smartdriver

Brake Pedal Goes To Floor - Where To Look?

15 posts in this topic

Posted (edited) · Report post

On my 2005 Cabriolet with 75,000 km, after having jammed on my brakes, the brake pedal now goes right to the floor with only a tiny residual of braking at the very bottom. Red brake warning light is also on.

 

I am aware that there are rubber hoses going to the calipers on the front disks, one of which it seems to me has ruptured.

 

Where else to look for a local mechanic who normally does not service smartcars?

 

Also, is there anything special to be done in the way of bleeding the brakes after repair?

Edited by smartdriver

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I guess you have a burst brake pipe caused by rust and old age.  A brake hose may burst too but does not happen often.

Brake bleeding is conventional and you may need to run ABS pump and operate valves in ABS/ ESP unit to get all air out.

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Thanks for the reply.

 

After parking in my driveway overnight I found a puddle of brake fluid at the rear of the passenger (right side) door. It looks like it wasn't the hose.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

theres nothing special about the brakes...any competent shop should have no problem fixing it ..especially at the back

 

the only problem i could see is if they need to remove the body under covers and have no patience but because you say its near the wheel it should be easy...probably just a steel line that runs along the suspension tube..or if its coming out of the drum it will probably be a wheel cylinder

Edited by LooseLugNuts

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Do yourself a massive favor and replace all steel lines now, it's simple really, buy the expensive lines as they are easily bent using your hands no tools required other than making the flared ends correctly to attach to your solid fittings. IF you jack up your car now, you could pinch off that broken line so you'll possibly get enough stopping power to get to your local shop. I doubt very highly that it requires a specialized shop to do this work.....seriously...it's easy!  Go to youtube and spend 1/2 hour watching videos, you'll be a professional in no time....well at least you'll understand what the mechanic is going to do.  IF you do not have the correct flaring tools and  know how to bleed the system, then please get a licenced mechanic to do your brakes.  But it is easy.  BUT IF you do it wrong and it fails because of it, then.......? You may be at risk.....worst case synario.....just saying.   At least refill your brake reservoir to allow you to possibly drive slowly to your shop....you should have front brakes at least as the systems should be separate from front to rear and also you have the hand brake which I bet is a cable....so you do have some brakes, BEWARE!

 

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Where in Toronto are you, right downtown or in the subs..?

 

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Only rear axle brake pipes are available preformed.  Both front wheel pipes come coiled and you have to form them yourself.  Therefore better to make the pipes yourself out of cunifer or copper with brass unions.

Here is photo of some pipes I made earlier:

CuNiFePipes.jpg

 

It pays to exercise sufficient care when removing old pipes as you will use them as pattern for the new pipes.

All flares are DIN and brake pipe diameter is 3/16".  A brake pipe bender like the one with blue handles seen in above photo is particularly handy when forming the pipes.  You also need a pipe cutter and good DIN flaring tool like this one:   https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/282619580607?chn=ps&dispItem=1&adgroupid=53506753673&rlsatarget=pla-414494189977&abcId=1133956&adtype=pla&merchantid=7328434&poi=&googleloc=1007385&device=c&campaignid=1058853793&crdt=0 

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Rear axle brake pipes are the first to go due to their exposure to the elements.  Cheap from dealer.  Only £10 for left side pipe and £15 for the longer right side pipe.  These are very easily formed and quickly made if you wish to go the DIY route.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

2 hours ago, tolsen said:

Only rear axle brake pipes are available preformed.  Both front wheel pipes come coiled and you have to form them yourself.  Therefore better to make the pipes yourself out of cunifer or copper with brass unions.

Here is photo of some pipes I made earlier:

CuNiFePipes.jpg

 

It pays to exercise sufficient care when removing old pipes as you will use them as pattern for the new pipes.

All flares are DIN and brake pipe diameter is 3/16".  A brake pipe bender like the one with blue handles seen in above photo is particularly handy when forming the pipes.  You also need a pipe cutter and good DIN flaring tool like this one:   https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/282619580607?chn=ps&dispItem=1&adgroupid=53506753673&rlsatarget=pla-414494189977&abcId=1133956&adtype=pla&merchantid=7328434&poi=&googleloc=1007385&device=c&campaignid=1058853793&crdt=0 

 

cannot use copper here (i cant imagine using anywhere on brake lines)

 

must be steel but can be copper plated steel....there is also some new alloy ones available here that are easier to bend ..softer alloy but definitely not pure copper

 

also MUST be double flare or proper bubble flare depending on original 

 

 

edit: im guessing what you mean by copper is similar to the alloy ones we call cupronickel 

Edited by LooseLugNuts

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5 hours ago, Willys said:

Where in Toronto are you, right downtown or in the subs..?

 

Thanks very much to everyone for all the assistance.

 

Leaside, Bayview-Eglinton.

 

I have a local mechanic nearby whom I have dealt with before but I haven't contacted him.

The emergency brake should suffice to get me the short distance to his shop which is just a little bit closer than Mercedes Midtown.

 

Just an anecdotal story regarding the incident. I have 3 smartcars. Don't ask me why, I just like them. I bought the one with the bad brakes (75,000 km) 2 1/2 years ago because it had power steering and left my original one (45,000 km) sitting in my driveway for the last 2 1/2 years with the battery disconnected, but tended to from time to time.

 

The two above are Cabriolets and last year I bought a 2005 Coupe for a good price.

 

After the brake failure, I called my insurance company to transfer the insurance to the Coupe. It wouldn't turn over. Likely a seized alternator.

 

I called my insurance company back one hour later, to transfer the insurance to my original Cabriolet that had been sitting for 2 1/2 years. It started right up!! The best part is that I had it remapped in 2007 and I can feel a significant difference in performance compared to the other two.

 

Although I have encountered others with more smartcars than myself, "He who dies with the most smartcars wins".

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Copper brake pipe may be hard to source in Canada if it is not allowed used on road vehicles there. 

 

UK garages tend to use pure copper brake pipe and steel unions.

 

I use brass unions and cunifer pipe which is nearly as strong as steel but does not rust. Cunifer is essentially same as cupronickel. An alloy of copper, nickel and iron. 

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i cant find much online but i know technicians here are taught that copper line is not allowed...same with compression fittings and single flare ..also have to be sure if using steel that its for brakes because some is sold as fuel line and not the same wall thickness

 

but this new cupronickel alloy stuff passes just fine 

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I’ve been using Cunifer brake pipes for forty years so not anything new. Copper brake pipes may be ok for pressure but is in my opinion too soft hence will need additional clamping and support. 

The flares must be properly made and that is why you need a good flaring tool.  The tool shown in link in one of my previous posts makes a double DIN flare. 

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Hmmmm/.....????
I've never seen anyone use copper lines in Canada and been legal, but i'm not a shop or licencing depot, so shouldn't say.....they only brake lines I have ever used up until the past few years has been steel which took some bending to get them nice to fit neatly where you want then to be, now this new pipe looks the same but twice the cost but bends like copper. I always thought copper would expand from the pressures over time maybe that was why we never used it...?  Fuel line is as said different sized and more money. Most folks simply try and buy pre fitted lines and bend to shape then add couplings so they do not need to know how to flare the pipes. They usually end up with either many many couplings or a coil of pipe somewhere due to miss measuring...lol.    Double flaring is an art to learn and get correct, and you need a good flaring tool st-up or you'll be fighting them constantly, but once learned it's easy!

 

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We made a Peugeot 403 brake line at the side of the road last summer when some Australians were doing a huge tour in their RHD 1958 403 wagon.  No problem, a borrowed flaring tool and presto.

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