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What is wrong with my brakes

I had an issue with my brakes about a month ago. I had to push the brake peddle to the floor in order to stop. I took my car to the shop and they told me it was the master cylinder. $400 later the brakes worked again. Unless I was backing up or pulling into a parking spot. The brakes were crazy stiff and I had to really push them to get them to work. Then today happens. Now I’m right back to where I started. I have to push the brake peddle all the way to the floor for it to work. It now also makes a high pitched squeak when I push it down. The sound comes from the the peddle, not the wheels. What the heck is going on?

Did they check the front and rear brakes?

Offhand, I might say the system was not bled completely of air after the master cylinder installation or the master cylinder was not bench bled of air before installing it.

The squeak in the pedal is likely just a dry bushing. Not major, just irritating. A dab of lube should quieten that down.
Personally, I always lube the linkage when doing work related to the master cylinder. Some don’t.

If you aren’t getting 15 minute breaks every two hours like everyone else, you need to talk to your boss. It’s a federal requirement.

Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

Normally when the pedal goes to the floor, it indicates a master cylinder but you could have a leak in the system someplace. So I’d check the fluid level and have a look at each of the hoses and cylinders behind the wheels. You also could have gotten a faulty part.

Ahhh, I see it’s fixed. Now on to the next. In our town you need a license to peddle from door to door selling your wares, but you can pedal your bike downtown with no license. People peddle brake repairs when the pedal goes to the floor.

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I’m wondering if the brake master really was the problem

Perhaps a leaking brake caliper seal . . . the symptoms can be almost identical

And it’s not very apparent, until you remove all the brake pads and visibly see the problem

First of all it’s Brakes. Did you not call the place that did the work? You should have some kind of warranty for the work and parts.

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Bad breaks? You gotta suffer if you wanna sing the blues…

Well, there is also a question of exactly what he is peddling…

I’m sorry.
The Devil made me type that.

I deserved it!

They said the front pads were at about 80% and the back were at 20%.

Seems like the power brake booster may be failing. The pedal would get hard with a booster failure although it wouldn’t likely do the “push to the floor” problem unless there is some interaction with the master cylinder. Like the booster sucking brake fluid out the back-side of the master cylinder.

Have the shop look for leaks - at the wheels like @db4690 suggests and bleed the system like @ok4450 suggests first. If it persists, it may be the booster.

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I think you got it . . . when I was reading op’s posting, I was more focused on the brake master and the pedal to the floor, not the “crazy stiff” brakes

Come to think of it, the “high pitched squeak when I push it down” might indeed be due to a bad brake booster diaphragm. I’m mentioning that because none of us except op heard that noise. And vacuum is involved with the brake booster, and vacuum leaks can result in high pitched noises. Right now I’m thinking of the old school hvac actuators that moved the various doors. I have heard them making high pitched noises when the diaphragms had failed.

What op describes as a high pitched squeak might be a high pitched whistling noise to me


I think you guys at right. It looks like Ford had an extended warranty on the brake booster for exactly this issue. Thanks for the insight!

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We didn’t mean to pick on you but this has been a subject of discussion here. Some don’t think it’s important but others think it is the first crack in the dam that needs to be attended to. We don’t blame you but the public school system. My wife often circles all the grammatical and word usage errors in the local paper. My favorite was when they advertised a back to school “break” special that I felt compelled to notify the editor about. She caught the on-line version before it went to print.

I usually check for Technical Service Bulletins (including extended warranty issues), but I saw there was no Model-Year given for the vehicle so I didn’t bother.

Also, quite a few people recommend that car owners always stay away from car dealerships (they call them stealerships) and go to independent repair shops.

Is this a case where a Ford Dealer would have been familiar with this problem, possibly replacing the booster under warranty and even possibly avoiding replacing the master cylinder for hundreds of dollars?
Who knows?

I found the extended warranty and letter mailed to owners of some Ford vehicles. The warranty extends coverage of the brake booster to 10 years of service or 150,000 miles on certain 2010-2013 Edge and MKX models. It provides for a no charge repair.

It’s all good! I should have known better!

When brakes act like that, it is sort of like having a leaky tire. You know it leaks, but to find out where it leaks requires some workshop testing. Your best course now is immediately to the shop.

Diverging somewhat, I saw a recent article in Popular Mechanics about various rockets, comparing them, from the Saturn to recent ones. And it was written by a MIT grad.

And all the thrusts were listed in foot-pounds !! And the error was repeated throughout the article. Wow.

(should be pounds, or more correctly, newtons. foot-pounds is for torque or moment)

Of course, a letter to the editor resulted in zilch.

Yes, it does seem like rockets would be spec’d in units of pounds of thrust.

This is a good opportunity to ask about this spec I was looking at for a demolition hammer. Can’t figure it out.

•Impact rate of 1300 BPM with 34 ft. lbs. of impact energy for quick demolition

The units for impact energy are foot pounds? I wouldn’t have guessed that. It seems like it should be either pounds of applied force, or something measured in the same units as momentum, kg m / sec

I suspect this is another mistake. However, “impact energy” is not a term I have seen before. Nor is “impact rate”. What is BPM ? Lots of mistakes …

Units of energy are Joule, kW-hour, HP, BTU/hr
Units of impulse (change in momentum) are Newton-sec, pound-sec

BPM: Bashes Per Minute?