General Question

Jonathan_hodgkins's avatar

Any suggestions what could be causing failing brakes?

Asked by Jonathan_hodgkins (681points) July 18th, 2011

My car’s brakes recently failed, so I took off the tires to examine them. What I discovered was a ruptured CV joint that had spewed grease everywhere. Figuring that this was the problem, I replaced the CV joint, re-attached the brakes and properly bled them. However, I am still having brake problems. The red brake indicator light is on and there has to be some sort of leak because the reservoir is losing fluid. Could it be the hoses? Any suggestions what this could be or what steps I should take?

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12 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Does the pedal go all the way to the floor? Can you pump the pedal and build pressure? Does the vehicle seem to lose power?

Rebuild the calipers.

cockswain's avatar

The CV joint shouldn’t be the cause of the problem, unless grease from the joint covered the rotor so the pads are slipping when they calipers squeeze the rotors. But that shouldn’t cause all four to fail either, nor be the cause of a leak.

Like @RealEyesRealizeRealLies says, describe what the brakes are doing. Most brake problems are usually not too difficult to diagnose. You may have a leaking master cylinder, or if you have rear drums, maybe a wheel cylinder back there. Some cars have a proportioning valve too, and I’ve seen one of those go bad before. Look along all lines and fittings for leaks is your best bet.

Simplest is to take it to a shop and have them tell you. But beware, I’ve heard of shops keeping the car by declaring it “unsafe” until it is repaired. Not sure how common that is.

Afos22's avatar

Time driving kills breaks. More specifically, time breaking.

woodcutter's avatar

You gotta find that leak. A leak will also be the point where air gets sucked back in. Escaping brake fluid should be easy to see you may need to get the rear wheels off to check inside there too. It’s likely to be at a connection unless you were 4 wheeling and ragged out a brake line under the frame somewhere in between. Plus what others have suggested. What is the vehicle?

Jonathan_hodgkins's avatar

it is a 99 NIssan Sentra. Currently, the brake pedal does go almost to the floor, but does brake ever so slightly. Pumping the brake does not gain more pressure.

woodcutter's avatar

I would try to get a Haynes repair manual for that model before going to a brake specialist. There probably is a simple fix, or maybe not. I’m thinking of any computer control or ABS fail? But that still wouldn’t account for the missing brake fluid though.

Scooby's avatar

Your master cylinder may be the problem, other than that there could still be air in the lines :-/

missingbite's avatar

99% sure @Scooby is going to be correct here. If not the master cylinder then the brake lines that hold the master fluid is bad.

Jonathan_hodgkins's avatar

The car does not have ABS and I did do a proper bleeding so I’m confused how there could still be air in the lines?

woodcutter's avatar

Is there any brake fluid inside the car coming back through the o-rings from the master cylinder, drizzling under the carpet? A new M C is about 85 bucks for that.

filmfann's avatar

The brake fluid is leaking somewhere. Figure out where.

Jonathan_hodgkins's avatar

I found it!! The rear wheel cylinder was leaking. 12 bucks to fix. Thanks everyone.

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