Brake pedal sink slowly to the ground

Hi, I have 1996 toyota camry, and it seemed like one problem after another. Just yesterday I experiance something scary when I apply the brake slowly, I could feel it engaging the disc rotor but won’t stop completely but you could feel like it wanna stop, also the brakes stop half way when it engage the disc then the pedal slowly sink to the ground, not all the way to the ground but barely touch the ground.
This morning I check and there was a little bit left of fluid, so I top it off and took for a test drive, will samething, brake engage and slowly sink to the ground. This happen one month after I snap my timing belt and gotta hard crank i, cause I flooded the piston with fuel. So tonight after I’m off work I will check it again in the snow with cardboard, then probably will fix it this weekend.
Any suggestion on what wrong, cause I have no clue how to work on brakes line or brake system. Anything idea will help, don’t wanna be driving my sister car all the time.

I read on some forum saying that of they come to a stop light and press on the brake the car will stop and feel the pedal sinking, mines like that but happen only when its parking, then when the car moves you could feel it engage half way and then sink, car still moves but barely and kinda stop but barely also. Fluid was dark before all this happen so my guess is the master cylinder but I’m not sure cause some say it could be the brake line. Any suggestion or idea will help

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The problem is most likely with a leaking brake master cylinder.

One place where the brake master cylinder can leak is into the vacuum brake booster.

Have someone remove the brake master cylinder from the brake booster to see if brake fluid is leaking into the brake booster.



Ok but is it ok to check all the brake line, caliper, and drum first before moving on to that?


Check those areas first.

And if you don’t find any leaks, check for the master cylinder leaking into the booster.


Ok thanks and from what I heard if brake fluid leaks into the brake booster you have to replace that also right? Could you use a use brake booster while using a new master cylinder?

If you haven’t had a full brake service recently, might be a good time to schedule that job with your well recommended local indep shop. They’d remove all four wheels, the rear drums (if so equipped) and inspect (& replace if necessary) the pads, rotors, drums, wheel cylinders, calipers, and all the flexible lines. Then they’d replace all the brake fluid w/new and pressure bleed the brake system. If the MC needed replacement, they’d do that too of course. At that point as far as the brakes, you’d be good to go for a lot of miles. You can get by on an engine that’s balky to start sometimes, a radio that only gets one station, but brakes have to be working 100% all the time in order for you and other drivers sharing the road with you to be safe.

That’s not true.

If brake fluid leaks into the booster, it doesn’t mean the booster needs to be replaced also.


Sounds good, a little stress just got lifted off thanks tester I will keep it updated

Find a shop that has good reviews and it might be a good idea to have it towed to shop so you don’t crash and hurt yourself or someone. Brakes are not something on the do it yourself list if you have no experience.

Ok I will do that also but I’m not sure if they’re going to touch my car cause it has no flex or cat just full straight pipe with ras on it and tail pipe. But how much you think that’s going to run me about $$ George

That I will do but I do have cousin who works on car and maybe they will do it free

It depends on what all needs to be replaced. If it is just the MC needing replacing – which is quite possible – a dealership will charge about $300 for the master cylinder parts cost, and 1.5 hours labor to replace the part , replace the fluid, and bleed the system. So around $450. An inde shop using aftermarket parts, maybe $300-$350. Add maybe another hour labor for the entire system inspection.

Price guessing is just that. It all depends on where the parts come from, what is needed and do you really expect your cousin to do this for free.
And why are you running a loud exhaust on a Camry anyway?

Damn that’s almost as much as my insurance lol
Well I will look into it, last time my dad went and fix my sister brakes system he got rip off and I was the one who end up splicing the line together with the help of a video from youtube, they charge him 450 for labor and a use brake line, so it got me pretty paranoid going to the shop

Lol just wanted a race car nothing much, not really that loud unless just the 3inch down pipe. Yes yes I know camry are not race car they’re family sedan car, I put on the straight pipe when I first had the car at 19 and got lazy so I didn’t wanna take it off

I don’t know about my cousin doing for free but it depend on it

Since you are " car-person " it seems, see if you can get somebody who is experienced in repairing brakes to show you how to do some of this stuff yourself. When cars hit sort of the 10 year old mark, it becomes pretty expensive to keep them on the road in a safe and reliable condition if you have to pay retail prices for the repair and maintenance. A lot of that stuff a person can do themselves in their spare time. Think of it this way. If you replace the front pads yourself – about a 2 hour job – you’d probably save $150. That’s like earning $75 per hour. And it’s totally tax free income. No income taxes, not even any payroll taxes. You’d have to earn $100 per hour to get $75 per hour take home pay. Why not learn how to earn that $100 per hour payroll yourself?

Front brakes are easy fix, the back not really cause it’s shoes brake but yes you’re correct I should get someone to help and guild me thru it, will save a lot of time and money. My car I do most of the stuff myself changing axel to minor simple stuff, its just the brake system is the only one I have no clue, most is from experience from helping other

Thanks for helping you guys
I will keep you guys update on how its going

Best of luck there OP

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Found the leak, wasn’t the master cylinder a rusty brake line I believe to be rust about 2 in half or 3 in long and from the looks of its the inner line