Locking Brakes

I bought a 1996 GeoPrizm with 186000 miles a few months ago, and after a few weeks of driving it, I started losing power while driving down the road. The gas is to the floor, the engine is revving, and it still will decelerate. I noticed the brake smell after it ?locking? like this one day.

So I take it to my mechanic, and he agreed with what I was told by others: master cylinder. He replaced the master cylinder, and it drove fine for about two months.

All of a sudden, the car starts shaking while driving. While it happened with me AND with someone else who was test-driving it, it felt like a tire had gone flat. After a couple of times of this happening, it started decelerating AGAIN! The brake smell is back and last weekend, the tires/brakes were SMOKING when I pulled over.

Now here?s the problem. The mechanic has had it THREE TIMES THIS WEEK. The master cylinder was replaced (again), the calipers were replaced, new rotors, new brakes/brake pads, and he said that the only thing left to replace was the master power booster. He replaced that, and according to the mechanic, everything concerning the brakes have been replaced.

After getting it back the third time this week, it did it again today.

While driving, the steering wheel will shake, though it seems to be doing it while driving 55. The brake pedal will feel FIRM, and no matter how much you press the gas pedal, it still slows down. It can do it in any type of weather, whether it?s been driven thirty miles or two miles. I have learned that if you STOMP the brake pedal, you can feel it being released, and then it will accelerate normally, if only for a few miles before doing it again or whenever it takes a notion. Once the pedal has been stomped, the brake pedal seems to go halfway or more to the floor.

HOW CANI FIX THIS??? It?s my main mode of transportation, and I have to have a way to get to work. I?m also tired of forking out money to fix things when they don?t need fixing.

I think that one or more of the flexible brake lines has severe internal deterioration, and is collapsing, thus trapping brake fluid under pressure and applying the brake.

I suggest that you have the front brake flex lines replaced and have the brake system flushed with new fluid.

I’m going to agree with VDCdriver. You’ve paid to have parts of the brake system replaced, but no one has replaced the brake lines (hoses) that connect the brakes to the chassis.

At 186K miles, it’s not out of the ordinary for a brake line or two to go bad, and when they do they cause all sorts of problems.

I agree about the flexible hoses and changing the fluid is equally important. Crud in the fluid can block the ports in the master cyl that let the fluid back in to release the brakes.