Brake pedal goes way down to almost floor before working



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Thread: Brake pedal goes way down to almost floor before working

  1. #1
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    Brake pedal goes way down to almost floor before working

    My brakes work, but I have to push the pedal down far before they work. The front brakes were replaced a month or two ago. It doesn't seem related to that repair since this wasn't a problem at that time. It's making me nervous. In the past I would assume the brakes need bleeding, but I've seen enough to ask if it could be something else. We're taking it in tomorrow, but just kind of curious what you guys think it could be.
    --
    Scott
    2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
    3.8L-V6, 155K miles.

    Previously had:

    *1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE 3.3L-V6 FFV, 141K miles.
    *1999 Braun Entervan III (Dodge Grand Caravan modified for wheelchair users) - 65k miles 3.3L V6 FFV
    *1988 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE 3.0 V6 with 3 spd tranny -168K miles on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post
    My brakes work, but I have to push the pedal down far before they work. The front brakes were replaced a month or two ago. It doesn't seem related to that repair since this wasn't a problem at that time. It's making me nervous. In the past I would assume the brakes need bleeding, but I've seen enough to ask if it could be something else. We're taking it in tomorrow, but just kind of curious what you guys think it could be.
    From afar, I would suspect your front brakes are sticking and your rear brakes are way out of adjustment. Here's a bit of a checklist (Brakes Troubleshooting) to look at: http://forum.chryslerminivan.net/sho...roubleshooting
    2007 GC SXT - Magnesium - S&G - 3.8L - 112,920 kms
    2002 GC Sport - Stone White - 3.3L - 311,200 kms
    2003 Jeep TJ Sport - 4.0L - 251,430 kms

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    this is just a guess, but since the rear brakes on SXT are disk (rotor, not drum) and no codes/lights or symptoms are present - they probably need to be bled (all fluid exchanged) and ABS modulator needs to be bled (via DRBIII).
    The ABS bleeding is very important in this case, since if there's air present in the module it cannot be expelled any other way...
    relevant vehicle: '05 -=C=- T&C Ltd @~110K

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    Bleed them. If the problem remains, pressure test the system to check for a bad master.
    Candy the van. '98 Sport 3.8L 132,200 miles. Used trans at ~96k. Great piece of my life and a fine van.

    '69 GTO drop top
    www.facebook.com/people/Andy-Greif/1410438927

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    The mechanic says they are fine. He's wondering if maybe my hand controls (disabled driver) might need adjusting because with the pedal they are fine. I guess I need to get them checked out first before I can be sure that there is a problem.
    --
    Scott
    2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
    3.8L-V6, 155K miles.

    Previously had:

    *1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE 3.3L-V6 FFV, 141K miles.
    *1999 Braun Entervan III (Dodge Grand Caravan modified for wheelchair users) - 65k miles 3.3L V6 FFV
    *1988 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE 3.0 V6 with 3 spd tranny -168K miles on it.

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    UPDATE: I wasn't buying the mechanics diagnosis so I took it to the dealer. I asked "if a brake system flush would help?" They looked at it and came back to me and said that when the other guys replaced the brakes that they didn't machine the rotors and that is what it feels like when they don't do that. They said it is okay for now. I took it and used it last night and had to make a panic stop. They worked, but I'm still troubled by how far the pedal travels. I guess I need to go back and insist on a brake flush, except that I'm not even sure it will help. Hand Controls will be checked in 2 weeks but I am almost certain it is not a hand control issue. What to do?
    --
    Scott
    2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
    3.8L-V6, 155K miles.

    Previously had:

    *1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE 3.3L-V6 FFV, 141K miles.
    *1999 Braun Entervan III (Dodge Grand Caravan modified for wheelchair users) - 65k miles 3.3L V6 FFV
    *1988 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE 3.0 V6 with 3 spd tranny -168K miles on it.

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    What kind of hand controls do you have. I am an amputee, but don't use them.

    My buddy is a para and I have used his. The portable ones that don't have a permanent mount to the column are flimsy.

    I don't think just replacing pads would cause excessive pedal travel. You might feel the braking surface, and get some noise, but no extra pedal travel.

    Did the mechanic move your pedal mount? I have removed his when I borrowed the van, and I had to play with it when I reinstalled it (portable controls).

