First Post---RV brake help please!!!


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Old 04-09-07, 06:37 PM
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First Post---RV brake help please!!!

Hi, I really hope someone can help me out. My father bought a '97 Holiday Rambler. The front pads were worn so took it up to a local brake shop to have them put on. While it was up there, they called and told my father that the entire rear braking system was shot and needed to be replaced. They also suggested flushing the master cylinder. My father approved all work to the tune of $1300. So, new rotors, new pads, and rebuilt calipers all around. 4 days later, off we head for a 100 mile drive to camp with friends. Few hills, nothing too steep. We miss our camp spot, and turn around. Suddenly, we have very little brakes. We decide instead of going to the camp spot, we'd go the 2 miles back out to the main highway where there was a convenience store and check the brake fluid. We didn't make it to the store before the brakes went and we pulled into a parking lot using the emergency brake to stop. Get out, plenty of brake fluid. No light ever came on. We call for roadside service and end up camping in a Walmart parking lot for the night. Next day, it's towed to a dealer and we rent a car and return home. We went up today to clean out the RV and talk to the service guy at the dealership. Turns out the master cylinder is gone and the rear brakes are shot. He said that he believed the calipers stuck, heated up the fluid and that caused the master cylinder to go. The rotors are blue, the pads look fine except for the bottom edges being worn, they are covered with white crust from being heated up and it looks like the pistons welded themselves to the back of the pads. We took one of the pads home with us and took pictures of all the brakes. The front brakes look new, only the rear brakes look horrible. Contacted the shop where we originally had the work done and they questioned if the RV was geared down going down hills. (
It's an automatic with overdrive) Did the brake light come on? I answered the questions and they told me that the master cylinder went causing the rear brakes to go. They haven't even looked at it! My question is, whose diagnosis is likely to be correct?
 
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Old 04-09-07, 07:26 PM
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Wow! Luckily no one was killed when you lost brakes!

I can already see the shop that "replaced" all your brakes is trying to cover up their faulty work.

This shop should have checked and inspected the brakes after the repairs.

I've never heard of a master cylinder being flushed before.....so I can't answer to that.

Where the calipers/rotors properly sized for the vehicle? If they were undersized, they will have overheated and cause the brake fluid to potentially boil.

Don't let this shop take you and your father for a ride. Have another shop take a look at the work that they did. If the calipers/rotors were undersized, I would seek some legal help if they don't repair the brakes properly.
 
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Old 04-09-07, 07:36 PM
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Thanks, Mark. How would I be able to tell if the rotors, etc were the right size? The original shop told me they'd save the old parts but when the RV was returned home (I didn't go to pick it up) the old parts weren't there and it was marked on the service order to toss the parts.
 
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Old 04-11-07, 01:18 PM
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its hard to say whose diagnoses is correct but if the first shop completed all repairs properly the dealer could at least tell you if the parts were installed properly and if they are the correct replacement parts it could be possible that since this was such an older vehicle the master could have accumulated sludge and varnish and after power flushing system that it began to bypass which would have never been able for the first shop to foretell the future but if my shop was the first shop i would at the very least warrantee the rear calipers rotors and pad which were affected by the faulty master when servicing vehicle it is very hard to predict the out come of a specific preventive maintenance procedure my philosophy is that if is over 6-10 years old and the system has not been properly maintained with by preventive maintenances such as brake fluid, power steering fluid cooling and trans fluid flushes donít start because the seals may start to seep and cause a frailer that is just waiting to happen. some shops advise people that this could occur before service is preformed but not all anyway talk to the dealer about the parts and installation than go to the first shop and see if they can take care of the warrantee problem most parts suppliers are fairly reasonable with returning parts if we need them to
 
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Old 04-11-07, 01:46 PM
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Your father got scammed by the first repair shop. Never heard of a master cylinder flush before. Sounds like they charged him 1300 dollars for front pads and rotors and did noting to back brakes. Find a good lawyer your going to need one.
 
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Old 04-12-07, 12:22 AM
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Latest in the brake horror. The original shop wants to go the 100 miles to where the RV sits and replace the pads and rotors and drive it back here! If it was the master cylinder as they said, why endanger their own employees by driving it here? If it is the calipers that failed then what good does it do to replace the pads and rotors and then try to drive it? Wouldn't the same thing happen again? From what I understood from the dealership when the braking system overheated, it also took out the bearings and compromised the brake lines. They are saying that the master cylinder holds pressure but could that change when the fluid warms up from driving? To top it all off, the extended warranty company won't pay for the covered parts that weren't replaced the first time and are damaged now! Dad bought this in January and we have not made one trip without some kind of problem. No maintenance records came with it so we don't even know if they ever had anything done. Stupid people take more stock in the appearance of any vehicle than the mechanics of it. Yep, we have one of the nicest RV's being towed through town!
 
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Old 04-13-07, 11:03 AM
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information

Originally Posted by tommyj3 View Post
Your father got scammed by the first repair shop. Never heard of a master cylinder flush before. Sounds like they charged him 1300 dollars for front pads and rotors and did noting to back brakes. Find a good lawyer your going to need one.
FYI
Fluid flush is an important part of vehicle maintenance that gets over looked
by most people

some info:
Brake fluid attracts moisture, and this moisture can rust the insides of the brake system. This moisture was not that big of deal 10 years ago, but on ABS brake systems of today, the rust and other debris that accumulates in the fluid can do lots of internal damage, and can be very costly. Brake fluid can also break down over time from excess heat that is created from within the brake system.

For maintenance purposes, the issues you'll most likely have to deal with are pads, rotors, and fluid. Because the entire system is based on the principle of friction, the components involved are in immediate contact with one another and wear down over time and with continual use. While many of the components are designed to last the life of the vehicle -- such as the master cylinder, calipers, and ABS unit -- others -- like the pads, rotors, and fluid -- do need to be replaced. How often depends on the degree to which the car is used and abused. But the typical lifespan for these parts is generally about 50,000 to 75,000 miles for brake pads and fluid, and 75,000 to 100,000+ miles for rotors
 
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Old 04-13-07, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by AutoDoc View Post
FYI
While many of the components are designed to last the life of the vehicle -- such as the master cylinder, calipers, and ABS unit -- others -- like the pads, rotors, and fluid -- do need to be replaced. How often depends on the degree to which the car is used and abused. But the typical lifespan for these parts is generally about 50,000 to 75,000 miles for brake pads and fluid, and 75,000 to 100,000+ miles for rotors
Our RV has 45,000 miles on it.

The original shop is sending replacement parts up to the dealer and will pay the dealer to replace all of them. We still have to pay for the master cylinder and brake lines and the labor for that. Estimate $1200.
 
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Old 04-13-07, 12:55 PM
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Cool bearings

My guess is the first shop never repacked the front wheel bearings and only greased them. You have to pack grease into them bearings or the bearings will fail and that causes heat. Where the bearings also welded or frozen to the front spindle? Not to mention if they tightened them too tight, the bearings...
 
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Old 04-13-07, 01:25 PM
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not to stick up for anyone but as i said in my first post not one shop in the world could predict that the master cylinder would fail at least theay are working with you in the cost and replacement of the affected parts that they instaled and as for the bearing packing isue packing berings is probobly the first thig any tech learns if thay did not pack bearings on instalation than thay should not be in business
 
 

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