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Stop here! Let's talk about brakes

13468940

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    fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    In the last few years, I have been amazed at the lack of universality that exists for fluids, etc., in recent vehicles. One product that makes me smile a little bit is Mercon V. It will substitute in for a bunch of Dexron and Mercon standards of the past. If it weren't for ATFIII standards used by Chrysler, Mercon V would virtually go anywhere that auto tranny fluid ever has gone before.
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    swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    my exploder still demands Mercon III in the PS pump. at least they don't require an additive, like the ubiquitous "friction modifier" you have to add to the diff for limited slip applications. probably $10 worth of extra-fine sawdust, hee hee hee.
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    murrietamurrieta Member Posts: 10
    I have a 93 Taurus with 4 wheel disc brakes. Doing the front brakes the cylinders easily retracted to allow the installation of the new pads. On the rear brakes, which have an integrated parking brake, I cannot get the cylinders to retract at all. I parking brake is released so it is not creating the problem. The cylinders will not move at all, almost like frozen in place, on both sides of the rear. Is there a trick to get the cylinders back to the original fully open position to allow the new pads to be installed?

    Thanks, Walt
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    bolivarbolivar Member Posts: 2,316
    I've never worked on them. But rear disks do require a process, possibly special tool, to 'screw' them back into the caliper.

    Maybe a more experience mechanic can give you help. Or buy a Chilton or Hayes repair manual for your car. Be warned, I feel these manuals range from 'good' to 'totally useless' for working on cars. They will be nothing close to the factory manuals. But they cost $16 while a factory manual now will probably cost around $100. Or more. And you may need more than one.....

    Good luck.
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    murrietamurrieta Member Posts: 10
    Thanks for the info. Indeed, a special tool was required to screw back the cylinder. Took only a few minutes to complete the job after having the cylinder retractor tool.
    Walt
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    cubsscubss Member Posts: 2
    95 Buick LeSabre 98,000 miles. Brakes were fine until one day it seemed I had to push them farther down to stop. For a month or so, I thought it was my imagination. Car always stopped, but one time I'd step on the brake and it would stop with the brake about 4 or 6 inches from the floor. Next time, it would go almost to the floor. This has become the norm. Went to a brake place and asked them to check for air in the line. They checked and said it was ok but also checked the brakes and said I needed pads and roters on the front. It continued to do the same as before. Went back to the same place and asked them to check master cylinder, said they did and it was ok. Replaced front pads and roters; as I drove out of their parking lot, the brakes went to the floor just as before. What could be causing this and what should I do?
    Incidently, they wanted $300 to replace master cylinder if they found a problem with it.
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    alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    If the front caliper slide pins are free, the rear shoes are adjusted properly, there's no air in the system, and no external leaks (including wheel cylinders), it's probably a defective master cylinder. Brake fluid absorbs moisture which eventually causes pitting and corrosion of master cylinder, wheel cylinder and caliper bores, damaging the rubber seals in the cylinders. That's why brake hydraulic systems should be flushed every 2 years. Tip, use a new Delco master cylinder. Rebuilt's don't last long.
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    fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    ...and all those symptoms surely sound like master cylinder problems. Go with alcan on this one. Left click on his name on his posting to you, and you'll be able to read "why."
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    otto824otto824 Member Posts: 1
    I had the front rotors/pads and rear drums/shoes replaced on my '98 Ford Ranger at 33,000 miles. Now at 67,000 miles, and I took the truck to the mechanic because the parking brake was stuck (sluggish drag, burning brake smell when stopped). The mechanic said the parking brake was fine, but the front left caliper was sticking. Replaced front rotors, pads and calipers, cleaned and adjusted rear brakes, turned rear drums (shoes were ok). After leaving the shop, the truck vibrated so badly I couldn't drive it. Towed it back to the shop, and they said the wheel weights had "fallen off" when they removed the tires. Rebalanced the tires, but the truck still vibrated at all speeds, though not as badly. Took it to another shop, they said I needed new tires (tread separation after only 23,000 miles and regular rotations). Got new Michelin's, still vibrated at 60+ mph and the brakes "grabbed" when brakes applied. Back to the first shop, they finally said that yes, the parking brake was stuck, fixed a bent pin, yet the truck still had the vibrating and grabbing, though clearly the parking brake was no longer engaged. Took it to a Ford dealership, they clean and adjusted the rear brakes again, said everything else was fine. Two days later, and I'm STILL having vibrations in the steering wheel and seat at 60+, and the brakes still grab, though not all the time. And now I have a clunking sound from the front when applying the brakes, and an occasional hammering sound from the rear when driving at low speeds. Can anyone help me out?
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    corsicachevycorsicachevy Member Posts: 316
    I've got a 1996 Corsica with severely worn brakes. I noticed a slight loss of braking power and ugly grinding noise coming from the front. It was time to investigate.

