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So my brakes went completely out yesterday on the highway

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So my brakes went completely out yesterday on the highway

Old 01-30-06, 03:13 PM
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So my brakes went completely out yesterday on the highway

My son and I were coming home yesterday from shopping and I went to apply the brakes coming down a hill and nada. Pedal went straight to the floor. I just drove a little slower heading home using the emergency brake to stop. Had it repaired today and the line was basically shot. Odd thing is when I stopped to pick it up the guy was fixing another car with the exact same problem. He wasn't so lucky. He was coming to a stop light and wasn't first in line.

So anyone else have anything like this happen?
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Old 01-30-06, 03:19 PM
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Do you have any enemies who are also auto mechanics?
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Old 01-30-06, 03:19 PM
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I've never had brakes go out completely, but I had an '78 Chevy Malibu when I was younger that when I hit the breaks approaching a red, didn't slow me down. I had to use the emergency brake (good thing I wasn't going to fast).

The brakes still had some power in them though. I ended up just getting another car instead of fixing it though, so I don't know what actually went wrong.
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Old 01-30-06, 03:20 PM
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Scary. I had my alternator give out on the highway and that was a pretty scary experience. My lack of car knowledge, I had no idea what was going on.
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Old 01-30-06, 03:22 PM
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That's crazy. Luckily you weren't in an accident, especially with your son in the car.

For the brakes to go out like that, is it a gradual thing or can it happen at any time without warning?
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Old 01-30-06, 03:23 PM
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About 22 years ago, driving my first car, I had to replace the master cylinder as a result of brake failure. Ouchie.
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Old 01-30-06, 03:30 PM
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My car had been leaking brake fluid for about a year. I just continuously filled it up. I got sick of doing it last week, and had to have my pads, rotors, master cylinder, and brake booster replaced. $1350. I kind of wish I just continued to press my luck, although the mechanic did say my rotors were 95% worn down.

Car is 18 years old, and I wanted about 18 more months out of it.
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Old 01-30-06, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by SeekOnce


That's crazy. Luckily you weren't in an accident, especially with your son in the car.

For the brakes to go out like that, is it a gradual thing or can it happen at any time without warning?
In my case it was instant. I've never added fluid, bled the brakes, noticed anything different. The line was obviously coroded. I looked at it.

Dang deadlax. Hell mine was $60.06. I don't feel so bad now.
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Old 01-30-06, 03:37 PM
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What car and how old is it?

This is yet another reason why I like to do my own oil changes. I take a look around at things while I am waiting for the oil to drain out (CV boots, Lines, other fluids, look around for leaks). Brake lines should go 15 years or more without issue.

Did the mechanic say how the line failed? Rust on the steel part or did the rubber part just rot?
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Old 01-30-06, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DodgingCars
I've never had brakes go out completely, but I had an '78 Chevy Malibu when I was younger that when I hit the breaks approaching a red, didn't slow me down. I had to use the emergency brake (good thing I wasn't going to fast).

The brakes still had some power in them though. I ended up just getting another car instead of fixing it though, so I don't know what actually went wrong.
Well when I pressed the pedal you could feel drag but not anywhere near anything to hardly slow the car down much less stop it. I freaked for a sec then thought, oh, emergency brake. Good choice for a name eh
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Old 01-30-06, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by 4KRG
What car and how old is it?

This is yet another reason why I like to do my own oil changes. I take a look around at things while I am waiting for the oil to drain out (CV boots, Lines, other fluids, look around for leaks). Brake lines should go 15 years or more without issue.

Did the mechanic say how the line failed? Rust on the steel part or did the rubber part just rot?

It's a '95 Neon. It was a freebie and I'm driving it till it dies The lines were rusted pretty bad. I guess the weak spot finally gave out on the final press.

I change the oil but never really looked around much. I guess I will a little more now.
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Old 01-30-06, 03:53 PM
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Yeah, brake lines will corrode with time. That why many vehicles have a scheduled brake system flush and bleed every couple years. It's pretty easy with the help of a $20 hand pump.
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Old 01-30-06, 04:01 PM
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I had my power steering go out while going downhill through a sharp curve. It took nearly all my strength to avoid slamming into oncoming traffic.

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Old 01-30-06, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by kantonburg
I've never added fluid, bled the brakes...
+

Originally Posted by kantonburg
It's a '95 Neon.
= failed brakes

Brake fluid is hydroscopic. I am fairly sure that after 11 years your fluid was contaminated with a high content of water, it's no wonder the lines rusted

Many people say to flush brake lines every other year, depending on climate I would say every 4-5 years is safe. Even if you have a shop do it, it only costs about $60. Every 4th year it is worth it.
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Old 01-30-06, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by 4KRG
Even if you have a shop do it, it only costs about $60. Every 4th year it is worth it.
$60.06 with a replaced line

I'm all about doing whatever I can to save a buck. I've changed all my belts, fuel pump, change oil. I figured it was either a line or the master cylinder and after skimming the Haynes manual I figured this wasn't something I really wanted to tackle. For $60 I got new line, flushed brake system, bled, etc. and this included labor. So yeah unless you can do it in under an hour it's just not worth the hassle IMO.
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