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Braking issues on a 2000 Caravan/Voyager

a friend of mine has a 2000 caravan or voyager and while he’s driving once in a while it seems like the brakes are activating on their own. if you let off the gas while it’s happening, it will slow down and come to a complete stop without touching the brake pedal. it does NOT pull to either side when this happens, it just comes to a stop. i replaced front pads/rotors/calipers and another friend replaced thebrear wheel cylinders/shoes/hardware and it’s still doing it. i’m thinking wheel bearing/cv joint. also when it happens the front wheels get VERY hot. any info would be great.

ps. could it also be the antilock brakes malfunctioning? has ABS on front brakes only.

It is probably a bad master cylinder that is not releasing the pressure when you let off the brake.It could be caused by dirty fluid that is clogging the ports in the master cyl.Another possibility is a collapsed front brake hode that is not releasing the pressure on the caliper. When it happens see if one front hubcap is hotter than the other. If it is ,see if the opposite side rear is hotter than the other side. If it is hot in a diagonal pattern that points to the master cyl. If it is hotter only at one front whee[, that points to the hose. The minivans with ABS have it on all 4 wheels, only pickups had 2 wheel ABS (in the rear) for a while.

If memory serves me correctly, these vans had front brake hoses that have a steel bracket that holds them away from moving parts in the front end. The bracket wraps all the way around the hose, and can become rusty and squeeze on the hose, causing it to collapse and hold pressure on the brakes. If this is the case, you may be able to loosen the bracket somewhat from around the hose and clean the rust out to bring the hose back to life. Alternatively, you could replace the hoses and guarantee your problems will go away. It’s highly unlikely the ABS is causing this problem, and once again, the ABS is on all four wheels.

try mark9207s idea first! this is a common problem

thanks, i’ll let him know and have him take a look, but i didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. oh, and i just remembered his wife accidentaly put some power steering fluid in the brake resivoir(sp). i’m sure that couldn’t have been good. she said just a couple drops went in but who knows for sure. this was before the rear brakes were replaced and the system bled. could this have caused the problem?

This changes everything. You better hope that it really was ‘only a couple drops.’ The last time I saw this happen, it ruined everything rubber in the brake system. Since you have ABS, that could cost thousands of dollars to repair. Find a good mechanic and see if it can be flushed out, and still check out those steel brackets. For future reference, ONLY the PROPER KIND of brake fluid can be put in the master cylinder, no motor oil, no power steering fluid, only brake fluid. Frankly, you would have been better off putting water in the reservoir. At least it is harmless to the rubber in the system and can be easily flushed out, unlike power steering fluid.

man, glad it’s not my car, lol. oh, and i checked the heat coming from the wheels and everything, and it’s just the fronts getting hot, the rears stay cool to the touch. will flush it this weekend and change the rubber lines. hopefully that will clear it up, if not, i guess he’s SOL.