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2000 Ford Windstar - Shudders

Pretty sure about what to do on this but novice level here! When decelerating from freeway speeds get the shudders, braking equals more shuddering, eventually coming to a stop equals pedal to the floor and leg strength but stops, seems like she’s dragging brakes, if I let off the gas she slows down significantly, you can hear little squeaks when letting off the gas. I figure brakes need fixing but extremely budgeted right now and I mean extremely. Can’t afford to get parts I don’t ultimately need. Can’t tell if stuck calipers, warped rotors, or even brake booster. It’s the 3.8L V6 SEL version. Mostly right side it sounds like too. Any help here greatly appreciated, thank you!!!:wink:

You likely need brake rotors and pads on the front. The rear brakes don’t work very hard on this FWD van. Impossible to tell if a caliper is sticking, slides are sticking or if a brake hose or power booster is failing from the internet. That will need to be determined on site, parts in hand to be examined.

This is going to sound harsh but… if you can’t find the money to repair it, you can’t afford to drive it. Consider poor brakes to be a risk to your own life as well as everyone in front of you. Cars, pedestrians, children. Starting is optional, stopping is not.


Here’s an idea . . .

Don’t bother paying for diagnosis . . . at least you’ll save a few bucks by not paying for that

Go to a reputable independent shop and pay them to replace your front brake pads and rotors, along with the disc brake hardware

Chances are this will take care of all or most of your immediate problems

Consider this to be step one . . .

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Awesome, thanks for replying! I figured as much. Was just shopping around online. The physical parts stores, even o’Reilly’s too steep for this payday. God bless Amazon and Parts Geek though! Should be able to get it done completely on the front end for about $150. Calipers, rotors, and new pads. Upgrade and take care of the ol drums in back asap. If it’s the booster that’ll be fun. Luckily me and the wife work a few blocks, keeping her off the road this week till parts arrive and wrenched in. Thanks again! :wink::+1: Anyone else have suggestions in case…?

With all due respect . . .

Rockauto prices are only relevant if you’re planning on performing the repairs yourself

Is that the case?

If you’re paying a shop to repair your van . . . rockauto prices have no relevance whatsoever

If you can’t afford to fix the brakes at this time . . . whether you do it yourself or pay a shop to do it . . . then I suggest you park the van in the driveway until you’re financially able to do it

You do NOT want to rear end somebody because your brakes are in lousy shape and you weren’t able to stop in time


So after you buy all these parts, what are you going to do with them when you find out they aren’t the problem.

So many other things it could be.

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What other suspects do you think? I’m all ears, that’s why I came here. Any suggestions will help, I’m not an expert for sure. Done brakes before but just pads. Just diagnosed my starter correctly less than 2 weeks ago when one friend said if it wasn’t starting I was either out of gas or compression issues when it was sparking at the ground off the starter. Replaced starter with my own 2 hands. Just never dealt with brakes this bad this quick. Just got this car to do for about 6 months or so until I get a new one. Fixer upper for sure! Replaced alternator, battery, and tires already…

Putting in the wrench time myself, keeping it off the road for sure. I’ve been rear ended by an idiot before, definitely not cool!!!

In that case . . . rockauto is a good source of parts at a modest price

Bear in mind, though . . . any wrong and/or damaged parts will be a pain to return, versus if you buy parts locally

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With the shuddering before you even apply the brakes, could be wheel bearing, bad tire, suspension parts.

I’d be checking all before even buying parts.

You may need new brakes, but there could be other safety issues.

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Now I’m feeling even more lost. Could be the power brake booster or cylinder at least when it comes to the loss of power not the shuddering. Then I see there’s different master cylinders! Mine has disc front drums back. Cylinder is consistently needing fluid. Anyone got anything, going mad over here…

If you are adding that much brake fluid, it should be easy to find the leak.

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Attention EMERGENCY!!! Fixed brakes, new calipers, rotors, pads. While bleeding the system before happily done, BRAKE PEDAL POPPED AND CAME OUT WITH SPRINGS COMPLETELY NO BRAKES AT ALL NOW. Hissing from where the pedal belongs with a rod from pedal into the hole. I need this car for a new job within days, please help!!! Just sank pretty much all money I had into it…

Sounds like you need a new brake booster.

Agreed, that’s what it turned out to be, got one with a new master cylinder to boot. Thanks for your reply! :wink::+1: