brakes - long pedal
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This is a discussion on brakes - long pedal within the Suspension & Wheels forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; 2002 wrx wagon, 65k miles, recurring problem w/ brakes. 'have to push the brake pedal a long way before brakes ...

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    brakes - long pedal

    2002 wrx wagon, 65k miles, recurring problem w/ brakes.

    'have to push the brake pedal a long way before brakes engage.

    this has occurred before but the first time it was sort of intermittent, half the time the pedal was good, half the time the travel would be long.
    I'd cleaned up the brakes myself and then had a shop take a look at them - no improvement
    Having the brake fluid changed took care of the problem completely.

    It's occurring again but this time it is consistent and not intermittent.
    I'm thinking there might be a broader problem.

    Last fall I took apart all four brakes, again, and cleaned everything - steel-wooled til shiny all of the slider things that the pads sit in - and carefully applied brake lube before reassembly.
    I lightly scuffed the surfaces of each pad and put a small bevel on the leading edges - I've also had some squealing problems.

    The problem develops slowly, nothing dramatic, until you realize that the brakes are really lousy.

    The rotor surfaces are good. Have been using Hawk pads front and back.

    Still like the car a lot, after all these years. Well, except for the lousy low-end torque and stuttering clutch.

    Did searches of the forum but wasn't successful in finding anything.

    Anybody got any ideas?

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Have you noticed your fluid level dropping at all? It's weird that it comes back gradually.

    Maybe one of the more bug-eye experienced members can pitch in ideas otherwise. I've never heard of a master cylinder going in these cars, but you never know.
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    You need to bleed your brakes.
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    yeah, you might think that but…not this soon after a flush and change, one year, and not on this reoccurring frequency. 'put a lot of miles on a lot of cars and that was a more common need of cars from the 60'sand 70' used to do it myself with a broom handle on the brake pedal. I've never had it on any cars from the past two decades. yeah, I'm a grey-beard.

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    zax
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    Well what fluid did you use on your last change? Fluid with a higher BP requires bleeding far more frequently (~6 months).
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    or let me put it this way - the bleeding would most likely take care of the problem, but since it is recurring I'm thinking there may be a broader root cause. infiltration of water or air? master cylinder?
    I guess one thing I'm wondering is if this has shown up in other cars.
    Also, sometimes one(me) is going with one set of assumptions/experiences and another problem/cause sneaks in while you're not looking - something like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zax View Post
    Well what fluid did you use on your last change? Fluid with a higher BP requires bleeding far more frequently (~6 months).
    that's a thought - I'd put hi bp in when new and I took it a few times to Summit Point for "friday-at-the-track", which is a total hoot. but the last time it was standard stuff by the dealer

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    and yeah, I'll definitely be doing the fluid change. 'was mainly wondering if I needed to be worried that something else was developing.
    And then there's the "sometimes a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing" that I can fall victim to.
    thanks

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    Registered User nsibanez's Avatar
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    Check to see if your brake hoses are swelling. If you already bled them....cleaned up all the slide pins and what-not, something might be blocking the fluid from getting to the pistons such as a clogged hose.
    Doesnt mean you cant have a seized slide pin either or seizing piston

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    I've just erased what I had posted and to make a long story short, I had the system flushed and changed and didn't notice much if any difference.

    crawled under the car and didn't see any leaks or swollen hoses. I also didn't see any wrench marks on the bleeder valves…?

    bled each valve, things seemed okay, decided that there was no problem there.

    thought it might be the brake booster and made an appointment at dealership.

    later took the car on an errand - the brakes worked fine(!). no excess travel, no abrupt grab, the proper feel was there in that they were easy to regulate/modulate.

    hope this takes care of it.

    and yep, it was the simplest of things.

    and nope, couldn't trust a shop to do that simplest of things properly.

    Expletives deleted.
    Last edited by paintmywagon; 05-23-2013 at 03:41 PM. Reason: didn't check my assumptions

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