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Old 11-10-2009, 07:13 PM   #1
wrxmuch?
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Default brake pedal is mushy halfway through the pedal travel

Recently I have noticed that my brake pedal gets progressively mushier as it goes through the pedal travel. I have made sure that my brakes have been bled properly and I checked my brake fluid level. What gives?

Brake fluid used:
Valvoline synthetic dot 3/dot 4 from Autozone. <-- hoping this isnt the problem.
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:22 PM   #2
chimchimm5
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Does it still behave that way when the car is off?
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:29 PM   #3
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yes
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:26 PM   #4
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if all the calipers are working properly---not sticking

then the mc may be on the way out
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
if all the calipers are working properly---not sticking

then the mc may be on the way out
o boy....
Sounds like I should replace it before I have a massive brake failure....
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:05 AM   #6
skell215
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Unhappy I'm mushy too!

I'm having similar issues. I replaced my brake pads and suddenly the brakes are worse than before, so then we changed the rotors thinking that the pads weren't catching because of grooves in the rotors.... no help. The brake pedal goes all the way to the floor, then I reclaced the master cylinder, flushed and bled the whole system, checked for pin holes in the lines. No improvement. They have pressure when the car is off but as soon as you turn the car on the goes to the floor. Any ideas???
Signed, Just a girl...
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:27 AM   #7
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i've been in three other wrx i've worked on including mine have this issue. I've bled them before every roadcourse event and yet still "mushy" and goes all the way to the floor...I mean C'MON!!! My mom's CR-V have way better brake pressure...
the other thing i might do is switching lines to ss lines and see if my brakes will have better feel to it...
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:24 AM   #8
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^^I doubt the SS lines will help. I've been fighting the exact same issue for a while. There are a few other threads with the same problem. One, IIRC it was willaty's, he just lived with it till a few years later a big air bubble blurped out and it was all better.

FWIW I have SS lines, during the course of chasing my problem I hace changed out the MC, put in 4-pots, and done multiple fluid changes and bleeds. I've used Speed bleeders, made a vacuum bleeder, done it old school, done it old school with vacuum on it, done hard stops on gravel to cycle the ABS, and cycled the ABS using the under dash connectors. Nothing has helped. I'm taking it in to the dealer tomorrow and making it their problem. Will post up results.
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:25 AM   #9
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SS lines did not help mine.
Same problem sins new.
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:10 PM   #10
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Actually, mine did get better then went to **** again. I have a feeling I may have a bad master cylinder that's managing to pull air through a seal somewhere over time.
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
Actually, mine did get better then went to **** again. I have a feeling I may have a bad master cylinder that's managing to pull air through a seal somewhere over time.
and i have come to the conclusion that some of these 'mushy pedal' issues are air leaks that are JUST small enough to let in a bubble but not really leak

I chased these issues and went back and broke loose and re-tightened everything I took apart and the issues stopped
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:40 PM   #12
DumbstixLars
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skell215 View Post
I'm having similar issues. I replaced my brake pads and suddenly the brakes are worse than before, so then we changed the rotors thinking that the pads weren't catching because of grooves in the rotors.... no help. The brake pedal goes all the way to the floor, then I reclaced the master cylinder, flushed and bled the whole system, checked for pin holes in the lines. No improvement. They have pressure when the car is off but as soon as you turn the car on the goes to the floor. Any ideas???
Signed, Just a girl...
Just like most of the other posts it sounds like air in the lines. I fought this same problem on my 70 Dodge for years and it eventually turned out to be a bad MC that would just barely let air leak into the system. It was even new when I bought it.
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Old 11-11-2009, 05:22 PM   #13
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It sounds like a lot of people with "fairly new MC's" have this problem.

Is this a quality issue or a design issue?
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanddelor View Post
i've been in three other wrx i've worked on including mine have this issue. I've bled them before every roadcourse event and yet still "mushy" and goes all the way to the floor...I mean C'MON!!! My mom's CR-V have way better brake pressure...
the other thing i might do is switching lines to ss lines and see if my brakes will have better feel to it...
Funny you mention a CR-V.... I just got back from test driving a CR-V with my wife. When we switched and it was my turn to drive the first time I hit the brake my head jerked forward..... It was embarrassing. Guess that shows how weak my brakes are..... I have hawk hps pads and brand new brembo blanks and ss lines and I've bled the brakes twice. Now I'm hoping I don't have a massive brake failure and slam into someone. I mean I can stop no problem it just seems like I've surprised myself a few times and how slowly I stop and how progressively quick my pedal goes to the floor and how quickly abs saves my ass.....

We need to solve this problem before one of us gets hurt..
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Old 11-12-2009, 02:06 PM   #15
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Well, just got back from the dealership. We went for a drive and the SM, who comes highly recommended, said my car stops way harder than most STi's. And there wasn't much they could do. Even though the pedal is on the floor it was engaging the ABS. That's the way Subie brakes are. It's not a Toyota. He also said it didn't feel like there was any air in the system.