    Yesterday I removed the wheels to reveal front disk brakes that look like Dixie plates and nearly non-existant pads. The rear brakes were also in pretty sad shape.

    I took the car to a garage and was quoted a repair price of $420.00 for new pads, rotors and rear shoes. Does this sound reasonable or are they clipping me with expensive OE parts? I found Raybestos parts for a total of $125.00 - labor can't be $300.00. If it is, then I'm in the wrong line of work.

    I would do the job myself, but I have little free time left to enjoy the simple pleasure of auto mechanics. :-(
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    fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    If you were in the U.S.A. I could comment, but with your Slovenian flag perhaps indicating where you are located, no telling what you might be up against. Good luck.
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    corsicachevycorsicachevy Member Posts: 316
    I have used the Slovenian flag as a way of irritating another Townhall participant. :-) This has all been done in good fun. Please don't read anything into it. It's really quite harmless. I am, always have been and always will be an American. I hope my display of the Slovenian flag does not call into question my allegiance to the United States.

    With that out of the way - did I pay too much? BTW, I'm from Wisconsin, which is still part of the United States (last time I checked). The only thing un-American about Wisconsin is that we have Canadian weather.
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    joe3891joe3891 Member Posts: 759
    And you can't buy 134a.
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    corsicachevycorsicachevy Member Posts: 316
    that doesn't allow for the purchase of that refrigerant?
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    fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    My experience of late would indicate that professional mechanics may have come to recognize the lack of people in that skilled trade. Your quote of $420.00 doesn't really surprise me. It's getting real expensive out there.
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    joe3891joe3891 Member Posts: 759
    As far as i know,how i found out was JCWhitney will sell to anyone in the 50 states except Wi.If i lived there i would just drive to the nearest state line and go in Walmart,my local Walmart has 134a 12 oz can $4.50,gets cheaper every year.I always thought it was a stupid ban.
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    masonmimasonmi Member Posts: 148
    Im noticing my Brake pedal squeaks when I take my foot off of the pedal, this seems to not happen all the time just occasionally, is this normal?
    any suggestions?
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    swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    there is a little hinge pin at the top of the brake pedal, where its fastener attaches to the car. oil the hinge pin. you will lose ten pounds, learn a number of exciting new words to make sailors blush, and hurt for weeks afterwards in trying to get up there to see what you're doing, but that's almost certainly how to fix it.
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    masonmimasonmi Member Posts: 148
    Sounds like a few sprays of WD40 might work then?
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    fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    But can you get a three-foot long plastic "straw" for that WD40 can? (:oÞ
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Goggles, shower cap, spray can in each hand, fire at will!
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    bcarter3bcarter3 Member Posts: 145
    Has anyone had any experience with Speedbleeders? They are bleed screws that have built in check valves to prevent air from being sucked back into the system when bleeding. I do most of my auto maintenance alone so they appear to be usefull.

    speedbleeder.com.

    thanks, Dick
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    sgrd0qsgrd0q Member Posts: 398
    I have an intermittent shake in the steering wheel when braking at high speed, and I guess it may be due to the rotors being warped. I have 15K miles on the car but the shaking started very early, probably at about 5K.

    Is it safe to ignore the problem? It seems like the shaking is not getting any worse, and I don't get it all the time.

    Thanks for your opinion.
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    tnjrobi1tnjrobi1 Member Posts: 41
    I just finished ordering new front pads (EBC Greenstuff) for my 96 200SX SE from Tirerack.com. I'm sure they will be delivered in a few days. Before I install the new brakes I wanted to ask a few questions about brakes to the people in this discussion.

