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2002 Pontiac Sunfire Brakes

I recently bought a used 2002 Pontiac Sunfire. No matter what speed you are going you have to put the brake pedal almost all the way to the floor. When the brakes do finally work they brake very hard. Sometimes they brake so hard they just lock up, the back ones first. I am wondering if they need to be replaced, or simply adjusted or what is going on.



You need to have this car towed to a mechanic to have the brakes repaired. It is not safe to drive the car the way it is.

There are lots of possible causes for the things you describe, but the important thing is to get it fixed before you hurt yourself or someone else.

Call your mechanic NOW!

Mcparadise is correct. Continuing to drive car in this condition is extremely foolish and dangerous. The problem(s) could be related to a low level of brake fluid in the master cylinder and/or bad brake pads. A low level of brake fluid can be the result of a leak in the brake hydraulic system, or it can be the result of badly worn brake pads. Modern disc brakes do not get “adjusted”, so you can rule that out.

I would ask what your mechanic said regarding the brakes when you had him do a pre-purchase inspection of the car, but I think that I already know the answer to that question. So, even if this car has never been seen by a mechanic, you need to have that done immediately or you need to park the car until you are able to take it to a mechanic.

My mechanic told me that i will need the rotors replaced, but that it is cheap to fix. He also said that the tiny amount of rust above the gas door will get worse, but wont be a problem for a couple while.

Maybe you shouldn’t assume things about people especially when you have no idea who you are talking to.

So you took the car to a mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection, he told you that you needed brake repairs, and you decided to keep driving the car anyway? If that is the case, then I think that the terms foolish and dangerous were appropriate, even if you do not.

Rotor replacement is not extremely expensive, but failure to have any type of brake repair done is irresponsible in the extreme. And, the symptoms that you described are likely evidence of the need for more than just rotor replacement.

Yeah thats what I did. But when he told me i needed brake repairs i bought the car, drove it home and parked it in my garage where it has sat since then. Now I am asking for a second opinion and how much it would cost to repair it.

As a minimum you’ll need front rotors and pads and rear shoes. You may even need the drums turned or replaced since you’re probably metal-to-metal. Much of the cost is labor, and that will vary by region. One tip is to seek out a reputable owner-operated shop rather than a dealer or chain shop. You’ll save money and probably get a better job.

Plan at least $350, but shop around. Depending on where you are I could be way off.