Brakes went out!

plymouth
laser

#1

I lost compression in my brakes while driving in 30mph zone…the brake pedal went to the floor to get any stopping power (which was weak). When I got home I saw the brake fluid resavoir was few ounces low and filled it…would this account for the loss compression?..would you drive this car? or should I have it towed in?
1992 plymouth laser 126K


#2

I want to add that I had driven about 1 1/2 mile from a self service car wash where I ran the spray wand underneath the motor area to wash out winter road salt.
Could I have wet something?


#3

Water coming out of a spray wand will always wet some thing in it’s path. As whether that effected your brakes is doubtful.

As for driving it, do you feel lucky?


#4

Get it fixed properly ASAP! You don’t fool around with brake problems!


#5

While the car wash may have caused your brake pads to get wet and to become (temporarily) somewhat less effective, that situation has nothing to do with the brake pedal going to the floor, and with the brake fluid being “low”.

My strong suggestion is to have the car towed, and to tell the mechanic to check the condition of your master cylinder. I would be VERY surprised if this 25 year old car didn’t need to have the master cylinder replaced.


#6

If the pedal goes to the floor, you should try to pump it up but likely will still sink to the floor but at least you will have some braking. I would suspect you have a leaky master cylinder since this is the classic symptom. Had you developed a leak in a wheel cylinder, it should not have caused the pedal to the floor and likely would have lost more fluid.


#7

You can’t trust being able to stop. Do not drive the car.

It’s possible the high pressure water from the car wash wrecked a brake hose that was in bad shape at one of the front wheels.


#8

Consider this vehicle a death trap until the problem is properly diagnosed and corrected. Do not drive it.

The car wash had nothing to do with the problem. You sprung a leak. Any competent shop will be able to find the leak and fix the problem. In a '92 it could be a blown rear brake cylinder seal, a blown front caliper seal, blown flex line, or even a corroded (failed) hardline fitting(s). This vehicle needs a very thorough once-over. Do not accept any shortcuts. Lives depend upon it.

NYBo may be exactly correct, but what he’s actually saying is that the car wash may have saved your life by exposing a deadly condition. On a car this age, it may be only a warning. That’s why I recommend the good, thorough, no-holds-barred inspection of the brake system.

Sincere best.


#9

I’ve never had a wheel cylinder leak on a car with a split braking system but would you have a pedal that goes to the floor if half the braking system was still intact? Also on the car I did have a leaky cylinder on, I still had a good pedal but lost fluid.


#10

You could have total brake loss from a leaky wheel cylinder because the front and rear brakes share the same fluid reservoir, It’s not like the safer master cylinders we used to have.


#11

A few ounces low, below the full mark is not really low. A brake pedal drop with fluid in the reservoir is usually due to a master cylinder failure.


#12

The pedal will typically sink lower before the car stops if half the system blows out. The driver will have to push the pedal harder, as half the braking power has disappeared. “To the floor” is as much subjective as objective. A pedal that sinks lower than normal is often described as “sinking to the floor”.

In any event, this is clearly unsafe and needs to be diagnosed and repaired before the vehicle is driven again. .


#13

Anyone else notice when bleeding brakes by opening one bleeder at a time that the pedal goes to the floor? Doesn’t inspire confidence in the dual-braking system.