I'm going to try Uncles loosen and retighten all the joints and see how that goes and replace the Hawk HPS in front with EBC reds. If it doesn't help I'm going to look into swapping out to a (stronger?, larger?, better?) different MC of some sort.
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Old 11-12-2009, 02:36 PM   #16
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Are you guys experiencing mushy pedal when stopped but when actually braking you reach the max the brakes can grab before you really get deep into the mush?

If the car is on and not moving, and I push the brake pedal hard, I get into a mushy zone that "oozes" very low. I blame the booster. When I'm moving and braking, the wheels will lock up (ABS) before I can really get deep into the mush zone.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chimchimm5 View Post
Are you guys experiencing mushy pedal when stopped but when actually braking you reach the max the brakes can grab before you really get deep into the mush?

If the car is on and not moving, and I push the brake pedal hard, I get into a mushy zone that "oozes" very low. I blame the booster. When I'm moving and braking, the wheels will lock up (ABS) before I can really get deep into the mush zone.
That's exactly my symptoms.... It's not all that confidence inspiring.... I don't like to ride the abs..... I WANT A SOLID PEDAL DAMN IT!
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:25 PM   #18
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o yeah also,

I called my local dealership. They said they've probably sold 7 master cylinders ever.... So that kinda points me in another direction...
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:06 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by wrxmuch? View Post
o yeah also,

I called my local dealership. They said they've probably sold 7 master cylinders ever.... So that kinda points me in another direction...
LOL I've got a spare now.

In my case the ABS will engage, but it does it with the pedal on the floor. Under normal driving it's fine, but when you want max braking with modulation it just ain't there. I have to put the pedal on the floor and, like a previous poster says, "ride the ABS", which I really don't like.
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bushflyr View Post
LOL I've got a spare now.

In my case the ABS will engage, but it does it with the pedal on the floor. Under normal driving it's fine, but when you want max braking with modulation it just ain't there. I have to put the pedal on the floor and, like a previous poster says, "ride the ABS", which I really don't like.
my 02 sucked until I put the 4pots on the front and did the h6 rears and put a MC brace on

getting the abs module replaced wasnt as big a deal as the h6 rears

and putting a grabby pad in the rear...I used the Ultimates, was the real trick to it all, I think

the factory 02 brakes were horrible
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:15 PM   #21
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i wouldn't do this, but if you want non-abs modulation, pull the abs fuse by your right knee. it makes the pedal firm and disengages the abs. i used to race like this. but i don't recommend driving on the street like this. if you're used to abs on the street, and need to stop fast, there's a good chance that you won't think to modulate the brakes like you do on the track, and just lock up instead. don't ask how i know. i think it has something to do with being much more relaxed on the street versus on the track. i think the relaxed state of mind makes you think of just hitting the brakes like you usually do (on the street, with abs). similar to "muscle memory", only this is more conditional. anyway, pull the abs fuse and see if that changes the feel. if it does, it give you another step in diagnosing your problem.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:28 PM   #22
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My brother had this SAMe damn problem on his nissan.


We argued back and forth about whether the "pot" was leaking or if it was his MC.


Turns out both his fronts calipers had a very very very very small leak in them, so small i didn't notice it even after MULTIPLE times of inspecting them. He swapped the calipers and BOOM, he can lock his fronts like no joke.

Are you sure you don't have a leak in one of your pots???? Because of your symptoms, i'm going to lean toward this.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:40 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
my 02 sucked until I put the 4pots on the front
Check.

Quote:
and did the h6 rears
First brake mod.

Quote:
and put a MC brace on
Got the Perrin.

Quote:
putting a grabby pad in the rear...I used the Ultimates, was the real trick to it all, I think
Going back to EBC reds in front. Not particularly happy with the HPS's.

Quote:
the factory 02 brakes were horrible
Too true. Tragic that FHI let it out of the factory like that.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:41 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHRDAN View Post
My brother had this SAMe damn problem on his nissan.


We argued back and forth about whether the "pot" was leaking or if it was his MC.


Turns out both his fronts calipers had a very very very very small leak in them, so small i didn't notice it even after MULTIPLE times of inspecting them. He swapped the calipers and BOOM, he can lock his fronts like no joke.

Are you sure you don't have a leak in one of your pots???? Because of your symptoms, i'm going to lean toward this.
If I had a leak wouldn't my brake fluid level go down slowly over time?
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:48 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrxmuch? View Post
If I had a leak wouldn't my brake fluid level go down slowly over time?

This is what i argued with my brother about over and over again. I said his fluid level would drop, he would see leaks.



However i was wrong, he swapped his fronts for aftermarket infinity breaks and he fixed the problem.

I even rebuilt his old breaks, but for some reason they leaked. We would sit there and bleed them for hours, i'm not kidding, it was a huge deal. However he was right, the calipers where leaking, now sure how, but there were.
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