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Old 05-25-2013, 07:17 PM   #1
fortune5116
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Increased brake pedal travel

I'm at about 21k miles on my Focus S and recently I've noticed that I have to press the brake pedal further then before. A lot of times when I come to a stop my foot will be almost resting on the gas pedal. This is the same problem my moms 2006 fusion has (although hers is much worse... you almost have to press it to the floor) I just had my brakes checked yesterday when I got my oil changed and the front discs were at 5mm and rear drums are at 4mm and the tech couldn't anything. Anyone know whats up?


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Old 05-25-2013, 07:22 PM   #2
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The hoses to the calipers can weaken over time leading to expansion when you press on the pedal. Although I do agree that 21K miles seems early. My suggestion is to upgrade to stainless steel brake lines. Ever since I did that my brakes have never begun to feel soft.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:23 PM   #3
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How is the brake fluid level? It will become low with wear on the pads and shoes.
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:27 AM   #4
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How is the brake fluid level? It will become low with wear on the pads and shoes.
+1 or you may have an air bubble in your brake system
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:44 AM   #5
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Best option is to have your brakes bled. Granted your brakes are going to feel a little less than new after 21k. Brake fluid in general weakens and your stopping with a wet boiling point of 140-155 degrees C. Technically Dry boiling point doesn't exist anymore for you. However if you have extended pedal movement air trapped is definitely the case. Abs modulators are known to draw in air.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:18 AM   #6
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The first thing to do on a car with rear drum brakes is to make sure the rear brakes are adjusted. In the old days, drum brakes self-adjusted when you hit the brakes while backing up. Nowadays a lot of cars with rear brakes self-adjust when you apply the parking brake. I don't know which type the new Focus has. If you have an auto trans you may not be using the hand brake enough to self adjust the brakes. You could try engaging and disengaging it a few times in a row. I have not had any problems with my brakes yet (just 4,500 miles) so I have not been curious enough to look for a slot for adjusting the brakes by hand.

The next thing to do would be to bleed your brakes. That is usually what a mechanic will suggest before trying anything else.

Worn front pads will not cause a low pedal unless you actually run out of fluid. Worn rear brake shoes will cause a low pedal if the adjuster is not working. It is probably way too early for expansion in the brake hoses to be causing a problem. It is also probably too early for excessive moisture to have gotten into your brake fluid. Same with anything more serious like a bad master cylinder.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:23 PM   #7
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Fluid Level is fine, I'm driving a manual trans so I do use the parking brake a decent amount... I'll take it in and have the brakes bled and see if that helps
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