    The original Nissan brakes lasted until around 65,000 miles on the car. After that they started to grind so I replaced them. The car now has around 80,000 miles and the brakes are already starting to grind again. The brake pads I used on the change at 65,000 were the best NAPA here in town had to offer (they were around $35.) I drive in an area that has many mountains and I drive very aggressive, but shouldn't the NAPA brakes lasted longer than 15,000 miles?

    Also I wanted to ask what everyone's opinion of the EBC Greenstuff brakepads are. Good or bad...

    One last question. I have never changed my brake fluid and since I'll be doing the pad changeout soon should I go ahead change the fluid?
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    alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    bcarter: I wish the car manufacturers would equip their vehicles with them. Makes bleeding and flushing a breeze.

    sgrd0q: don't forget that the high speed shake you feel in the steering wheel is being absorbed by the steering and suspension components. It'll eventually beat the tie rods to death.

    tnjrobi: your brake hydraulic system is about 3 years overdue for a flush.
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    stickguystickguy Member Posts: 51,051
    One is the depth that pads a considered one out? I had my brakes checked recently, and I think the fronts were 8/32, rears 6/32. I forgot to ask about putting that into the context of %left.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

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    fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    It's a great concept. Seven bucks per bleeder seems a bit pricey, say what? Are they available in auto parts stores, or only by Internet?
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    joe3891joe3891 Member Posts: 759
    Should need just 2,one for front, one for rear if not the same.After bleeding install the old ones.
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    fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    I'd be afraid to remove one after the bleeding, for fear of introducing air in the system.
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    joe3891joe3891 Member Posts: 759
    Every time I open a bleeder fluid comes out,if you don't tighten it all will leak out.
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    bolivarbolivar Member Posts: 2,316
    Yea, you can see the fluid coming out, but it's really tough to see if air went back into the system...
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    fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    Does the Speed Bleeder function by making it unnecessary to shut the bleeder valve with a wrench after each stroke of the brake pedal? Also, I can visualize vacuum bleeding with a Mityvac unit, and having a margin of added safety against back-sucking air into the caliper body. I rather wonder though, if one has a Mityvac bleeder kit, if there is any meaningful reason to ever buy Speed Bleeders... (?)
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    bcarter3bcarter3 Member Posts: 145
    It is not necessary to close the bleed screw until you are done bleeding that particular brake. One important thing that the speedbleeders have is the thread sealant that prevents air from being drawn back into the brake when the pedal is released. I have a vacuum brake bleeding setup that did not work too well and I now think that putting some kind of thread sealant on the original bleed screws would have helped. I could never get a good flow of fluid that didn't have air in it. Apparently I was getting air from around the threads. The speedbleeders work well, but don't flow as fast from the rear brakes and from the front. Smaller orfices due to check valve.
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    Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Brake Pad thickness -- you should go by your wear indicator or the wear line if your pads have them. There is no one thickness you can rely on. You have to consult your factory manual to know the minimum acceptable before swapping out pads. Usually you'll hear a high pitched squeel when your wear indicator hits the moving rotor. This gives you plenty of warning to do something.

    You have to be careful on modern cars what type of pad you use. Most modern cars use a semi-metallic pad and if you use the older organic type pads they will probably wear out very quickly. Semi mettalic pads are designed for a modern car's very high heat requirements. Your rotors are cooking at 700 degrees and MORE.

    Don't experiment with your brakes. Rely on what professionals recommend for your car.
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    devil_tazdevil_taz Member Posts: 21
    Does anyone know the OEM front brake rotor size for the 1996 buick lesabre?
    I'm asking this because I went in for a brake job at a local brake shop and the rotors looked smaller than the OEM equip. I can see a 60.9MM number on the top part of the rotor.

    Thanks.
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    bburton1bburton1 Member Posts: 395
    When I change my honda disc brake pads, I remove the worn out pads then use a large C clap, put a little pressure on the brake piston, then open up the bleeder and screw the clamp till the piston is fully depressed and then immediately tighten the bleeder valve. Nada problem with air. Also you get rid of the brake fluid that was in the caliper and was probably broiled anyway. Sometimes I use a turkey baster and remove all the old fluid in the master cylinder before I change pads, then I suppose I get most of the old fluid out. The stuff collects water and you should replace it every couple of years.

