Sounds like there may be air trapped in the system as this makes the brakes
feel spongey. A bleeding kit costs about a fiver from halfords and it's an
easy job, jacking up the car and taking off wheels (one at a time!) is the
most time consuming part. You also have to belled them in a specific
sequence, maybe someone with a haynes manual can confirm it. If air has got
into the systemthere may be a more serious problem such as leaks in the
system although air can get in if the fluid level drops below minimum and
then you re-fill the resevior or when maintenace work is carried out on the
brake hoses or cylinders.
I found that my '92 Tempra 1.8 certainly stopped when you wanted it to, and
I sold it to a friend when I had finished with it and he certainly had no
problems with it stopping - and it had done about 150k miles by then
Can depend on the quality of the pads and shoes. Car and exhaust centres
seem to buy the cheapest unbranded and not necessarily the best. I can't
remember seeing any Euro or other quality control/compliance symbols. AFAIK
there is no defined quality standard for these vital safety components.
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