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post
    UPDATE: I wasn't buying the mechanics diagnosis so I took it to the dealer. I asked "if a brake system flush would help?" They looked at it and came back to me and said that when the other guys replaced the brakes that they didn't machine the rotors and that is what it feels like when they don't do that. They said it is okay for now. I took it and used it last night and had to make a panic stop. They worked, but I'm still troubled by how far the pedal travels. I guess I need to go back and insist on a brake flush, except that I'm not even sure it will help. Hand Controls will be checked in 2 weeks but I am almost certain it is not a hand control issue. What to do?
    Brake flush may not help nearly as much as freshly machined faces (more friction available) on your rotors. More friction between the pads and the rotors means shorter stopping distances, less pedal pressure required, hence less pedal travel. Have the pads replaced or atleast sanded at the same time. There could be, most likely is, a build-up of corrosion on the inside face of your rotors as well, which cuts down on the surface area availabe for effective pad contact when braking.
    A brake flush is not even mentioned in your Owner Manual as being required so that says something about the need for it. However, it doesn't hurt to have fresh fluid every 60,000 miles or when you replace the calipers.
    From afar, I think your problem is reduced brake effectiveness due to the rotors being too smooth and having a build-up of corrosion on the inner faces. I'm siding with the Dealer.

    As to "flushing" of anything, here's what a Chrysler bulletin dated March 30, 2007 says:
    Chrysler Group vehicle fluid systems do NOT require regular flushing. These systems include: engine oil, transmission oil, axle lube, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and
    refrigerant. The only exception to this requirement are published in the vehicle maintenance schedules, e.g. engine coolant.
    Exceptions to this recommendation include only those instances where a failure has occurred and/or the system has become compromised, contaminated or overheated beyond the normal operating range.

    PS: New rotors may not be much more expensive than freshly machined old rotors, likely $20.00 to $30.00 a piece.
    Last edited by Jeepman; 04-27-2011 at 12:53 PM.
    2007 GC SXT - Magnesium - S&G - 3.8L - 112,920 kms
    2002 GC Sport - Stone White - 3.3L - 311,200 kms
    2003 Jeep TJ Sport - 4.0L - 251,430 kms

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepman View Post
    Brake flush may not help nearly as much as freshly machined faces (more friction available) on your rotors. More friction between the pads and the rotors means shorter stopping distances, less pedal pressure required, hence less pedal travel. Have the pads replaced or atleast sanded at the same time. There could be, most likely is, a build-up of corrosion on the inside face of your rotors as well, which cuts down on the surface area availabe for effective pad contact when braking.
    A brake flush is not even mentioned in your Owner Manual as being required so that says something about the need for it. However, it doesn't hurt to have fresh fluid every 60,000 miles or when you replace the calipers.
    From afar, I think your problem is reduced brake effectiveness due to the rotors being too smooth and having a build-up of corrosion on the inner faces. I'm siding with the Dealer.

    As to "flushing" of anything, here's what a Chrysler bulletin dated March 30, 2007 says:



    PS: New rotors may not be much more expensive than freshly machined old rotors, likely $20.00 to $30.00 a piece.

    So what you're saying is I should get new rotors, or get these machined, right?
    --
    Scott
    2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
    3.8L-V6, 155K miles.

    Previously had:

    *1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE 3.3L-V6 FFV, 141K miles.
    *1999 Braun Entervan III (Dodge Grand Caravan modified for wheelchair users) - 65k miles 3.3L V6 FFV
    *1988 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE 3.0 V6 with 3 spd tranny -168K miles on it.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dg98adams View Post
    What kind of hand controls do you have. I am an amputee, but don't use them.

    My buddy is a para and I have used his. The portable ones that don't have a permanent mount to the column are flimsy.

    I don't think just replacing pads would cause excessive pedal travel. You might feel the braking surface, and get some noise, but no extra pedal travel.

    Did the mechanic move your pedal mount? I have removed his when I borrowed the van, and I had to play with it when I reinstalled it (portable controls).

    The controls I have are not the portable kind. Mine are made by MPD.
    --
    Scott
    2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
    3.8L-V6, 155K miles.

    Previously had:

    *1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE 3.3L-V6 FFV, 141K miles.
    *1999 Braun Entervan III (Dodge Grand Caravan modified for wheelchair users) - 65k miles 3.3L V6 FFV
    *1988 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE 3.0 V6 with 3 spd tranny -168K miles on it.

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