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Brake Issues
#1
Hi all! I'm hoping someone might be able to help diagnose a braking problem I'm having with my 02 plate 2.0HDI Multispace.

The problem seems to have started since the MOT a few weeks ago, when the handbrake cable was adjusted and brake fluid topped up. After these adjustments the brakes felt really good. About 2-3 clicks of travel on the handbrake and not much travel at all on the brake pedal, using the normal amount of effort to stop.

The problems began a couple of weeks later, when I noticed that on startup in a morning the first few brake applications had quite a bit of travel in the pedal, but still stopped the car ok. After a couple of mins the pedal was back to having not much travel at all. The car would feel ok then for the rest of the day's running around. But the next morning the first few brake applications would have a lot of travel again.

After about a week of this, I've now noticed the front brakes seem to be dragging slightly, but only when the engine is warmed up and the pedal doesn't have much travel. On starting from cold (when my foot goes almost to the floor but still stops the car) the brakes don't drag.

I was told there might be something in the brake lines (air / water / wrong fluid) that might be expanding when the braking system got warm and is holding the pedal up and the brakes just slightly on. Does this sound like a possibility? So I tried flushing the brakes with Dot 4 fluid to get rid of anything nasty that might be in there. Rear nearside and front offside seemed to bleed ok, but I hardly got anything out of the rear offside or front nearside, just drops, not the steady stream I'd expect when using a Gunsons pressure bleeding kit. This doesn't seem to have made much (if any) difference.

So I'm wondering what I should try next. Could this be a master cylinder problem? Sometimes, between low pedal and the pedal being high after a few mins of travel, the pedal can be pumped up but will start going down, which I've always understood to be classic master cylinder problems. But what's confusing me is it's not like that all the time. On startup pedal goes almost straight to the floor but stops the car, then when things have warmed up the pedal hardly moves and can't be pressed further no matter how hard I try.

I remember changing a master cylinder on my previous Berlingo and it wasn't a nice job. Although it looked simple getting the new cylinder in place and the bolts in was a real pig. So I don't want to be messing with the master cylinder if others thing that's not the problem.

A bit more info: The brake fluid doesn't seem to be going down. Also the pedal has a slight springy resistance when cold and the engine is not running. But as soon as I start up the springyness goes and the pedal presses further down easily, which I understand it correct.

Also could it be sticking calipers? Would that cause the pedal to pump itself up?

I'm suspecting callipers or master cylinder, but would like some opinions in the hope of finding the problem first go and without replacing expensive parts I don't need to.

Answers on the proverbial postcard please!

Thanks in advance,

Andy.
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#2
Start simple.Check calliper piston boots & piston movement.Check R cyls for leaks & movement.Bleed the brakes thoroughly,don't skimp on fluid.Then check the rear brake adjusters are free & shoes/drums not excessively worn.Pads/discs ditto.I would suspect calliper pistons sticking when hot & a good clean of pistons & cyls,using new seals.I have known brake hoses to degrade internally & bits of the lining acting as a non return valve.Sorry about the jumbled order,I was trying to get it down too quickly. Big Grin PS.Makesure the HB cables are not too tight causing binding & non operation of the auto adjusters.
Strawberry flavoured windows  Dodgy
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#3
I've had the car idling on the yard this morning for a while. Brakes didn't seem to come up at all while it was just sitting there, not using the brakes. I've also checked the brake fluid and it doesn't seem to be using any. A quick visual check behind the wheels also doesn't show any signs of fluid leaks. So I'm leaning towards sticky callipers.

Could this be anything to do with the handbrake adjustment done for the MOT? The back brakes don't drag or get hot, just the front ones and even that is only slight.

I think I'll have a look at the front callipers and go from there, unless anyone has a better suggestion as a starting point.
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#4
Just a stab in the dark here, but is there not something that splits the brake fluid between front n/s and rear o/s, and front o/s and rear n/s so if one line fails you can still safely stop? Sorry I cannot recall what it is called but I wonder if that's what your problem is?
--------------------------------------------------------------

2012 Iron Grey XTR 110 with lots of bits and bobs.
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#5
(16-04-2016, 02:37 PM)Trevor Wrote:  Just a stab in the dark here, but is there not something that splits the brake fluid between front n/s and rear o/s, and front o/s and rear n/s so if one line fails you can still safely stop? Sorry I cannot recall what it is called but I wonder if that's what your problem is?

Dual circuit brakes young man.2 pipes from M/cyl to diagonal wheel stations.Worked by a dual,in line piston.
Strawberry flavoured windows  Dodgy
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#6
My last experience of dual circuit failure was in the 1970's and even then there was a failure light on the dash so a failure there would almost certainly throw up an alarm these days when EVERYTHING is monitored.

Go back in time and undo the hand brake adjusters and see what happens then.

Then follow Ron's advice

" Check R cyls for leaks & movement. Bleed the brakes thoroughly,don't skimp on fluid. Then check the rear brake adjusters are free & shoes/drums not excessively worn.Pads/discs ditto ".

Simple and cheap stuff first !
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#7
This is the part of the original post that made me wonder

'Rear nearside and front offside seemed to bleed ok, but I hardly got anything out of the rear offside or front nearside'

But yes I would start with the handbrake adjustment as well.
--------------------------------------------------------------

2012 Iron Grey XTR 110 with lots of bits and bobs.
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#8
I would look to see if a load limiter valve is fitted . Not fitted with ABS.  It can interfere with bleeding.

Or could be the master cylinder that is not working right or you have a small leak at the rear w/cylinders,
brake fluid  does not always come out of the back plate
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#9
Thanks for all the replies. I've now had a look atbthe front brakes so it's time for a quick update.

I found the front nearside brake pads stuck in the guides and just caught them with about a mil of material left on the pad. So I fitted new pads after having a real struggle to get the cylinder to retract back into the calliper. One thing I did notice was that when the brake was pressed the cylinder came out a little as it should. But when the pedal was released and pressed again it didn't seem to come out any further. It seems to suck back in again when the pedal is released.

Anyway, I carried on and also replaced the pads on the offside, which were nowhere near as worn.

After everything was reassembled I found a huge amount of travel in the brake pedal and no ammountbof pumping would take up the slack. However once the pedal is down the brakes do seem to stop the car ok.

After about 30 miles of driving I noticed a slight pull towards the offside under braking, as if the nearside front brake (the one I had trouble with and noticed the piston not pumping out) isn't grabbing as hard as it should. It did grab the wheel after replacingbthe pad though, so I'm suspecting it's bedding in and not adjusting up.

Going back to when I bled the brakes you'll remember I could only get drops of fluid out of the front nearside / rear offside. So it sounds like one circuit giving trouble.

Does anyone know what I should check next?
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#10
Have you got ABS?
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