Soft brakes after accident



Car: 2005 Chrysler 300C RWD. 40,000 one own er miles, car babied, drove perfect before someone pulled in front of me at 50MPH. Hit the car (100% their fault per police and their ins. co) probably at 40+ mph with brakes fully applied. Airbag went off. took off LF corner of car $10,000 plus damage.

Shop said the car was done a month ago, but I drove it and the brakes are like stepping in a pillow. They were firm and normal before the accident. Now when you apply the brakes, they go down a lot farther before applying and if you don’t KEEP pushing the pedal down, they will not keep slowing the car. If I stop on a hill, and just keep the brakes in one spot, they will release.

They do NOT pump up with the car running. The system was never opened after the accident, just unbolted the LF caliper and bolted it to a new suspension that was replaced. Dealer can find no leaks.

Dealer has done nothing. Ins. Co says the car stops (I can make ABS come on, so they are right, it does stop, but something has changed a LOT and that worries me a LOT) so they won’t pay $900 for a new Master Cyl that the dealer says is the only thing he can think of. So I ask them to replace it under my $2000 extended platinum warranty, and they say no. So dealer won’t fix it without Ins. Co, and Ins. Co. won’t fix it without dealer backing them up. Catch 22 for me.

I did nothing wrong, even probably saved the other insured by good driving during the accident, and I get a car back that I won’t drive because something is wrong in the brakes.

Any thoughts?


Something definitly sounds fishy here. With that much damage to the LF of the car I suspect the brake system has been opened. There is a special procedure for bleeding that system, and it really sounds like there is air in it. A bad master cylinder will cause that condition, and it is in the area that was damaged. I deal with insurance adjusters weekly on these type of issues, and usually don"t have a problem getting things covered. Its sounds like someone dropped the ball and isn’t fessing up.

Are you dealing with a bodyshop or a chrysler dealer?


I am dealing with at least four places: the body shop that did the repair, the dealership repair shop at that same place (chevy dealer in my home town, don’t ask why I had it fixed at a Chevy dealer, it was a brain fart!) plus the Chrysler dealership owned by the same person, my insurance company (offending co was slow so I took advice of my Ins agent and when through my own company (state farm) and that was brain fart #2) and then the Ins. co that was on the car that pulled in front of me (Economy). Nobody is taking responsibility and I fear that it will take lawyers to get things going.

Body shop swears the brake system was never opened up. I have had calipers suck air before without a leak, but the system would “pump up” and this one never does. I suspect a leak within the MC or something similar. But some confirmation would be nice.


I think the rubber hose to that caliper was damaged, and it’s swelling when you apply the brakes.