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Intermittent Break Failure

I have a 2005 Mazda MPV and I’m having trouble with the breaks. It has happened 4 times this winter when it has been below 15 degrees. As I am pulling out of my parking space when I press the break petal, it feels as if there is something blocking me from depressing the break and despite the fact that I am pressing the break as hard as I can, (it does make the ABS grinding sound) the car does not respond at all and does not stop. After a few seconds the break seems to unjam and I can push it all the way down and then the car stops. I took it to the Mazda dealer and they said I needed new breaks (which I did, they were original from June 2005 and had only “10% left”. Since replacing the breaks the jamming issue described above happened once more. The technician at the Mazda dealer has looked at it twice but it did not happen when he was driving so he says there is nothing he can do. Any ideas what might be going on?

You might have water in the brake fluid. I’d have the fluid replaced if I were you.

If the Mazda dealer did not change the brake fluid when the brake pads were changed, that could be the source of the problem.

Brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means that it absorbs moisture from the air. This moisture accumulates in the brake fluid, and it can freeze when the temperature drops. The result can be that when you depress the pedal, you get no braking action. This is one of the reasons why most Japanese car manufacturers recommend that the brake fluid be changed every 3 years/36,000 miles.

Start by having the brake fluid changed, and see if that makes a difference.