Excess Brake Pedal Travel/Soft Pedal After New Pads and Rotors

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  #1  
Old 09-02-12, 07:58 AM
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Excess Brake Pedal Travel/Soft Pedal After New Pads and Rotors

99 Malibu 135K

I replaced the pads and rotors on my wife's Malibu this morning. On the test drive, I noticed the brake pedal feels soft and has more travel than I expected. Brake fluid level is at maximum and reservoir cap is on tight. I didn't open the system other than loosening the cap to release pressure when I push the caliper piston back.

Ideas?

Thanks for your great advice.

az
 
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  #2  
Old 09-02-12, 09:33 AM
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The pads have to bed in.

How to Bed in Brake Pads - YouTube
 
  #3  
Old 09-02-12, 10:03 AM
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well, yes indeed, except that they lock onto rotor only at the first 2-3 pumps, and then gap is established and it all should be back to normal. I have never ever had to "bed pads in" after those initial pumps.
I say - simply bleed the brakes, pass rear>driver rear>pass front>driver front.

If you still have mushy brakes and pedal goes down too far - well, master cylinder is likely at fault.
 
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Old 09-02-12, 10:35 AM
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I have never ever had to "bed pads in" after those initial pumps.
Huh??????

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Old 09-02-12, 10:44 AM
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"Bedding" is not the same as "seating". Bedding is more about break-in and burnishing rotor and pad. I have to agree with ukrbyk...after the first few pumps (seating)...it shouldn't be spongy.


Is this 4 wheel disc or disc front/drum rear.
 
  #6  
Old 09-02-12, 01:30 PM
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I would bet after a 100 miles or so that the OP's pedal comes up. Just did brakes on the spouses car. Pedal low. I bleed and bleed. Told her to just drive it. After about a week pedal was back up to normal.

Bed/seat...? OK, I assumed the same thing.

Just my opinion
 
  #7  
Old 09-02-12, 02:14 PM
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Follow up:

Took it apart again because it was acting weird and creaking/groaning on brake application from the passenger side.

I noticed that unlike most cars, there is a distinct difference between the pads and there is a definitive inner and outer position for each. The pad with the wear indicator also has a larger tab in the center of its outside curve, as well as rivets in different places than its match. The wear indicator pad goes on the inside.

I had both wheels done incorrectly. After switching pad positions, the creaking/groaning went away and the pedal no longer feels spongy and soft. Go figure.

Thanks for your help.
 
  #8  
Old 09-02-12, 03:12 PM
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told you in other post - you had something crooked in there. Say prayer you do not have Mazda performance calipers and pads.

Thanks for explaining difference between bedding and seating. Neither should give him mushy pedal and all kinds of funny noises. He either had them seated right from the get go, or not, and pads mating with rotor, or bedding, should never give those symptoms. Due respect..
 
  #9  
Old 09-02-12, 04:47 PM
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Well...there was no mention of noises in this thread. And like I (and you) said after pushing calipers back and installing new pads...normally one or two pushes on the pedal will push the pads against the rotor and pedal should be fine after.
 

Last edited by Gunguy45; 09-03-12 at 07:27 AM.
  #10  
Old 09-03-12, 06:34 AM
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Forcing dirty fluid back thru the ABS system can mess them up. I clamp off the hoses and open the bleeders when pushing the pistons back.
 
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