why does my brake pedal feel like this? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 05-02-2005, 01:02 AM   #1
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Default why does my brake pedal feel like this?

i've noticed that when i am cruising along and step on the brake pedal coming to a stop, that the pedal seems to go down rather easy and i need increased foot pressure to stop. however, if i step on it once, then let off and step on it again the pedal feels nice and solid like it should be. would that be a vacuum problem? maybe a sign of a bad brake booster? it'* wierd....it'* like i have to 'pump up' the brake pedal once just so it will feel normal.

also, not sure if this is related problem or not, but my Traction Control won't turn on and i noticed today during a test 'emergency stop' that my front driver'* side tire easily locked up....so apparantly my ABS isn't fuctioning.
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Old 05-02-2005, 01:05 AM   #2
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I would look into wheel speed sensors maybe. Brake booster. And maybe a sticky caliper?
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Old 05-02-2005, 03:40 AM   #3
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My pedal does the EXACT same thing. Not quite sure why.

Yeah, as I said on W-body, most likely your wheel hub sensors are out if the TRACTION OFF light is on and your ABS isn't working.
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:25 AM   #4
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I would suggest putting it up in the air and pulling all 4 wheels. Bill (willwren) suggested power washing around the brakes and backing plates to correct wheel speed sensor problems. Seems like they get dirty.

Before you wash the backs, look for brake fluid on things. You may have a leaky wheel cylinder. Check level of brake fluid, possible leak. Then check the vacuum like to the brake booster. If all this looks good then it is possible your master cylinder is beginning to let go. However all the ones that went bad on my, caused my pedal to go straight to the floor if I didn't pump them up.
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:28 AM   #5
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I'm not one of the gearheads.... but I would guess that it has something to do with your master cylinder. If your brakes aren't working good, but then you "pump" them and they work for a minute or two, I've heard that that is problems with your master cylinder.

But don' trust me... wait for one of the gearheads to chime in.
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Old 05-02-2005, 09:01 AM   #6
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when my master cylinder went bad, it acted just like you described: first press went down easy, almost to the floor; second press felt normal.
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:47 AM   #7
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I would bet it'* probably the master, but it'* worth looking for leaky lines and low fluid levels first.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:39 AM   #8
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It sounds like a bad master cylinder to me. Air in the system.

When you apply the brakes hard the air is compressed instantly and the pedal feels hard. Slower application causes gradual compression and so the pedal feels mushy.
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Old 05-02-2005, 01:41 PM   #9
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thanks for the suggestions. i'm going to check for leaks and bleed the brakes and see what that does....then pull the wheels off and inspect everything and powerwash it. gotta try the free stuff first lol.

but yeah sounds too me like i am probably going to be replacing the m/* soon. the pedal doesn't go down to the floor (or even close) on the initial press of the brake pedal, but it does have more travel on the first pump then the second.
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Old 05-02-2005, 04:28 PM   #10
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Master Cylinder failures are all too common on the H bodies... But you will also need to check the rear wheel cylinders as they are proned to leaking... If they aren't leaking go ahead and clean/lube and adjust the rear shoes...

Good Luck..


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