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why cant I stop!

1306 Views 14 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  mendevil
having problems with the brakes. I can smell the brakes burning when I am driving. when I press the brake pedal it is rock hard and has not travel. I can't get the focus to stop without the ebrake. If i let it sit for a while the brakes will work normal for the first stop. after that it goes back to rock hard. anyone?
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How are your pads? If they're worn down to the backing plate you could be pushing as hard as you can and all you're doing is pushing the steel backing plate against a cast iron rotor, which won't do much of anything.

Its also possible that you have a siezed master cylinder or caliper piston, or a kinked brake line...lots of things could be going on here.
 

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Or did you refill the master cylinder too full??? I would guess a seized wheel cylinder personally as that is making the brake hot, take it around the block and touch the wheels. If one is much hotter, let the car cool, take that wheel off and see if ( after its cool ) you can spin the rotor by hand. It may be seized and you need a new brake cyl.
 

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Based on your 'hard pedal' symptom it sounds like you have a bad power brake booster. The diaphram is probably partially torn, allowing vacuum to leak to the wrong side.
 

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^^ yeah but he has blazing brakes.

Next time this happens, get out and put your hand near the front wheels- find out which one or both of them are hot. If both are hot, you probably need a master cylinder. If only one is hot, the caliper on that brake is probably bad. Either way, the heat generated has probably reduced your front brakes to scrap. You'll need pads and rotors in addition th whatever is actually causing the problem.

BTW- I assume front brakes because you said the ebrake is ok- so the rears cannot be overheated and fading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am think along the same lines as it being a caliper or the brake booster. As for the pads being worn it is unlikely since I changed those about 3 months ago. Hope the rotors are not shot becuase I did drive the focus for about 12 miles before I realized there was a problem( stop light on the off ramp!) since this looks like a messy job I am taking it to the shop on friday. While its there I hope I can get the IDLE problem fixed to becasue that is killing my power. 17.80 sec 1/4 mile really sucks! thanks for the input everyone!
 

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Blurvfocus said:
^^ yeah but he has blazing brakes.


Yeah, I know. It doesn't happen too often, but I have seen a few boosters pressurize the wrong side of the diaphram, and actually APPLY the brakes.

If you have never seen it happen, you are probably shaking you head and going 'what an idiot' right about now. Thats what I would have done, til about 4 years ago, when I first saw one do it. Since then I've seen it 2 more times at my shop.

Anyway, other options would be;

a pinched or collapsed rubber brake hose

steel brake lines pinched or folded

overadjusted master cylinder push rod (only if someone has been in there recently)

the afore-mentioned frozen calipers idea
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
no luck yet. I just droped the car off this last Friday and it being a holiday weekend I most likely will not know till Tuesday of next week. Will keep everyone posted on any update. Whats really going to be interesting is when they find a cure to the HIGH idle problem.
 
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