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#1 2020-01-28 08:31:57

Firemoth
Member
From: Bacup, Lancashire
Registered: 2019-07-05
Posts: 51

Soft brakes

Technical difficulties.... This car always seems to wait till we're on holiday ?

Brakes have just gone soft without any warning. They're still working but less effective. I've had a quick check and there are no visible leaks and no loss of fluid. I suspect it could be the rear brake compensator, although I'm not sure exactly how it works. I do know that since I got the car a year ago, if it's parked up for a while, for the first mile or so, the rear brakes are very very keen. Very easy to lock the back wheels up, although it's completely fine after s few stops, so it makes sense it could be that.

We've just got to where we're going (fortunately) so it will be a few hours till I'm back at the car. If anyone has any suggestions what to check, that would be helpful.

Thanks

1997 synergie TD (drums on the rear)


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#2 2020-01-28 09:15:21

Casper
Member
From: East Lothian
Registered: 2015-12-20
Posts: 1,486

Re: Soft brakes

If a rear wheel cylinder (Compressor) goes they tend to leak and make a mess if the inside if the wheel plus you would notice fluid leak. If they were seized i would expect you to still have good front brakes just harder pedal.  The Cylinder works bu fluid going in and two pins push out opening the shoes into the drum. Only time i have ever had brake fade was overheating either pads or fluid. If you get back to the motor and they are fine i would be looking at front even though it sounds like you cylinders still wants replaced. Buggered servo would be hard brakes but also buggered master cylinder may cause this. Rubber seals starting to go where the fluid is passing over them rather than getting pushed down the pipes. How old it the fluid? Could be old and over the years for various reasons there is water in the mix what will cause soft brakes.

Apart from that, enjoying your holiday?

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#3 2020-01-28 10:37:59

Firemoth
Member
From: Bacup, Lancashire
Registered: 2019-07-05
Posts: 51

Re: Soft brakes

I flushed old fluid out about 6 months ago with new fluid. The old fluid didn't seem bad. Master cylinder is one of my other thoughts. Also trying to weigh up how safe it is to carry on with caution till I get home


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#4 2020-01-28 10:59:52

Casper
Member
From: East Lothian
Registered: 2015-12-20
Posts: 1,486

Re: Soft brakes

One last thought before i have to go earn money.

Flexi hose is old and flexing to much. If its bulging at a weak spot this would happen. Had that once before also.

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#5 2020-01-28 11:58:12

Firemoth
Member
From: Bacup, Lancashire
Registered: 2019-07-05
Posts: 51

Re: Soft brakes

Update, back to the car now, it's been sat 3 or 4 hours, brakes are completely fine now. I'm going to suspect mainly the master cylinder, so I'll replace that when I get home just in case, and probably to the compensator valve too because that has been odd as mentioned. I think maybe it's unlikely to be that but can't hurt. Fingers crossed all will be ok till I get home.

Seeing as it's "fixed" itself, it clearly isn't an external leak, and can't really be a bad Flexi either


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#6 2020-01-28 21:17:28

OAT
Member
From: Borders/Dales
Registered: 2017-01-03
Posts: 450

Re: Soft brakes

Long shot but re the load compensator. 

I had to replace mine recently after mot fail.  After having a new one fitted, I experienced worryingly low power twice.  Each time was on quite uneven and sloping ground while manouvering for level.

While rolling back on the brakes in neutral, they would go soft and a noise could be heard from the middle rear.   I messed about the second time by rolling back and forth on especialy lumpy ground.  I could make it do it a couple more times then it never did it again and hasn't since.

I think those compensators move or perhaps sometimes don't move "in mysterious ways."

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#7 2020-02-03 00:06:39

Firemoth
Member
From: Bacup, Lancashire
Registered: 2019-07-05
Posts: 51

Re: Soft brakes

Update, something like 1500 miles later, from Poland, through Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Luxembourg, across Belgium into France and back home, plus another couple hundred miles this weekend, absolutely nothing wrong. Can't find anything at all wrong. I can only think it's that compensator or the master cylinder. I'm planning on doing the rear shoes and cylinders soon anyway, so I'll do them two too just in case. Weird

Last edited by Firemoth (2020-02-03 00:10:05)


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