Hard pressure on brake pedal after cylinders replaced

I own a 2000 Hyundai Accent with 85,000 miles on it. I recently took my car into a local shop because the pressure on my brake pedal was extremely low. I was almost pushing it to the floor.

On my first trip to the shop, they replaced the rear wheel cylinders because they were leaking. This replacement didn’t fix my problem.

On the second trip to the shop, they replaced my master cylinder. I did call around to other shops to do a price comparison and the price was reasonable on both jobs. This work was done about two weeks ago.

At first, this seemed to fix my problem, the pressure was perfect. Since then I’ve been having an intermittent problem with the brake pedal pressure changing. It would get a little hard during driving, but would correct itself after a few moments. I don’t drive that often or very far, so I was waiting to see if the problem would get worse.

Last night it did. I went out and when I tried to drive my car home my pedal was extremely hard. I could barely push it. While I was driving my car home (I was close to home), it felt like I was driving with my brakes on. My car would stop as soon as I took my foot off the gas pedal, I could not coast. When I got out, I could feel heat coming from the front tires, which I didn’t even have work done on. There was also a smell that I’ve never smelled before. It almost smelled like something burning.

I was told I should have my car towed back to the shop on a lifted bed and not rolled there and that they should fix my car at no charge because they did something wrong.

My ultimate question is did the shop do something wrong and should I take it back to them if they did? Should they be responsible for this new repair? I don’t want to go demanding anything if it’s possible this is a whole new problem and not their fault. Even though it does seem like an awfully big coincidence. My next question is: what could be possibly wrong with my car? I would like to know what I’m getting myself into.

I am on board with having it towed back to the shop. However, it isn’t clear at all that the shop should be responsible for this. For one thing, they worked on the rear brakes (wheel cylinders) and the master cylinder, but you are reporting heat in the front. Its a 12 year old car and you just had to do the wheel cylinders & master cylinder. Its perfectly possible that your calipers (sticking) and the front flexible brake lines (interior wall deterioration) now need attention, independently of the other stuff.

Its possible that the shop could have been more thorough in terms of their inspection of the entire brake system. But its also possible that there was no way for them to know this issue was coming.

So I think you should just deliver the car with a report of the symptoms. Have them figure it out and then explain exactly what is going on. If you get an explanation of exactly what is going on you can post it. That could change my mind about their role in this, but probably not.

Make sure that during the wheel/master cylinders they flushed all of the old fluid from your brake lines. After the work they did, you should have fresh fluid all around.