known till checked out,


Tom



jackx
User

Jan 31, 2015, 4:04 PM

Post #21 of 22 (1097 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

I agree. Believe me next time my son tells me what the symptoms are I will keep that to myself
until I check it out myself. I figured at the time that he and the inspection tech would have had
a better grasp on what the symptoms were. I was wrong. Heck he's still saying they were dragging.

You can close this one I guess. Its fixed. Thanks for the help.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jan 31, 2015, 4:16 PM

Post #22 of 22 (1095 views)
  post locked   Re: Brakes don't work right  

I'll close this out for now. YOU may ask it to be re opened by any moderator just refer to the thread please.


Ah - Perhaps you need to talk with your son what dragging means when you are talking about brakes. To most people techs or not that is a feeling like you are hitting or applying the brakes (pushing on brake pedal) when you are NOT!


Hope it's all set,


Tom







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