Brakes on 1994 SL2

Discussion in 'Saturn S-series' started by John, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. John

    John Guest

    Hi all-

    My 94 SL2 with 180,000 miles is having a brake problem. The car was
    parked with the emergency brake engaged for 3 weeks, and now the pedal
    goes to the floor when I try to brake. There was a bit of grab when I
    first tried to move the car after it sat, and the emergency brake does
    engage when I pull the handle. But while driving, the pedal goes to
    the floor and the car slows down very slowly. Thankfully, it was a
    very short drive on a couple country roads between work and home. The
    fluid level was/is full, and the brakes were serviced ~1000 miles ago.
    The car is sitting in the driveway until I can take it apart, hoping
    someone will point me in the right direction. TIA to all who reply-

    John, Jul 3, 2006
  2. John

    Ocean Archer Guest

    John --

    A couple of things come readily to mind:

    1. Recent service on the hydraulic portion of the brakes, and
    2. Mechanical emergency brake does not use hydraulic system, and it
    appears to work.

    Quick thought is an improper brake service, possibly leaving air trapped in
    the hydraulic lines. Have the brakes bled down again either by the original
    servicing shop, or some shop you trust. Second possibility is a defective
    master cylinder (was it changed?), or defective wheel cylinder(s). Are
    there any puddles under the car if you exercise the braking system without
    moving? Maybe the vacuum boost on the brake system has failed or is loose,
    is the engine running smoothly, and does it surge or stutter when you press
    the beake pedal? These answers might help point out where the problem lies
    Ocean Archer, Jul 4, 2006
  3. John

    wavy Guest

    Wow John, how dangerous can you get?

    My take is that your master cylinder has failed. If the problem were
    simply with the vacuum assist section of your power brakes you'd just
    have a very hard time pushing the brake pedal hard enough to slow the
    car down very quickly.

    Going to the floor sounds as though there's essentially no decent seal
    in the master cylinder which allows the 'piston' to move down the bore
    without actually forcing fluid down the lines.

    You should try to "pump" the brakes - lightly and not very far down.
    Eventually you should find a buildup of pressure.

    Please dont drive this car anymore until you get it fixed!

    wavy, Jul 4, 2006
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