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1992 Saturn SC - Brakes went out while driving!


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Dementei
Novice

Jun 4, 2012, 4:26 AM

Post #1 of 14 (1521 views)
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1992 Saturn SC - Brakes went out while driving! Sign In

While driving I pressed on the brake pedal and it had just went straight to the floor, no pressure or anything, it comes back up like normal but just no braking occurs. Luckily I had used my handbrake to slow down and get off the road but now I am trying to figure out why that happened. I know my pads do need changed but they aren't squealing and normally I can brake fine. The fluid in reservoir is pretty low so I am guessing the pads do need changed, but I don't think that's the problem. I just wonder if it is either the master cylinder has gone bad (there are no leaks at all) or there is just air in the lines and needs bled out. When the car is off I can build up pressure by pressing on the brakes until it gets very stiff as well if that says anything. So if any brake experts know what could have caused this let me know so I can maybe begin to repair my car, thanks.

If you need more information by a trial and error sort of thing I will be glad to try.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator


Jun 4, 2012, 6:10 AM

Post #2 of 14 (1492 views)
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Re: 1992 Saturn SC - Brakes went out while driving! [In reply to] Sign In

Stop your wild guessing about something so important. You need to get it inspected by a professional.




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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.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator


Jun 4, 2012, 8:16 AM

Post #3 of 14 (1474 views)
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Re: 1992 Saturn SC - Brakes went out while driving! [In reply to] Sign In

Ditto and to add: Sudden total loss of brakes and pedal to floor issues. Likely a blowout of brake fluid but still could be master cylinder. 20 years and more is not uncommon to me with my own vehicles. I don't drive everyone else's vehicles except for test drives.

For whatever caused this if master cylinder isn't reasonably recent they car frequently go into a crusty area of the bore and tear up the seals. I'd toss that for brand new even if not the cause.

Brakes are simply too important to fool and guess with. Never mind if car or cars get damaged or wrecked over total loss how about innocent people getting hurt or killed?!

Rubber items anywhere in a brake system and other items in vehicle don't age well - if you want and many still do I suggest replacing any old rubber parts proactively along with whatever the initial cause was,

T
_________________________________________
Long retired now


Dementei
Novice

Jun 4, 2012, 3:13 PM

Post #4 of 14 (1452 views)
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Re: 1992 Saturn SC - Brakes went out while driving! [In reply to] Sign In

Thanks for replies, I will definitely see if it is the master cylinder by a professional, and air in the lines would not have caused sudden loss of brakes right? And I am not sure what you mean by blowout of brake fluid could you clarify? Also I would never drive if the brakes were bad in a car, they were fine just before that happened, just looking for possibilities of why it did.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator


Jun 4, 2012, 3:28 PM

Post #5 of 14 (1443 views)
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Re: 1992 Saturn SC - Brakes went out while driving! [In reply to] Sign In

It really doesn't matter. You have no idea ho to recognize what is wrong with the brake system so just tow it to a professional before someone gets hurt.




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

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.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator


Jun 4, 2012, 3:52 PM

Post #6 of 14 (1440 views)
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Re: 1992 Saturn SC - Brakes went out while driving! [In reply to] Sign In

Blowout - I mean a sudden all at once total leak such that any hydraulic pressure will just pour out the leak and not apply brakes. Systems are all dual meaning usually front and rear are separated from each other leaving you something for the brakes but frequently inadequate. Usually you get some warning with air in system if just fluid being too low. Either a dash warning or lousy feel.

That master will drop level as disc brakes wear normally which is the clue to check brakes which if doing yourself is easy if rotating tires just take that opportunity with wheel already off for at least a wear inspection if doing yourself but almost every place I know would check fluid levels at oil change service time. That is also a time to lube hinges, locks, latches, spare tire pressure, antifreeze protection level among things I included when working (retired fully now) and wasn't a 10 minute quickie jiffy job.

