I had a front brake Job done on my Car Yesterday. The Vehicle has 45k miles
on it and runs excellent ( No intake manifold gasket Issue yet)
When the brake Job was finished the Mechanic took it for a ride and said its
all ready to go. As I got in and drove around the block I noticed that the
pedal goes all the way down to the floor to stop the car. I immediately went
back and they drove it again and put it back on the Lift. Nothing looked
out of the ordinary. They said they didnt want to adjust the Rear Brakes as
they are self adjusting ( I wonder?) They bled the front Brakes and the
softness has NOT gone away. They again advised me to drive it for a day and
see how it goes. Here's my question, since they never open the fluid system
in any way why would it need bleeding. All they did was compress the Caliper
to fit in the new pads. What else could have gone wrong? The Brake fluid
level was good
Thanks to all who intelligently reply.
Any mechanic who tells you that he does not want to adjust rear drums
because they are self adjusting does not know what he's talking about and
should not be taking money for doing brake jobs. Self adjuster seldom work.
Drums absolutely do need to be brought up with a manual adjustment.
The rear brakes do account for a lot of the pedal, but even when they are
completely out of adjustment, you should still have half a pedal just from
the fronts, if the rotors and pads are in good shape. When they did a brake
job - did they turn the rotors or did they replace the rotors? If they
turned them, you'll likely have found your problem.
I'd put money on it being the rears linings were not adjusted, and
they should be slapped for telling a line of crap about them self-
adjusting. For the behavior you describe, they are likely WAY out of
adjustment and you could drive it a year or more and not have it self
adjust enough to be right. I made this mistake myself on my van when
I got it used, I sensed they were not doing much and backed up and
braked hard, over and over and over. Finally was rotaing tires and I
took the drum off and adjusted it precisely - then I got a firm brake
pedal and excellent braking action. Tell them to get off their ass
and fix it. If they replaced something like a caliper, it could also
be air in the line.
thanks for all of the excellent replies.
The Rotors were replaced with new ones. Everything that came in the Front
brake pad box was installed, I watched that closely. If they put the wrong
pad on the wrong side, I would have had no idea. How does one tell?
The Rear brakes were just inspected for the State Inspection that was
preformed. THe bleeding was also performed in front of me and I asked if
they heard any Air rushiung out, the Reply was No. The brakes are a little
better today after driving to work and back. How do I, Myself adjust the
rear brakes. Seems I might want to attempt it as I used to do Auto repair
long time ago when the rear Drum brake had a star wheel that you turned with
a crooked tool from the inside of the Axle. Any thoughts, web sites taht
might make it a little clearer?
Inspected means they have enough of the shoe left, but it does not mean they
wre adjusted properly.
No, you never will. Most times you get just a few bubbles of air. If there
was air rushing out, you'd have not been able to drive the car at all. Air
is easily compressed while liquids, for practical purposes, does not
compress at all under typical loads of a brake pedal with a master cylinder.
It only takes a tiny bit of air to make the pedal feel spongy.
You need an adjusting tool (a few bucks at any auto tool shop) and be able
to jack the car up so the wheel spins. It must be safely supported with a
stand as you have to crawl under the car to get to the adjustment slot.
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