Having a little problem with my brakes today, I searched around but not really finding anything. Im driving a 2004 2.4L. I noticed a couple days ago that I was having to mash the brake pedal a little harder to get the heep to slow/stop. I was on my way in from the store today and pull up to make the turn into my drive... pushing the brake pedal almost to the floor now but not really hard... and I hear and feel a pop from the brake pedal and the brake light on the dash starts flashing and beeping at me. I continue to my driveway and the brakes seem to be acting the same as they were before the pop and lights.
So I checked brake fluid level in the resevoir and it was low. Filled it. Now theres another cap on the drivers side of the master cylinder, coming from the firewall that says "Fill to step with dot 3 brake fluid" but I have no idea what that means (fill to step?) and cant find any info on it. Opened it and I see fluid in there, no real room for any more so I didnt touch it. Drove around the block but lights are still flashing and beeping at me and brakes are still functioning the same.
So is there anything else I should check before taking it somewhere? And whats the deal with this fill to step cap?
Oh and I got new tires last Friday if that helps, dont know if it will but thought Id mention it.
you shouldn't be running low on brake fluid, if you do you may ahave a leak somewhere.
you need to check this and while you're at it maybe just flush the fluid and put fresh one in it , it doesn't cost that much.
UPDATE: The day after I filled the fluid the brakes started acting normally, normal play in the pedal and all that. But the lights and alarms were still going off. So I unplugged the battery for about 10 minutes and plugged it back in (good ol computer troubleshooting applied to the heep!!) and now my alarms are gone and everything seems to be working as normal. I will continue to monitor the fluid levels and probably go ahead and get a brake joint to check it out anyway just to be safe but just thought I'd share.
Along the same lines of weirdness, I recently replaced my battery when it left me hanging at the post office. Before that I was getting a CEL accompanied by pretty bad hesitations about every other week and lasting about 3-5 days each time. Then it would go away and the cycle continued. Also throwing code P0123 whether the issue was happening at the time or not. That’s been happening for about a year probably. Did some research, looked to be bad TPS but never did anything with it. Whelp... I replaced my battery about 3 weeks ago now and haven't seen the problem since, AND no more codes!! WTF is that all about???
Whelp, this problem is back but this time I found a leak at the driver side rear tire. Found a good size stain on my driveway that matches this leak too and my fluid is low again, and I have refilled… again. Not sure why Im only seeing a stain on the drive NOW if this has been going on for a month apparently…
The leak looks like its coming from the connection of the brake line to the drum and its very slow I guess. I don’t see any leaks anywhere else and theres fluid all over that drum and tire so that’s gotta be it. So Im planning on taking it to Tire Kingdom tonight or tomorrow but does anyone have any idea what I should expect them to diagnose/want to replace and what this should cost me? Just so I have a clue when they try to screw me…
Update on this, from about 2 months ago: I got a quote from the local chain, $620 for all new back end brake system, drums, pads, cylinders, lines, socket change fee, hydralulic lift fee, whatever else BS they throw in there... redonkulous! So I took it to my uncle-in-law's shop (which is a good drive from me which is why I didnt go there in the first place).... 50 bucks for both rear cylinders and pads! He said the rest was fine. I gave him 150 for his troubles, lesson learned!