When a tires is found low on pressure, PS fluid low, AT fluid low, brake fluid lower than normal that is and other items including coolant low I think it's right to make note of that to the customer that a problem exists,

T
_________________________________________
Long retired now


nickwarner
Veteran / Moderator


Jun 5, 2012, 8:36 PM

Post #7 of 14 (1398 views)
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Re: 1992 Saturn SC - Brakes went out while driving! [In reply to] Sign In

As HT said and I know Tom seconds fully, the word TOW was used about going to a shop. Unfortunately you don't know what you're looking at and as you have admitted you have bad brakes you have no business driving this. I know tow trucks can be expensive, but there are other things that are more pricey. Funerals, lawsuits, insomnia, prison (especially when your cellmate is agressive and well hung) and also the cost of a totalled car. Going is optional, stopping is not. If this will not properly stop you have no right to endanger anyone else on the road over your financial situation. I am not making any assumption of your character, just posting the way it is. I would hope you aren't that type of person. Make the right choice and get it towed.


Dementei
Novice

Jun 8, 2012, 3:18 AM

Post #8 of 14 (1362 views)
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Re: 1992 Saturn SC - Brakes went out while driving! [In reply to] Sign In

Haha don't worry I'm not an idiot I wouldn't drive without brakes.. I just came here for the common possibilities of why my brakes suddenly stopped working. But anyway it's fixed I had a busted brake line I couldn't see that until I found a spot on the pavement where it was leaking. Only $50 altogether to fix, back on the road again until next time Wink


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator


Jun 8, 2012, 6:22 AM

Post #9 of 14 (1358 views)
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Re: 1992 Saturn SC - Brakes went out while driving! [In reply to] Sign In

Oh really? What did you use to repair that?




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

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.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator


Jun 8, 2012, 8:53 AM

Post #10 of 14 (1354 views)
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Re: 1992 Saturn SC - Brakes went out while driving! [In reply to] Sign In

Dementei : Ditto with HT - what let go and how fixed? If a flex hose or rusted line don't wait for the "next time" as that could be stopping by hitting what is in front of you!

Proper parts and procedures for what you repaired or that could be a problem again. In that it cost $50 bucks it doesn't sound like just a section of line so what did you do?

T
_________________________________________
Long retired now


Dementei
Novice

Jun 9, 2012, 7:25 PM

Post #11 of 14 (1334 views)
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Re: 1992 Saturn SC - Brakes went out while driving! [In reply to] Sign In

I had a professional mechanic put in an entire new brake line, he does the best work for cheap, he inspected the rest and everything is okay for now he also bled out my brakes for me and did other misc. minor fixes. He advises I get new front rotors and pads soon which I will, just need this car to be reliable for like another 4-5 months or so. He was also nice enough to tow it from my house and drive it back to me. But other than that I just drove it today and brakes fine. Thanks for your concerns though, all is well.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator


Jun 9, 2012, 7:29 PM

Post #12 of 14 (1331 views)
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Re: 1992 Saturn SC - Brakes went out while driving! [In reply to] Sign In

The real question is, what did he join the lines with? Compression unions are quick and simple but they are dangerous and illegal. All joints must be double flared and threaded together.




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

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.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator


Jun 10, 2012, 12:23 AM

Post #13 of 14 (1320 views)
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Re: 1992 Saturn SC - Brakes went out while driving! [In reply to] Sign In

No compression fittings for brake lines as HT said nor fuel lines. Not certain but probably ok and legal for trans cooling lines but why not do it right if it was done with compression fitting. Brakes are not like the little all copper pipe for an ice and water refrigerator,

T
_________________________________________
Long retired now


nickwarner
Veteran / Moderator


Jun 10, 2012, 12:58 AM

Post #14 of 14 (1315 views)
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Re: 1992 Saturn SC - Brakes went out while driving! [In reply to] Sign In


In Reply To
I had a professional mechanic put in an entire new brake line, he does the best work for cheap,

I have my doubts about that. You pay to fix it right either in the long run or short run. If he has the right tools and does it right he might just not be a good businessman and underbid himself. I would heed his warning about pads and rotors as he's obviously looking at them and warning you. Don't know if you mean you are fixing them in 4-5 months or getting rid of the car entirely, but don't think they will last that long if he is saying something about them now. The fact that it brakes fine today doesn't matter one bit. Its the fact it must brake PERFECTLY every time and especially in a panic stop where the maximum is required out of it. You have no margin for error. Hit a car, let the insurance pay. What do you do when its a kid that runs out after a ball? No price on that. By the way, bleeding the brakes wasn't a free bonus from him. It has to be done when you fix a line. Nice of him to drop it off to you, and he may know what he's doing, but I worry when I can't see your car in front of me.




1992 Saturn SC - Brakes went out while driving!


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