    Oh if you do your own brake jobs-test the brakes at very low speeds before driving out on the road-changed calipers once and did get some air in the system-wheeee-no brakes.
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    alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Buick LeSabre, 1993-1997

    Rotor diameter:
    10 27/64" (10.421875")
    or
    246.7156 mm

    60.9mm is 2.39". That'd be a mighty small diameter rotor.
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    devil_tazdevil_taz Member Posts: 21
    ya.. maybe that number is the width size. I'll check for other indications.

    Thanks for your help alcan.
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    bpeesybpeesy Member Posts: 2
    I have a 92 cutless supreme 4 wheel disc brakes. no abs. after driving awhile the brakes will bind & i cant move til they cool off. i have chnged the master cylinder & both front brake calipers. I have noticed that when ever the brakes bind, the brake lines coming from the front tires into the master cylinder gets very hot especially the one coming from the right front passenger wheel. does anyone have any idea what i should check or replace next. I checked to route of that line, i dont see anything out of the ordinary its not touching anything from the exhaust. help!!
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    alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Could be a defective flex hose. When they deteriorate internally they can act as a 1-way check valve, allowing fluid into a caliper but not back out again. Try this: raise the front wheels off the ground, trans in neutral. Have someone depress then release the brake pedal. Check rotating resistance of each front wheel. If one's noticeably harder to turn, crack the caliper bleeder valve open. If the wheel now turns OK, there's the bad flex hose. This assuming the caliper guide pins and bushings are free and properly lubed. Also, carefully inspect both front flex hoses for any signs of cracking at their metal support brackets.

    Btw, did the problem exist prior to replacing the master cylinder?
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    burdawgburdawg Member Posts: 1,524
    When you changed the master cylinder, did you check the brake pedal free play? If it's not right there won't be enough clearance for the pads when they heat up. I would look at this along with what alcan suggested.
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    bpeesybpeesy Member Posts: 2
    I have the car on jack stands getting ready to change to flexable rubber lines. i started the car to see what happens i then noticed that everytime i hear a high pitched sound coming from the tail pipe i could no longer turn the front wheels. thats when the wheels lock up. has anyone heard of such a thing? does the catalyc converter being plugged have anythig to do with brakes? at least it sounds like a plugged cat. but thats when the brakes binds.
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    alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Remove the nuts holding the master cylinder to the vacuum booster and pull the m/c forward away from the booster (leave brake lines intact). If the problem goes away it's either a misadjusted booster to m/c push rod, or a defective floating air valve in the booster which will require booster replacement.
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    joe3891joe3891 Member Posts: 759
    will cause low vacuum,thats one way to test for a bad cat is a vacuum check.
    Install a vacuum guage,start the engine and let idle,if normal when started and then the vacuum decreases and stabilizes you have a plugged cat.
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    swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    as I see it, low vacuum messes up lots of stuff, including things that count like brakes (assuming you need the extra boost of power brakes.) if the vacuum is up to specs and stays there, then alcan's diagnostic is the next step.

    I wouldn't replace the stainless brake lines unless they were damaged or leaking, because they will outlast hoses 30-to-1 at least under the entire car. you will be worse off with all-rubber, guaranteed, and if there's warranty left, you just burned that.

    if you stop to consider where the trash goes when it gets thrown off tire treads, the short lengths of rubber brake hose needed to allow the suspension to move are protected from almost any normal hazard.
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    jezejeze Member Posts: 15
    Hi, I'm pretty new to car repair. So this may sound like a stupid question. But do all Rotors rust? And is there any way to prevent them from rusting? Thank You.
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    hengheng Member Posts: 411
    driving the car and using the brakes keeps the rust off the contact surfaces. But that's obvious.

    So what is your concern about rotor rust? If you don't drive the car, the rotors will rust.
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    swschradswschrad Member Posts: 2,171
    rotors are steel, they are ground by applicaton of the brakes, and they are thus going to rust. don't worry about it.
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    alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    The outer and inner edges of the rotors aren't part of the swept surface contacted by the pads. In northern climates it's common to replace pads and rotors for a pedal pulsation concern caused by rust buildup on the rotor edges. It migrates inward toward the swept surfaces, where the pads start hitting it.
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    hengheng Member Posts: 411
    is not a problem in upstate NY. Must be that Canadian cold air.
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